36 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2021
    1. I had decided to write all this down because I do not know when the stinking menfish will get me. Maria, if ever you find this -my head is roaring with fever and I scarcely know what I have written

      Protista reminds me of Murakami’s works a lot, particularly of Sleep. Both stories are unclear, contain fantastical elements, and have an abrupt ending. The narrators of both are also unreliable (the narrator in Sleep has not slept for days and has drunk a lot of alcohol, while the narrator in Protista is dehydrated and malnutritioned), seem to have hallucinations, and are telling the story from some point in the future. However, for the narrator in Protista, it is completely impossible for me to tell how much of what he is telling the readers has really happened. Although in the beginning, certain parts seem believable, as the story progresses, the things the narrator is experiencing blend together and become so fantastical that one cannot even perceive them as metaphors.For example, there is the repetitive image of the red circle. On page 123, it is said that a red circle has been drawn by Maria and that it would bleed when she is in danger. Later, on page 126, such a red circle becomes the creation of the manfish that visited the narrator’s room when he was young and has been drawn so that only the narrator can see it and would bleed until the narrator goes to the manfish. Therefore, when the circle bleeds at the end on page 128, the significance that holds remains unclear to me. Another example is of Maria, who, on page 129, is described to have come back as “a fleshless skeleton”, but, on page 130, the narrator is leaving a letter for Maria, who is yet to come back. Although it is possible that the woman on page 129 is not Maria, if we presume that to be true, then it becomes unclear for whom the narrator bought a coat with silver buttons. Many other points of great confusion can be found, as well. Given the conditions the narrator is living in because of his exile (a hot, barren, dry land, where only insects seem to thrive) and the convoluted, fantastical nature of his narrative, I’m inclined to think that he has either been bitten by a disease-carrying insect, or is suffering from severe dehydration and malnutrition, and has started to hallucinate because of this. Moreover, on page 130, he mentions that his “head is roaring with fever”, and he barely knows what he has written, which further reinforces my belief in this interpretation. The narrator is possibly on the edge of dying, as well, as he uses phrases such as: “After that, the sun never came up." on page 129 and “Yesterday I met Barbara's father in the valley.” on page 130, when we know from earlier in the story that the sun is constantly drying the valley and that Barbara’s father has been dead for a long time. Overall, Protista is a very confusing story with quite an abrupt but also unsurprising ending, given the rest of the narrative (130).

  2. Feb 2021
  3. onedrive.live.com onedrive.live.com
    1. Francis Bacon

      Francis Bacon was an English Renaissance statesman, philosopher, and author, most famous for inventing the scientific method. He was born on January 22, 1561, in London, England, in the family of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Seal for Elizabeth I. The younger of the two sons of the family, Francis Bacon started attending Trinity College, Cambridge, at age 12, completing his course of study 2 years later. He attended Gray’s Inn, the school his brother went to, after but did not like the program there and left school early to work under the British ambassador to France. Two and half years later, Bacon was forced to return to England because his father had died. The small estate he inherited from him left him broke, but, still a teen, he was not able to find a job until 1581 when he landed a position as a member for Cornwall in the House of Commons. Having found a way to earn money, Bacon managed to finish his education at Gray’s Inn and, in 1584, became a member of Parliament, a place he would hold for nearly four decades until 1617. He was knighted in 1603 upon James I's ascension to the British throne but still continued working his way up legal and political ranks. In 1617, he reached the same position his father had held, and, in 1618, he surpassed him by becoming Lord Chancellor, one of the highest political offices in England. In 1621, Bacon also became Viscount St. Albans, but then, the same year, he was accused of accepting bribes and lost his reputation and long-standing place in Parliament. Thus, Francis Bacon turned to the philosophy of science. Much of the science in his period was based on Aristotle’s idea that the scientific truth could be reached by way of authoritative argument. Bacon challenged this, striving to create a new method for the sciences, which is based more on empirical proof. The scientific method he invented involved gathering data, analyzing it, and performing experiments. Francis Bacon died on April 9, 1626, in London (118).

