Analysis of "A letter to my mother" by Chenjerai Hove

Authors Avatar by marktaylor8703yahoocouk (student)

The purpose of this text, which is a letter from a traveller home to his mother, is to inform her of his experiences on his travels, and is thought and feelings on this. The tone of the letter is largely one of nostalgia and suggestions of homesickness which can be seen in the many contrasting ways he portrays the way of life from his home in Africa to his new home in Norway. However the writer acknowledges that he has learned that travelling is a way to broaden one’s horizons and expand one’s mind so, but looks forward to the day he can return to his roots and share his experiences with his family.

The tone of nostalgia is prevalent throughout this text, it even begins with the word ‘Remember’ which suggests that it is going to be a very reflective and personal piece. This is repeated again with reference to ‘memories’ of the way of life the writer has left behind, and the fondness with which he looks back on it.

The fond recollections of home which are described in detail such as the way they view the weather, particularly the rain as something which is to be ‘celebrated’ because it ‘gives life to people, plants and animals’. This stands in stark contrast to the way in which Norwegian regard this type of weather. ‘Have not stopped cursing the weather’ shows that they see it as the opposite of the blessing that those who live in Africa see it as. This is again emphasized when the writer treats the type of people who would have cursed the rain in his home as unnatural and evil. These people are a ‘witch who wishes that life should not be brought’, this shows how the local attitudes to the rain could not be more in opposition. This all works to show  the writer’s nostalgic view of his home  culture and longing to be there, with people he shares the same values with.

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The writer goes on to talk about the weather conditions of Norway that are new to him and how his inexperience of the ice and snow could possibly lead to real, physical harm. ‘A step on the ice is a potential disaster’, this shows that he could easily fall and cause harm to himself in this new and strange environment, which instantly contrasts with the experienced and graceful Norwegians who have been living in these conditions all their lives. ‘they float on it like Arabs’. The writer also goes on to show how the Norwegian use of the ice for ...

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