Elders play a great influential role in a child's life.

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Elders play a great influential role in a child’s life 

In Budge Wilson’s The Charmer and Tayeb Salih’s A Handful of dates, one will find that both works of literature use similar character types that mirror each other. Perhaps none of the similarities are as striking as those of the Grandfather’s and Zack’s. These two main characters played a great role of influence and are incredulously affective in most regards to the narrators’ childhoods. But this, of course, is not to say that their affect could be considered positive.  In fact the characters actions, speeches and the selfishness itself are what appointed them to this negative affect.

The actions and the behaviours of the main characters affected both the narrators childhoods in a negative manner. The actions of the characters include the setting of bad examples in front of the young and innocent. In The Charmer, Winifred did not see the wrong things that Zachary was doing, she thought of him as the greatest person, since he never got into trouble. One example of this is when their mother had prepared a chocolate layered cake for the church bazaar, and left it out on the kitchen table with a little note beside it saying: “DEATH TO ANYONE WHO TOUCHES IT”.  About two hours later when she came back, she had found a portion of the cake missing, crumbs all over the floor, and the note turned upside down.  This was of course, Zachary’s doings. He completely disregarded for whom or for what reason the cake was made. Subsequently he would go down on one or both knees and would out of the blue transform into “The Ultimate Prodigal Son”. From the corner of the room, Winifred and her other siblings would stand and observe their brother’s actions. Because Winifred was still naïve, she too would start following in Zachary’s footsteps: becoming insensitive, egocentric and a skilled liar. The grandfather from A Handful of Dates also set bad examples in front of the grandson. First of which was speaking ill of Masood (their neighbour) behind his back. This is done through out the story when the grandfather expresses his feelings regarding Masood. It is prohibited under any circumstances to speak ill of others and a so called pious fellow like himself, would have acknowledged that. Secondly, speaking proudly of ill gotten goods was one of his daily practices. The grandfather spoke proudly of the land that he owned which was obtained unlawfully by Masood. It is the same case here, as it was in The Charmer. The grandson actually respected and idolized his grandfather, and if he himself had pride and spoke ill of others, the child too would think of that as a permissible deed. Thus, both characters set bad examples for their young.  

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It is also the speech and the words of wisdom from an elder that affects a child’s character. But in this case, both the main characters took advantage of their knowledge in religion and used it hypocritically. In The Charmer and in A Handful of dates, both the characters showed the outward of goodness and the inward of darkness. This is to say that most people considered them highly respectful, kind-hearted and knowledgeable in their own ways. In Zack’s case, on the outside he was knowledgeable and a very skilled orator who was able to quote biblical versus out of ...

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