Bessie Head was born in Pietermaritzburg, South America. Brought up in a foster home, she had a difficult childhood and adolescence. After completing her education, she worked as a journalist and teacher, but the oppressive policies of apartheid forced her to exile. She and her son settled in neighboring Botswana in 1963. Desiring to live simply and calmly, she chose to work as a teacher and Gardner in a local village. Her fiction reflects her personal experience of alienation and her interest in village life. "The Collector of Treasure" is a dramatic novel about the attitude of men in a village toward women and children they are suppose to care for and love. There are two types of men: those who have sex with their women like dogs, out of pure carnal lust; and those who really care about women as human beings. I am writing this paper to get a better understand of the novel " The Collector of Treasure"
First, Bessie describes (2) two men the first is Dikeledi Mokopi husband Garesego. She had (3) three children by him, then he left her while continuing to live in the same village. While living in the same village, he did not try to check on his wife or children to see how they were making it day by day. She continues her life for (8) eight years without asking Garesego for anything . Her and her (3) three boys lived off the income of her sewing and knitting for others in the village.
Then, as school is about to approach she meets the second type of man which is her neighbors, Paul, Kenalepe husband. Dikeledi and Kenalepe became best friends. Her husband was completely different from Garesego. They had a lovely marriage and a wonderful sex life. Being friends with Kenalepe, she realized that all men do not act like sex crazed dogs and respect their wife's. She sew and knitted for the family and they made sure her family ate well, because she would not accept money from them.
Next, their oldest son Banabothe was going to school, so they opened him a bank account to pay for secondary school. As time passed he received the A+ he promised his mother. Unfortunately, he was short R20.00. She decided to ask Garesego for help, but she was rejected. He told her to ask Paul because he assumed Paul was a dog like himself. She leaves and tells her friend Kenalepe about their conversation. Paul confronts Garesego and gives him a black eye. As a couple of days go by, Garesego sees his oldest son Banabothe and gives him a letter to give to his mom. Banabothe delivers the letter to his mom, while she thinks about what to reply she tells him to stay close. The next day she does exactly what the letter says, only she have a trick under her sleeve. Garesego comes over, she feeds him and run him a hot bath. She feeds the children then tell them to get ready for bed. She goes to make sure they are asleep. She return to her hut to find Garesego asleep. She closes the door, get the knife, grasped his genitals and cut them off with one stroke. Banabothe came to see what had happened, Dikeledi said " I have killed him go and call the police." Her neighbor came to assure her that they will take care of the boys as their own.
In conclusion, Bessie Head describes two men, Dikeledi husband Garesego and her neighbor Kenalepe husband Paul. Dikeledi husband left her with (3) three children and didn't bother to help out or check to see how they were doing. Her neighbor was a good man who cared for his wife and children. Dikeledi decided to pay Garesego a visit for help with Banabothe secondary schooling. He wanted her to cook for him and run him a hot bath. She does that and while he is drunk and asleep she kills him. Then her neighbors come over to tell her they will take care of the boys for her.