    2. Demosthenes

      Demosthenes was an Athenian statesman and one of the greatest orators of Ancient Greece. His written speeches provide great insight into the political, social, and economic life of 4th-century Athens, his most famous ones rousing Athens to oppose Philip of Macedon and, later, his son Alexander the Great. However, Demosthenes did not climb to a position of such high recognition easily. His father, a wealthy sword maker, died when Demosthenes was just seven years old. The large inheritance he left behind was given to Demonsthenes’ guardians, which took advantage of it, and by the time Demosthenes reached proper age, there was almost nothing left. Demosthenes wanted to sue his guardians, but in 4-century democratic Athens, every citizen who wished to prosecute a lawsuit had to do the speaking himself, so Demosthenes needed to first train himself as an orator. To improve his speech, he built an underground study where he could exercise his voice without disturbing anybody and shaved half of his head, so he would not be able to go out in public and would continue training. However, he also had a speech defect - he stammered and was unable to articulate words well. To overcome it, Demosthenes started speaking in front of a mirror and with pebbles in his mouth. He also trained his lungs by reciting verses when running or out of breath. After years of exercise, he managed to overcome his speech defect. His lawsuit against his guardians, though now very successful, didn’t earn him much money. However, he had learned much about speaking and strategies of argument preparing for it. With this knowledge, Demosthenes became a speech writer and orator, which for him proved to be a very stable, well-paid lifelong career (117).

    3. cuneiform tablet

      Cuneiform is the earliest known system of writing. It emerged around 3500-3000 BCE and is thought to have first been developed by the Sumerians of Mesopotamia because most of the early cuneiforms come from the Sumerian city of Uruk. Cuneiform texts were created by drawing with a pointed tool on a damp clay tablet. Their name comes from the Latin word cuneus, which means “wedge”, and it refers to the wedge-shaped marks made when the stylus is pressed into the tablet. At first, the writing was mostly pictorial, but as the subject matter became more intangible, the strokes began to convey word-concepts and word-signs, as well. By 2285-2250 BCE, when the priestess-poet Enheduanna wrote the famous hymns to Inanna in the Sumerian city of Ur, cuneiform could express emotional states and reasons behind those emotional states. The last known cuneiform tablet is an astronomical text from 75 CE. During its more than 3000 years of development, the cuneiform system was used to write in around 15 different languages, including Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Akkadian, Hittite, Elamite, Urartian, and Old Persian. Although cuneiforms were first used only to record the storage and movement of goods, some of the oldest known literary works were also written in cuneiform, including The Epic of Gilgamesh, Atrahasis, The Descent of Inanna, The Myth of Etana, The Enuma Elish. Cuneiform was first translated into modern language in 1872 CE when George Smith deciphered The Epic of Gilgamesh and translated it into English. Today, more than half a million cuneiform tablets are held in museums around the world, with the largest collections belonging to the British Museum, the Vorderasiatisches Museum Berlin, the Louvre, the Istanbul Archaeology Museums, and the National Museum of Iraq (117).

    4. squalor.

      the state of being extremely dirty and unpleasant, especially as a result of poverty or neglect

    5. sabbatical

      a period of paid leave granted to a university teacher or other worker for study or travel, traditionally one year for every seven years worked

    6. acrid

      sharp or biting to the taste or smell; bitterly pungent; irritating to the eyes, nose, etc.

    7. And what once was our parents now rotted and stank beneath the lime of the twentieth century. An iron net had been thrown over the skies, quietly. Now it, tightening, bit sharply into the tenderer meat of our brains. The hard knocks it gave to our heads made us strange, even to ourselves. And beneath it all our minds festered; gangrenous. Gangsterish. The underwear of our souls was full of holes and the crotch it hid was infested with lice. We were whores; eaten to the core by the syphilis of the white man's coming. Masturbating on to a Playboy centrefold; screaming abuse at a solitary but defiant racist; baring our arse to the yawning pit-latrine; writing angry 'black' poetry;

