What Is a Man?

Topics: Morality, Woman, Money Pages: 4 (1421 words) Published: March 3, 2013
What is a man?
In life we often ask what defines a man. A man is someone who takes care of his family, someone who is compassionate to others, and stands up for what he believes in. In “The Collector of Treasures” by Bessie Head, Head writes about a woman, Dikeledi Mokapi, who has murdered her husband. Throughout the story, the reader finds that Dikeledi has two important men in her life, her husband Gerasego Mokapi and her neighbor Paul Thebolo. Gerasego Mokapi walked out on Dikeledi and their three sons to start sleeping around with all the women in town, he doesn’t help out with his children, and left Dikeledi poor and fending for herself. He always has negative remarks to Dikeledi and is a very egocentric person. Eventually in the story, Paul Thebolo and his wife, Kenalepe, move in next to Dikeledi and Kenalepe and Dikeledi become very good friends. Dikeledi makes clothes for Kenalepe’s children and in payment Paul gives Dikeledi food since this is the only payment Dikeledi will take from her friends. Paul is a good provider for his family and a very caring man to his family and friends. When comparing these two men, one finds themselves asking the age old question, what defines a man. The answer is simple, as the story says “There were really only two kinds of men in the society”(Head, 59). Paul Thebolo is what society would call a good man and Gerasego Mokapi is as the story continues “The one kind created such misery and chaos that he could be broadly damned as evil”(Head,59) A man should take care of his family. Gerasego Mokapi walked out on his wife and three children when he decided that after he started making more money he would focus on drinking and women. “For four years prior to independence, he had worked as a clerk in the district administration service, at a steady salary of R40.00 a month. Soon after independence his salary shot up to R200.00 per month. Even during his lean days he had had a taste for womanizing and drink; now he had the...

Cited: Head, Bessie. “The Collector of Treasures.” Other Voices, Other Vistas. Ed. Barbara H. Soloman. New York: Signet Classics (Penguin Putnam, Inc.), 2002. 52-73. Print.
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