My Book Report
Title: The Humming Bird Tree
Author: Ian MacDonald
Publisher: Macmillan Education
Date of publication: 2004
The main characters are Alan Holmes, Kaiser and Jaillin. The story takes place in Trinidad, in the earlier part of the twentieth century, while it was under colonial rule. To be more specific the plot occurs in a Trinidadian village, in the countryside. Summary of the story: The Humming Bird Tree points out the many joys and ills of human nature. A Caucasian boy, Alan, an Indian boy Kaiser and his sister Jaillin seek to form a friendship in a society stricken by racial and class prejudice. The story is centered on Alan and Jaillin, who in their innocence, embark upon new discoveries in nature, while at the same time discover their love that could never be because of social and racial prejudice within the society. They come to this realization when Jaillin is relieved of her duties because they were caught showing their affections. Years later, they meet again and realize that their love and the rules of society surpass their love for each other. The Humming Bird Tree in its entirety highlights the harsh realities of class structure.
The major characters are:
Alan Holmes: He is a white Trinidadian boy of British origin. In the earlier part of the book, Alan is approaching his twelfth birthday. He is the narrator of the novel and the writer portrays him as sensitive and quite. Alan has a keen interest in the environment, but because he is out of his element, he depends upon Kaiser and Jaillin to teach him about it. Alan believes that he is in love with Jaillin and looks up to Kaiser because of his knowledge of the environment and his physical abilities. I am not fond of Alan’s character. He is very hypocritical. It is only when he is with Kaiser and Jaillin that he expresses his friendship openly, as at other times he doesn’t treat them as equals, yielding the colonial way, in front of his white friends. He is also deceptive. When he tries to force his religion on Kaiser and Jaillin, then when a serious argument stir sup he reassures Kaiser of their friendship, with hidden intentions. He really doesn’t respect others believes. Kaiser: He is a teenage Indian boy. He supports his family by working as a yard boy for Alan’s family. He loves his job and takes great pride in it. This earns him a lot of respect and admiration from Alan’s parents. At the same time he is very energetic, knowledgeable about the environment, adventurous and athletic. This gains him a lot of respect and admiration from Alan. Kaiser at times may come off as being selfish as he tends to think about him-well being before others. I don’t his character because of his attitude. He is sometimes very crude in his use of language with both peers and adults alike, even though much of his behavior can be blamed on the way he was raised. Jaillin: She is Kaiser’s younger sister. She works in Alan’s home and Alan admires her beauty. Although she is attracted to Alan, she is more aware of the social and racial boundaries that exist in their society, than he does. She is very comfortable with her body and therefore has no shame in showing her body as she does ever so often. It is this confident nature and beauty that Alan finds attractive. I admire her character because through out the book she grew. In her younger years even though she was aware of social and class prejudice she still allowed her emotions to influence her decisions. In the end this caused Kaiser and her own job. In chapter 5 when she meets Alan again for the first time in awhile, she makes it clear to Alan that she is not the same naïve little girl, who was ‘head over heels’ in love with him. She is now well aware of the racial and social barriers that exist, and knows now that she must accept them. She also encourages Alan to do the same. Alan’s mother: Mrs. Holmes is projected as a loving and caring mother for the most part. She cannot understand why Alan wants...
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