October 10, 2002
After reading the story entitled Vanka I was both amused and saddened. Vanka was a poor orphan child who was obviously quite desperate due to the miserable conditions of his life. The child Vanka is reaching out in desperation to his grandfather much like any individual might reach out to a higher authority that he or she believes in with great faith and hope. As is often the case in seemingly hopeless situations, people will promise things that are often outside of their control. Vanka tells his grandfather that he will not let anyone harm him. Obviously, that is somewhat unrealistic. No one can control the environment of another. The story of Vanka is a sad story also. It brings to mind the plight of so many people and how these situations loom even larger during the holiday season. Vanka is away from home and alone on Christmas, the most solemn of holidays. It is the season of reminiscing and Vanka is doing just that. Sad too is, the life that poor Vanka is leading. He is only a child. He longs for the happy life he once knew with his grandfather. I imagine that he loved and respected this man very much. Even the grandfather's everyday life seems to be depicted larger and more important to Vanka then it would be if the situation for the boy were different. Vanka promised things beyond what he could offer. To live with his grandfather who lived a life that was pleasing to him but not dedicated to a great degree to Vanka. The story proves that family ties are the important fabric of our lives. They are what keeps people grounded and rooted in what they believe. Shown too is the innocence of children, the longing for the families and the unrealistic promise of the desperate.