      In this passage, the narrator gives an expressive description of the life of the blacks in Rhodesia. He starts by characterizing how Shona history and traditions are dissipating as a result of the British colonization - “what once was our parents now rotted and stank beneath the lime of the twentieth century”. The whites do not care to preserve them, and the Shona people themselves are suffocating under the misery they are forced to endure. These terrible living conditions, which were pushed upon them by the whites, the narrator proceeds to represent as an “iron net” that is tightening and biting “sharply into the tenderer meat of [their] brains”. This metaphor for me creates an allusion to the Iron Curtain, the political boundary that divided Europe from the end of WWII until the end of the Cold War, and, thus, I interpret the “iron net” as an impenetrable barrier, which separates the Shona people from their origins and past. In the next sentence, the narrator further clarifies the properties of the ”net” by using the phrase: “made us strange, even to ourselves”. This phrase presents the impact of the “white man’s coming” on the blacks clearly and concisely. The British colonization provoked a radical sort of change, which drove the blacks to the state of savageness, anger, hunger, and debauchery, described in the next few sentences. Thus, the overall meaning of the passage seems to be that, oppressed, deprived of freedom, opportunities, and hope for a better world, the Shona people have no choice but to turn to insanity and become unrecognizable even to themselves (92-93).

    8. The oily white-hot sunlight streamed its asphalt-melting energy, casting razor-sharp beams of highlights in the windows. A fat bulldog, tongue stretched out on to the shaded pavement, lazily scanned us with one beady eye. A livid white ring seemed to radiate vividly around the sun. It made me think of the white down on a white dove's breast. Swan-white. And Leda when Zeus transfixed her in mid-air. It made me think of Harry's rubber snake. The white underbelly of a stinking reptile. The stench of it gave the sun a nauseous hue. And it was touching everything. Pushing me into the room and my teeth ached like the chatterclutter of a typewriter. The handcuffs were too tight.

      It is unclear whether the events of the previous paragraphs and this one happen on the same day. Based on the description of the sun present in both, one could suppose they happened on the same day, but due to the fragmented, chronologically-inconsistent narrative up until now, one could also assume that they did not and that the narrator started telling us of this episode based only on a small connection with the previous. Apart from the image of the sun, the narrator could have made an association between the two episodes because of disgust. The description of the man in the “drowsy coffee shop” rouses feelings of revulsion similar to the ones the narrator introduces when comparing the whiteness of the sun to the “white underbelly of a stinking reptile”. Although when looking at the sun, the narrator first recalls “the white down on a white dove's breast”, that pure image is corrupted once he connects it to the Greek myth of Leda and the Swan. The myth tells the story of the Spartan queen Leda and how she was raped by Zeus, who had assumed the form of a magnificent swan just for this purpose. Starting from this tale, the narrator’s train of thought goes off in a negative direction. White is no longer a representation of the beauty and purity associated with swans but of something repulsive and pervasive that angers the narrator. Thus, he remembers “Harry’s rubber snake” from the day the two of them fought in the storm, and the underbelly of this reptile evolves into a stench, which gives a “nauseous hue” to the sun. Then, the narrator proceeds to highlight the spread of this hue - “it was touching everything”. From the next sentence, it becomes evident that the whiteness of the sun has evolved even further and taken on the form of people. It was the suppressors of the Shona people that made the narrator associate white color with such negative qualities. Even if he does not hate all the whites in Rhodesia, he hates the ones who refuse to treat blacks as human and deprive them of human rights in every way. This unfair treatment is showcased in the subsequent paragraphs where the narrator is interrogated and beaten up by white police officers for an offense that does not seem to be quite clear even to the officers themselves (72).

    9. 'What is your totem?' 'Nguruwe.

      Totems as a whole are known to be an important and unique part of African culture. As such, they are one of the earliest traditions, which the Shona people followed. In Shona language, a totem is called mutupo or mitupo in plural form. A mutupo is usually an animal or body part, which identifies a certain clan or sub-clan. The Shona people are known to have more than 25 identifiable totems and 60 principal names. Through these emblems, clans become associated with certain positive characteristics of the symbol animal, such as bravery, wisdom, courage, speed, etc. In this way, a mutupo serves as a sort of praise for a person; however, it is also meant to help avoid incest. As totems are identifications, people of the same totem know they are related and do not marry one another because they are aware of the consequences that would have for their children. Apart from these two functions, mitupo are also a way of protecting and preserving the environment. Shona people who are associated with a certain animal do not hunt, kill, or eat that animal, not only because the symbol of their totem is believed to be sacred but also because some of their ancestors might have turned into that animal after death. By hunting the animal, they would be performing a forbidden act as well as possibly eating one of their relatives. The clan rather guards the totem animal as its own than harms it. Overall, mitupo played a huge role in the practices and religion of the Shona people pre-colonization and are still considered an important part of a Shona person's identity even today despite many turning to Christianity and starting to follow its beliefs. However, due to the rise of unwanted pregnancies and unwanted children after British colonization, not every Shona child has been given a totem since then (79).

