Beka Lamb: Chapter 11
According to West Indian Custom ultimately derived from African culture and a wake is held for the deceased on the ninth night after death. Although Mrs. Lamb thinks custom is old fashion and superstitious Granny Ivy and the older people insist on having a wake for Greatgran Straker. During the preparation, Mrs. Lamb and Granny Ivy argue about whether the old ways are useful or not in modern Belize. In the course of their discussion, Beka interrupts rudely and is slap by her mother. Mrs. Lamb confronts Beka and tries to explain events in her own childhood that have made her antipathetic to the older customs. In previous times she tells Beka,” The more you left behind the old ways the more accessible you were to the powerful people in the government and church”. These people had the power to change a black person’s life. To help Beka stop lying Mrs. Lamb gives her an exercise book and a new pen. She to write down any lie she feels like telling and stories about before time. Beka’s delighted with the gift and is reconciled with her mother she sits down to write about her mother’s past. Chapter 12
The wake is well on the way when Beka arrives. There is lots to eat and drink and Uncle Curo stories are being told. Later they will be dancing also. Ms. Eila tells Beka that Toycie is ill and isn’t coming. Beka listens to the conversation of the older woman. Ms. Flo warns her against young boys and married men who may take advantage of girls. Her own granddaughter has 3 children with different fathers. The older folk begin to compare the present with the past, complaining that,” Nowadays everybody is so gential with all this education that they shame to do the old things.” Beka goes into Granny Straker bedroom and tells her Greatgran spirit what is bothering her- her failure at school, Toycie sign of pregnancy, her worry that Toycie may go the way of Ms. Flo’s granddaughter. So what comforted by the expressions of her fears she falls asleep in...
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