Live to die
Death is a part of life experience, and life experience is the reality one can bravely face. For death, to be precise, facing death is what a person experience. Oganda from “The Rain Came” by Grace Ogot has to face death in order to save her people. In “ A Woman Like Me” by Xi Xi, the narrator has faced her parents’ death when she was young and make up the face of the dead people at work. No one can actually experience death because dead is dead and there is no feelings. As for life, whether one is really living or merely alive, it is also life experiences. Oganda tries to live her own, but the narrator of “A Woman Like Me” is merely living her aunt’s live. These all contributes to the meaning of one’s life. Death is simply the termination of life from the perspective of living human beings. People are dead only for other living humans. Death is not an experience, but facing death is. In “The Rain Came”, “the ancestors have said Oganda must die” (p 82) and then “rain will come down in torrents” (p 83). In fact, not only does Oganda face death, but also the chief, Oganda’s mother and the villagers. At first, the chief notices that her only daughter amongst his twenty children has to be sacrificed. The chief feels sorry for her daughter that “[she] must die so young” (p 77). The chief, who is of great power in the village, brings out the issue of death. And it is requested by the “rain-makers”. Refusing this request will have to sacrifice the whole tribe and the chief knows clearly about it. Facing her daughter’s death, he can actually do nothing. This is a part of experience for every man dies, what does matter is the attitude that one has. Different experiences are presented depending on how the relationship between the two parties is. “Oganda’s mother [faints] and [is] carried off to her own hut” (p 79) when the chief breaks the news. The mother of Oganda cannot bear to have her daughter died. On the other hand, “other people [rejoices, dances] around singing and chanting” (p 79). They are not much related to Oganda so they have little feelings towards her death but only to celebrate that they will have rain soon. The differences in attitude are explained by their relationship. If one’s close companion dies or will die soon, one experience sadness and miserableness. If someone that is only a passerby of one’s life, his or her death will not matter a lot, just as the villagers in the story. They even “[come] to congratulate Oganda” for her to be a ransom, which the relatives and friends regard death as an honour. Facing the death of a person will have totally different reaction because of how close they are. When it comes to the personal level, which is having known that one has to die soon, denial comes as the first thought. Before Oganda is told about the news, she is excited about what she imagines. By the time she notices the truth, “she sudden [feels] panicky” and knows “she must fight for her life” (p 80). When facing death, all she can think of is to escape from it. People can seldom know when exactly they will leave the world for death cannot be known, but Oganda does. She is chosen by the ancestor to sacrifice herself for the whole tribe. Knowing that she will die in a few days, she raises a lot of questions. * If they really [loves] her as they [have] always professed, why [are] they not sympathetic? Why [are] they not making any attempt to save her? [Do] her people really understand what it [feels] like to die young? (p 81) * Not until the time Oganda is about to die does she realises that her people do not understand her at all. Apparently, she does not want to die, at least at this age. She tries hard to link herself with the people around. Moreover, Oganda cannot help thinking the life that she will have if she does not die. Having died soon, she notices that she no longer has future. * [People of her age group are] young and beautiful and very soon they [will] marry and have their own...
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