      Edmund’s totem is Nguruwe, which translated from Shona language means “pig”. For this reason, the assistant boarding master Jet refers to Edmund showing the different “species of farting” to his roommates as “very appropriate” behavior after asking his totem on page 79, and Stephen uses the word “pig” as synonymous to Edmund on page 81: “‘You've all heard what the Pig has said.’”

    10. Milton's Paradise Lost

      Paradise Lost is one of the late works of English poet, pamphleteer, and historian John Milton, who is thought to be “the most significant English author after William Shakespeare” (Labriola). It is an epic poem, written in blank verse, which was first published in 10 books in 1667 and later in 12 with some revisions in 1674. The poem consists of almost 11,000 lines in total and is considered to be one of the greatest English literary works of all time (78).

      Paradise Lost generally tells the biblical story of Adam and Eve’s fall from grace but also has a narrative arc about Satan’s rebellion and fall from Heaven. Milton’s powerful and sympathetic characterization of Satan has been noted by many readers, and Satan has been admired for his splendid recklessness in confronting God. The Romantic poets William Blake and Percy Bysshe Shelley considered him the real hero of Paradise Lost and praised his rebellion against the tyranny of Heaven. Satan also has similar traits with many heroes of Classical, medieval, and Renaissance epics. He is resourceful, willful, defiant, and filled with anger, which establishes him as a character who strives never to surrender. Edmund probably had the same opinion of Satan in Milton’s Paradise Lost as Romantic poets William Blake and Percy Bysshe Shelley, and the work might have even served to shape his overall view of the Devil. Edmund thought of Satan as a hero, as a role model of sorts, and that’s why he had decorated his locker with depictions of him and enlarged texts of his speeches from the poem (78). Paradise Lost, as well as the other works Edmund read, which are mainly from Russian authors, as the narrator suggests at the end of page 81 (“‘For God's sake, this is not a Petersburg story. He's for real.’”), greatly influenced him and his actions. The views he formed while reading these literary pieces perhaps were also one of the reasons Edmund decided to become a guerilla later on.

    11. It reminded me of the time when I was writing an article about shantytown and while inspecting the pit-latrines there I fell into the filthy hole.

      A shantytown is a poor town or part of a town consisting of shanties, which are usually self-built shacks made from basic materials such as mud and wood. Shantytowns lack appropriate infrastructure and have few services - they do not have street drainage, electricity, public transportation, a safe water supply, and proper sanitation. Because of this, they face many problems such as overcrowding, diseases, fires, overpopulation, and competition for jobs. Shantytowns usually form in developing countries, some of the largest shanty towns being in South Africa, Mexico, Pakistan, and India. Shantytowns in Africa include Khayelitsta and Joe Slovo in Cape Town, South Africa, Kibera and Mathare in Nairobi, Kenya, and Misisi and Komboni in Lusaka, Zambia, but there are many others. In 2018, according to statistics from the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 33.5 % of Zimbabwe’s urban population, which numbered 4.65 million people of the total 14.44 million Zimbabweans at the time, lived in shantytowns. Pit-latrines are common for shantytowns because most houses there lack toilets inside. A pit-latrine is a type of communal toilet consisting of a hole in the ground where feces are collected, a small opening to that hole, and a shelter. Without proper maintenance and ventilation, pit-latrines may begin harboring flies, which may cause the spread of intestinal worm infections and diseases such as infectious diarrhea (74).

    12. circumvention

      the process of avoiding something, especially cleverly or illegally

    13. destitution

      poverty so extreme that one lacks the means to provide for oneself

    14. imminence

      the state or fact of being about to happen

    15. retched


    16. Gadarene swine

      The miracle of the Gadarene swine is a narrative from the New Testament. It tells of Jesus who crosses over the Sea of Galilee, where he meets two men possessed by demons. Jesus exorcises the demons out of the two men and into a herd of swine. The herd then runs off a cliff, falling into the sea and drowning. The story is included in the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke with slight variations. The version in the Gospel of Mark is the most detailed, while the ones in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke are shorter. In the longest version, Jesus meets only one man possessed by a demon, and it is mentioned that the man has gone mad due to the possession and began cutting himself with stones. Jesus also asks the name of the demon before exorcising it into the herd of swine. The demon is called Legion, and for this reason, this narrative is also known as the Exorcism of Legion (48).

