Thursday, August 21, 2008

W is the W- Chapter 24 & 25

(pg. 475) Valentino has a Sudanese companion who continuously asks for and lies to get money for gambling. "Though I know him to be a self-centered man, I am nevertheless surprised by how little he seems to care." (Eggers 475) This was when the companion, named Daniel, asked for money and Achak informs him he can't because he was just attacked and robbed. I wonder if the people Achak wrote unfavorably about have read this book. What would their reaction be? Would they be angry with him or just proud to be in this book?

(pg. 482) The unaccompanied minors have always been seen as the bottom of the pack in refugee camps. They are the lowest step on the social ladder, the unwanted ones, the boys with no family. Well, now is the time to get payment for their suffering. The Lost Boys were chosen to be taken to America. They were chosen to have better lives with better living conditions, while the families had to stay in Kakuma. "... a plan whereby most or all of us unaccompanied minors would be taken and brought across the ocean to America. It was the most bizarre idea I had ever heard." (Eggers 482)
(pg. 485) "How could I put everything down on paper? It seemed impossible. No matter what, the majority of life would be left out of this story..." (Eggers 485) Though he is talking about his autobiography required to be considered as a refugee to America, I'd think it would apply to this book as well. How could he remember so much of his life to write this book? Trauma is memorable of course. In my life I do remember all the hard times in my past more than the good times. This book is considered fiction though, so how much of it is actually accurate? I don't question the truth of this story, but what what small details aren't true?

(pg. 498) Achak was in a car accident in his last time at Kakuma. His Japanese friend, Noriyaki, died, which just about sent angry tears down my face. I was so upset. Achak survived and was put in the hospital, though in Kakuma it was assumed that he was killed. "Tabitha wailed and did not leave her bed for three days, rising only when she heard that I was not, in fact, dead." (Eggers 498) This accident revealed Tabitha's true, loving feelings toward him. This situation reminds me of a song, called "Faking My Own Suicide" by Relient K. Not exactly the same situation, but the same reaction.
Wish you thought that I was dead
So rather than me
You'd be depressed instead
And before arriving at my grave
You'd come to the conclusion
You've loved me all your days
But it's too late
Too late for you to say
(pg. 509) I've never truly experienced happiness reading this book until Valentino is chosen to be sent to America. My heart soared from that passage and I believe it would be a great ending to a movie, (or a book). I was so happy for him I almost cried tears of happiness. "George shook my hand and they leapt over the seats and crowded around me and patted me on the back and the head and hugged my waist and legs with their small arms and tiny bony hands. I was not sure if I would see them again before I left. I hugged all the boys I could reach and we cried and laughed together about the insanity of it all." (Eggers 509)
(pg. 520-521) There are three bikes in the book. The wonderful bike Achak guarded in Marial Bai that still had the protective wrapping, the bike that Achak rode for the first time owned by the non-existent desert man, and the bike that Valentino gave to his young Kakuma friend Cornelius, who departed with it after bidding him goodbye as he began his journey to America. Beginning, middle, end- connected with bicycles. "A boy so young with a bike like that? It was unprecedented at that camp." (Eggers 521)

(pg. 531) This book ended with the What. What is the What? The what is the unknown.

"I told them that the mistakes of the Dinka before us were errors of timidity, of choosing what was before us over what might be. Our people, I said, had been punished for centuries for our errors, but now we were being given a chance to rectify all that... This is our chance to choose our own unknown." (Eggers 531) So the Dinka chose the cattle, what they could see, because they were afraid of what the What could be. They never took a chance. Now Achak, Valentino, Gone Far, Sleeper, Dominic, have chosen the What, the unknown, America.

No comments: