Borders and Loyalties

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  • Topic: Nationality, The Culture, Nation
  • Pages : 2 (795 words )
  • Download(s) : 451
  • Published : May 8, 2013
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How much does a line on a map define us? To a marine it makes all the difference in war. It’s one country against another. To animals political lines don’t matter, as long as the land is inhabitable. Thomas King tells us in “Borders”, that some people will keep their national identity no matter the circumstances. Adewale Maja-Pearce wrote “Loyalties” to show us that it doesn’t make a difference what heritage you are, life will still be the same. These two stories explore the concept of nationality and why it is or isn’t important. In these stories, the authors use the same techniques such as dialogue, setting and tone, yet they send completely different messages. The authors have different approaches when using dialogue. In “Loyalties”, Maja-Pearce uses dialogue to show that it doesn’t matter where they live. At first, the mom wants the boy to collect their goat while the dad is exclaiming they are now Biafran. Then he revisits that discussion at the end and she says “Go and collect our Nigerian goat” (Maja-Pearce). He did that to show nothing has really changed even after they were considered another nationality. They still have to take care of their goat no matter what they’re called. In “Borders”, King uses dialogue to show that Laetitia's mother thinks her national identity is important. This is shown when she reaches the border and is being asked questions by the border guard. '"Citizenship?"

"Blackfoot," my mother told him.
"Ma'am?" "Blackfoot," my mother repeated.
"Canadian?"
"Blackfoot"'

(King 24). Through dialogue King shows that the mom is set on not changing her answer. Laetitia’s mom is so proud of her culture that even if it means not staying in her car for days, she won’t give up her identity. She doesn’t even have to think about being Canadian or American, she’s Blackfoot.  The author uses the border setting as a representation of the son and it emphasizes the message of the story. The protagonist in...
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