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Reflection Paper: Mr. Mongoose and Mrs. Hen

Oct 06, 2008 661 Words
James Berry, was born in Jamaica in, 1925, but moved to England, in 1948, he has helped create a new kind of poetry that draws on Caribbean idioms and experiences. His work is admired for its understanding towards West Indian and British cultures, and its original use of language. The story in hand talks about a hen who has just given birth to its newly born six little chicks, although we might think the story is happy at first, it spirals down to a depressing story when a mongoose comes and eats her six little chicks. When given advice by a ground-dove to go and present her case to court, she noticed that the whole court was full of mongooses, and so her case was dismissed due to the lack of evidence. Going home in a saddening defeat, she was stopped by four mongooses, one of which was her judge that day. The story ends with the hen being eaten by the four mongooses, ending her misery after living what no mother would think of enduring, which is the loss of her own babies to the hands of a criminal. I think that the moral of the story is that not all happy beginnings end in happy endings; there is always a chance that something might go wrong, and in this case the hen lost all of her children's lives and hers because of a mongoose.

+he story reflects on racial discrimination around the world, because if we consider the mongooses as a majority population, such as white people, and the hen and the ground-dove both as minorities, for example black people and Arabs, and this started off since the discovery of America, when black people would be sought for slavery, and now where Arabs are thought to being terrorists because of 9/11, then the story could reflect as an act of racial discrimination where the white people dominate the minorities by executing them, or the mongooses could have been following the concept of since they're of the same race then they should stick by each other. It could also reflect on sexism, since the hen and the ground-dove were both females and the mongooses were all males, then it would show how male dominance is achieved by lowering the perspective of what women are in society's of back in the early 1900's and earlier than that, where women were usually always home, never to actually leave their houses and serve their husbands until death.

The characters of the story are:
- Mrs. Hen: Main character of the story, she is very naïve and unintelligent because of her mistake of taking out her children after realizing that a predator was killing them for six times until the last one died. She also isn’t very witty because she went to the court without any evidence showing us that she is actually very unintelligent because of her lack of knowledge that she needs actual evidence to convict someone of a crime that he or she has committed. - Mr. Mongoose: Another main character of the story, he is a very cunning, fast and intelligent predator, he swiftly killed the family of Mrs. Hen counting on her dim-witted mind of making that fatal mistake and also counting on the court which contained nothing but mongooses. - Mrs. Ground-dove: Secondary character that shared the same fate as Mrs. Hen, her family had been killed by Mr. Mongoose, and she tries her best to avoid him so she doesn’t get eaten by him and experience the same fate as Mrs. Hen.

In my opinion, this story shows us many things of the modern world, such as racial discrimination, sexism, etc. and the story itself has a very vast, deeper and more significant meaning because of the use of Allegory in it. Although some people might not agree, the story is not a simple children's story, a simple yet meaningful story about recent times. By, Mohamed Madkour

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