• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Fiela's Child - Identity

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Rishi Garg Mr. Ruff IB English, 5th Period 7 November 2008 Identity Can Be Acquired After Birth In the novel Fiela's Child, Dalene Matthee passionately conveys ideas about identity to the reader. She uses the story of Benjamin, a white boy who is raised by a woman of color, to communicate her thoughts about the nature of identity not only in the context of Benjamin, but also in everyday life. By describing how Benjamin struggles between the Komoeties and the van Rooyens, Matthee effectively says that identity can be acquired after birth, but cannot be replaced once it has been instilled in a person. Before one can truly analyze the story and Matthee's thoughts about identity, he must define the word 'identity'. Identity, as defined by common belief, is an amalgam of personality, feelings, and beliefs. Essentially, identity defines who a person is. Identity is used to characterize and recognize the individuality of people. It is what makes people unique. Some may believe that identity and personality are one and the same, but personality is merely a superficial concept and does not involve a person's subconscious feelings and beliefs. In Fiela's Child, Benjamin is a white boy who is found when he is three years old by Fiela Komoetie, who is a woman of color. ...read more.

Middle

He even tries to force Benjamin to change his name to 'Lukas'; "Greet your brother and sister, Lukas!" says Elias impatiently. Elias also forces Benjamin to join in the family trade of making beams. The strength of the identity Benjamin gained while living with the Komoeties is tested by the van Rooyens. Eventually, after many years of living with the van Rooyens, Benjamin learns to accept and understand the family. When the setting of the novel jumps forward a few years, the reader sees that Benjamin refers to Elias as 'Pa' and Barta as 'Ma'. Matthee hints to the reader that Benjamin's identity has been cloaked by referring to him not as 'Benjamin', but simply as 'he' or 'him'. However, while he is 'Lukas' in all superficial respects, he is still Benjamin at heart. When Benjamin is talking to Miss Weatherbury about collecting Nina's wages each month, he thinks: "Miss Weatherbury was right, why did they have to take ... [Nina's] money? But Miss Weatherbury did not have to go and say so at Barnard's Island" (Matthee 245). 'Barnard Island' is where the van Rooyens live. By writing these lines, Matthee gives the reader has a glimpse into Benjamin's personal opinions. Benjamin does not agree with Elias' mandate, and believes that Nina should be allowed to keep her own hard-earned money. ...read more.

Conclusion

"He had made up his mind, Lukas was going to work on the beams" (Matthee 130), Matthee says of Elias. Also, the Komoeties genuinely loved Benjamin, whereas most of the van Rooyens harbored only feelings of annoyance toward him. By creating this severe contrast between the two families, Matthee successfully describes what she believes are the requirements for the acquisition of a true identity: a loving, caring environment. Another reason why Benjamin's identity was not changed while in the company of the van Rooyens is simply that he was no longer a young boy when he was incorporated into their family; older children are not nearly as impressionable as younger children, and it is not likely that Benjamin's identity would have changed while in the company of the van Rooyens even if they had treated him with the same love and respect he received from the Komoeties. Lastly, because Benjamin had already acquired a genuine identity while living with the Komoeties, he did not need an additional or replacement identity. Benjamin's story is, in essence, the story of a boy who is searching for his true identity. In a way, his struggle to find his identity is something that all people experience in their lives. The irony is that, oftentimes, the identity that a person is searching for so painstakingly is usually right there, directly in front of him the entire time. ?? ?? ?? ?? Garg 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. Compare and Contrast Characters and Presentation of Fiela Komoetie and Barta Van Rooyen

    Her love for her family is also reflected in her relationship with Selling, as she risks her life to pay a visit to Selling while he is imprisoned. Despite her mothers warnings, she takes long walks to the other side of the mountain to see her bellowed, and can not

  2. "Fiela's child" written by Dalene Matthees is a fictional book about a young white ...

    He also refuses to call his parents ma and pa and is therefore beaten a few times by his new father. Even though the start of his life in the house of the van Rooyens is quite difficult, it starts to develop into a more positive one; his father teaches

  1. The practice of child labor is going on since a long time and depriving ...

    In 1820, children of ages 15 years and under formed twenty three percent of manufacturing workforce of the Northeast. These children worked day and night in the textiles, cotton and wool mills, and paper mills. Lately, in 1840s the child labor's share in industrial employment began to decline.

  2. References to color in The Kite Runner

    of the innocence and freedom of the moment, where the kite takes away life's realities until it is grounded. The color of their kite was blue which has connotations of depth, stability, trust, and sincerity and which was exactly the bond which developed between them during the event.

  1. Motif of Motherly Affections Towards Benjamin and Shinji

    She prepared his luggage for the journey to see the magistrate, putting on his clothes and a new shirt. The new shirt was for luck, so he was to out it on before the meeting, and then take it off after.

  2. Chapter 17 and 18 of Fielas Child

    Both Nina and Benjamin agree that digging the pit is better than making beams. This is then were my section ends. The main theme in this chapter was family. Even after all the time Benjamin has been spending with his new family he still loves his old family a lot more.

  1. A Comparison between An African Sermon and Roman Fever-

    Slade forged a letter from her fianc´┐Ż for Mrs. Ansley asking to meet her in the Coliseum. Mrs. Ansley confessed that something happened that night between them when they met. "The clear heaven overhead was emptied of all its gold. Dusk spread over it, abruptly darkening the Seven Hills."

  2. The Rocking Horse Winner

    "...his face was terribly serious, as if he were speaking of religious matters". The racing events are not to be taken lightly around him. It is interesting to note that Lawrence exemplifies Paul's sudden interest in the events with absolutely no mention of any playmates or other children in Paul's life.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work