Leaving

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1. Nowadays, many immigrants have moved to America(north, central, and south) for many reasons, searching for a fresh start. My family was one of them. I was born in Egypt and lived there for six years of my life. My family’s decision to immigrate to Canada was basically for my future. At that time, the state of the Egyptian government was very unstable, the economy was poor and there were many problems between Christians and Muslims in the country. Also, the education system in Egypt is not one of the best in the world. So, thinking of my future, my parents decided to immigrate to Canada. I have been living here for 12 years now. My country will always be the best to my eyes but I have to say my place is in Canada. In one’s life, it is highly likely that one will hear somebody say “I've been lucky to have some great opportunities acting with some great people since leaving my country” or “ I have certainly been kept busy since leaving the street!” talking about how much his life is better in another country. In M.G. Vassanji’s short story, “Leaving” we followed the plot which took place in Tanzania in the 21st century. The story gives a clear representation of immigrant’s lives, their motives and their most dominant struggles. The story can be perceived from many different angles with the use of context, the character’s evolution, the language used and the plot.

The origin of “ Uhuru Street” and more specifically of “Leaving” has much to do with the origin of M.G. Vassanji. Vassanji is a Canadian writer of Indian identity. He was born in Kenya and spent his early years in the south of Asia, in Tanzania. In his written pieces, he concentrates on the situation of south Asians living in Africa. There, we can already see a direct link of vassanji’s life and the people he writes about. Much like Aloo in “Leaving”, he even received a scholarship to the university of Massachusetts. In his stories, Vassanji analyzes the lives of those people, which are affected by the several migrations. The short story that I chose takes place in Tanzania, Africa. It involves an Indian family living in Africa dealing with the possibility of migration of one of the sons to America and how this could affect his and his whole family’s life. In the story, the son is helped by his family to go to university in America. The mother suffers because she is a widow who raised four children and has trouble letting her son go. “Leaving” mainly talks about the leaving of the place where our roots are, nowing that everything will change.

M.G Vassanji’s style is very unique. It is rather simple and direct combining real life events with heart-felt emotions, nationalities and historical facts. This author had many motives and purposes in writing this story. First of all, this story is a reproduction of a part of his experience because he went through the same life issues as Aloo did. Secondly, the story is a representation of the fears of Indians and immigrants in general. In “Leaving”, the mother fears that her son will loose a part of his heritage, living in a country where there is no link to it and where there is no daily practice of it and she risks loosing her son. She is also afraid of letting him go because of her protective nature and roots. Third of all, Vassanji intended to show the reader what immigrants go through, what their values are and how they live. Aloo’s motive for leaving Africa even though he was not accepted in the program he applied for says a lot about the living conditions of immigrants to Africa.

2. A)The story is about the life of an Indian family of a widow mother, her two daughters and two sons living in Africa. At the beginning, we learn that the two daughters have gotten married and the mother misses them. Aloo’s mother, as we remark, places all her hope in her son Aloo hoping he will be a man with good opportunities followed by a bright future. Aloo and the narrator are the youngest of 4 children, 2 boys...
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