Literary Analysis- “Say You’re One of Them”
Karisa Levasseur 10/1/2011
My Parents Bedroom
In the short story, “My Parents’ Bedroom,’ written by Uwem Akpan, the most defining role of literacy that sticks out is symbolism. The images that are engraved into readers brains are ones that have deeper meanings than what we initially see on the surface. The story is told through the eyes of a little girl named, Monique, who is only nine years old. It is told in first person point of view so that the reader feels as if he/she is actually experiencing the situations first hand. The symbolism in the story, “My Parents; Bedroom,” illustrates the day to day struggle of living in Africa during the genocide. Symbolism is integrated in the story through her parents, different religious groups, and the biggest sign, the crucifix.
Monique first discovers that the night was taking a weird turn when her mother told her that she was going out in the nighttime. Monique knows that only ‘bad women’ are on the streets when it is dark outside. Maman is also wearing the black dress that Papa had gotten for her and that he loves to see her wear. “She’s panting, as if she’d been running; her body is shining with sweat. She slips into the beautiful evening dress that Papa likes and combs her soft hair.”(326) The dress is symbolic because although it is glamorous she is wearing it for a very unglamorous occasion. She wants Monique to believe she is going out, but in reality she is going in the ceiling to stay with her people and to protect them when the Hutu show up. Monique then proceeds to hand her mother the perfume that people in the neighborhood know her by. “When I put the bottle in her hands, she shivers, as if her mind has just returned to her. Instead of spraying it on herself, she puts it on Jean.”(326-327) The perfume, which was once a symbol of Papa’s love to her was now being used to trick the attackers that were going to appear that night. Maman is...
Cited: 1) Akpan, Uwem. Say You 're One of Them. Boston: Back Bay, 2009.
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