Hope for Melal
The book “Melal “by Robert Barclay takes place in 1981 in The Marshall Islands of the South Pacific. The people known as the Marshallese are the natives to these islands. Overtime other cultures began to settle on these islands also, such as the Spanish, Japanese, and Americans. Out of these three cultures the Americans were the most domineering and devastating to the Marshallese people. The Americans took over the Marshallese native land and forced all of them to live on one island in deplorable conditions. The Marshallese had their freedom revoked from them; they then had to live under the Americans rules. Two of the Marshallese characters in this story who believes strongly in withholding many of the native Marshallese custom and traditions are Jebro and Rujen. These two characters portray great hope that they can sustain these important aspects of their culture.
Hope starts with believing in something one desires can happen. Sparks of hope are revealed throughout this story through the character Jebro. Jebro’s hope comes from believing that he can continue on the traditions of his native culture, so that the traditions will not be lost. He believes he can do this by teaching important Marshallese traditions to younger Marshallese, and Americans who take an interest in learning. “Maybe on one of your days off I can swing by with a boat and we’ll go fish. The rules say we’re not supposed to stop over here, but I’m sure we’ll get away with it. You can show me how you knew where that school was gonna come up. Or did you use that magic finger of yours? Jebro nodded, smiling now. Okay we go fishing sometime, but if you want my secrets that are worth more than any boat you give me! He laughed “(Barclay 253). I think this passage in the story shows that Jebro is realizing that not all Americans like Travis, are bad people. This gives him hope that he can begin to teach Americans about what is important to the Marshallese natives, so they can...
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