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Refugee Boy

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An analysis of chapter five's significance to the novel as a whole including some of the novel's broader issues & concerns. This novel is about a boy called Alem. The book concentrates on the issues of immigration and those closely affected by it, the main character in the book is a young boy called Alem who has fled his country of origin Ethiopia because of growing tensions between Ethiopia and its neighbouring country Eritrea. Alem's mother is from Eritrea and his father is from Ethiopia and those two countries are in war that's why his family are not accepted in both countries because of Alem's mixed heritage and his families mixed marriage, they are firstly driven from their home in Ethiopia by the local police and then they face prejudice in Eritrea. His dad felt it's insecure for Alem to stay in Eritrea while the war going on between those two countries. Alem's father took him on a holiday to England but Alem is unaware of his father's plan, which is to leave Alem in England until this was is over. In their arrival in England they stay in a hotel after few days of sight seeing Alem's father leaves Alem in the hotel and go back to Eritrea. Before chapter five Alem meets Pamela and Mariam who works in the refugee council. ...read more.


He gets lots of support from the Refugee Council, who fined a better place for him to stay. His been fostered by a family. It was difficult for him to adjust in another house with new people but he manages to stay with them. He starts going to a school and again he face racism and bullies in school. Meanwhile the trouble in Ethiopia and Eritrea is gathering rapidity. His mums died in the war and his dad comes back to England to live with his son. Alem's get really happy and excited to have one of his family members around him. The government refused to give them permission to stay in England. After couple of weeks his father also passed way in a car accident. In my opinion Benjamin Zephaniah wrote this story in order to educate people of the growing problems of the way refuges are treated in this country. He is trying to give people an understanding of the way a young refuge might look at our country and what they might think of our customs. He is also showing that underneath skin colour, culture and customs we all think and are alike. Benjamin Zephaniah intentions and objective are to demonstrate the anguish and struggles that many asylum seekers have to go through in England. The author took ideas from many writers and books, which are related to refugees to make this book unique and special to the readers. ...read more.


The main character is Alem this is because he is someone who can be trust and empathize in the whole novel. He is the only character in the whole novel. The whole novel was written to explore this character. Alem is well presented to show his strength and weaknesses. This is a unique character because he's the refugee and all the other characters are the supporting character to help Alem to get justice. Alem is the central character in the book because the author believed that the easiest way to tell the story of a refugee would be by telling it through the eyes of Alem, this would help the audience to imagine themselves in the place of a refugee. I think that chapter 5 is a real turning point in the story because it reveals more of Alem's character then other chapters so it makes it easier for the audience to formularise themselves with Alem's character. It is an excellent topic about which to write because there are rarely books about this particular topic and I believe people should be informed. The story line is thoughtful for me and it proved to be a stimulating and moving experience. The message behind this novel was to inform people how refugees used to get treated in the past. Benjamin Zephaniah understood the character this is because he did endure racism in his childhood when he arrived from Africa. He can relate this book to his own life. Rita Khatun Coursework- 4 Refugee Boy ...read more.

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