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Explore the theme of challenge faced in 'Crackling Day' by Peter Abrahams, and 'A Hero' by R.K. Narayan - Compare and contrast how each central character faces his respected challenges.

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Introduction

Victoria Ridley, 11M Explore the theme of challenge faced in 'Crackling Day' by Peter Abrahams, and 'A Hero' by R.K. Narayan. Compare and contrast how each central character faces his respected challenges. In both stories of 'Cracking Day' and 'A Hero' the focus is on a boy in a foreign country facing a number of different challenges. In 'A Hero' the challenge is that of a child trying to overcome his fears of dark and isolation, whilst in comparison, 'Crackling Day' is about a much bigger challenge. Throughout the first half of the short story 'Crackling Day' almost all of the challenges faced are physical. The first indication of one of these is in the first paragraph in which we are shown the background for the rest of the story. We are told that every Wednesday 'the children of the location made the long trek to Elsburg siding for the square of pig's rind that passed for (their) daily meat'. In this sentence the lack of wealth of the following character is shown. ...read more.

Middle

It is not until the whites shout, 'You fathers are dirty black bastards of baboons!' that he starts to retaliate and shout back. It is obvious from the actions taken that Lee is very sensitive about the condition of his father and because of this he starts to fight the one who doubts him. Due to his loss of parents and his move to live with his Aunt and Uncle Lee is very unfamiliar with his new surroundings, location and social situation. This seems like a challenge that Lee will have to continue to work on. We do not know whether the character is ignorant to the rules of his new locality or if he just refuses to accept and live by them but by the end of the story it seems that he will make a greater effort to adjust in the future. The biggest challenge in 'Crackling Day' is the theme of racial inequality. We do not even realise that boys in the tale are black until about halfway through, but from there on it is clear. ...read more.

Conclusion

He pounces on him and through this becomes a local celebrity for catching the burglar, which is a new challenge he will have to face. Another thing that is similar is the way in which both boys see their respective challenges through to the end. Lee, just about manages to see his Uncles beating through to the end, whilst Swami although frightened by so many things, basically manages to see his night in the study to the end. Both of the boys are in one way or another fighting against something that society condemns. Both racism and the simple fear of darkness, are things that are kept very much quiet throughout communities and both are things that are difficult issues to face and fight. For Swami it is something quite domestic, and yet something that means just as much to him, if not more, then what Lee's predicament means to him. And yet on a bigger scale Lee is fighting for something that is demanded throughout societies all over the world and effects many more peoples lives each day, with much greater consequences. ...read more.

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