Coping And Accepting Change
Nothing in this world is permanent, changes are brought into our lives and how we deal with it depends upon ourselves. Whether we accept it or not, changes affect who we are in the future. Both Kamau in The Return and the narrator in A Marker on the Side of the Boat portray how they dealt with changes around them as a result of a war that occurred in their beloved home places. Their passive decision to accept reality lead to a positive outcome that has not made their lives miserable, but instead those depraved memories remain as an experience to move on and find more meaning with life.
In the short story, The Return, Kamau contemplates and distinguishes the considerable amount of changes that seem to have developed while he was far away from his village. Kamau points out certain valuable changes that dishearten his emotions and perspective. He fears that his most valuable possession, his wife, Muthoni has forgotten him. Alas, Kamau’s wife, Muthoni, decides to leave and move forward with time as Kamau was exiled away. Kamau is heartbroken and is forced to accept the revelation that Muthoni will never return, and decides to do just what Muthoni had done, move on. “He tried to remove his coat, and the small bundle he had held on to so firmly fell.” The loss of his cherished, dearly loved wife did not make him give up but instead move on with his life.
Bao Ninh’s “A Marker on the Side of the Boat” tells a story of a soldier named Kien meeting a woman and falling in love with her without even being able to see her face, their short-term encounter has changed his life but this time it had brought a mark in his life with regret. When the B-52’s attacked, Kien made the mistake of taking the woman out of her house and trying to get both of them safely to a shelter. He also used a trolley as a mental marker of where her house was so he would be able to find her after. Later on after the attack was over, Kien went to help others who were...
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