    17. Lobengula

      Lobengula was the second and last king of the Southern African Ndebele (Matabele) kingdom. He ruled between 1868 and 1894, a period during which British interest in Africa was increasing due to its abundance of resources. In 1870, Lobengula granted his first concession to the London and Limpopo Mining Company, allowing them to mine for gold in the Tati River area, situated in the southwest of Matabeleland, in return for gifts, annual grants, and weapons. The area was discovered to be expensive and hard to mine and consequently abandoned, leading to Lobengula revoking the concession in 1880 due to failure to pay the annual fee. In 1886, however, the gold discoveries in Witwatersrand, a mountain ridge situated in today’s South Africa, drew attention to the gold in the Ndebele kingdom and the neighboring Mashonaland once again. Hence, Lobengula proceeded to grant many mining agreements after the first one in 1870, the most significant one being signed in 1888 with Cecil Rhodes’s business associates, led by Charles Rudd. The agreement was a gold concession to the entire Ndebele land, but because Lobengula was illiterate, he was tricked into believing that it was a limited mineral concession. The British government, however, accepted the document as authentic in 1889, and it was used to charter the British South Africa Company (BSAC). Lobengula refused to let them onto his land, so in 1890, the BSAC conquered neighboring Mashonaland instead. After failing to find much gold there, in 1893, the BSAC led an invasion in the Ndebele kingdom, justifying it with claims that the Ndebele were planning to attack Mashonaland. Thus, the First Matabele War began. One of the most devastating conflicts during it was the Battle of Shangani, during which the Maxim machine guns were used, leading to the deaths of many Ndebele warriors. Faced with the attacks of the BSAC’s military forces and the British imperial forces, and the large number of casualties, Lobengula burned Bulawayo, the capital of Ndebele kingdom, and fled in the direction of the Zambezi river. In late 1893, he was reported to be very sick. Although he is thought to have died in early 1894, his death and its cause remain inconclusive (56,57).

    18. The measure of the stains left behind. Stains! The barman, impressed by her massive breasts, was thoughtfully reducing her to a stain on a sheet. A true hero of our time.

      The narrator repeatedly mentions the words "stains" and "black heroes" throughout the story. They seem to be important metaphors, but to me, their exact meaning is still unclear, as they appear in a variety of situations. Both of them are usually used to refer to different characters in the story and, on page 69, the narrator even uses "black hero" to refer to himself. Through the use of "stains", it seems he is trying to degrade the significance and existence of a black person to that of a stain, while, through the use of "black heroes," it seems he is trying to emphasize the lack of true "black heroes" at the time (although I am not sure what kind of person is a true "black hero" in his mind). This paragraph is the first time "stains" and "heroes" are used together. They are also mentioned in the same sentence on page 60, so I'm inclined to believe that a connection can be made between these two metaphors (55).

      What does the narrator mean when he uses "stains" and "black heroes"? Is there one or multiple meanings behind these words?

    19. And from chimney to pulpit he began to denounce all African customs; from desk to dustbin he carted out all manner of filthy traditions which in reality were the only strengths still in the minds of his own people

      Based on this paragraph, which provides background information about Harry and Immaculate's father, it seems that he might have been the main reason for Harry's outlook on life. In order to obtain money, he followed a racist white priest and became a Roman Catholic priest himself. In doing so, he condemned his roots and betrayed his people. Now he speaks ill of the Africans and their way of life before the whites came and believes that blacks should be grateful to the whites and strive to be closer to them. He appears to have passed on a similar way of thinking to his son, and, for this reason, Harry is his favorite. He dates a white woman and strives to be civilized, compared to Immaculate, who gets pregnant from the narrator's brother and dreams of the Shona people obtaining freedom (48).

    20. stammer

      Although earlier on it is mentioned that some of the symptoms of the narrator's nervous breakdown included problems with his speech, this is the first time it is explicitly stated that one of those problems was stammering. From “An Interview with Himself”, we know that the author, similar to the narrator, also began to stammer while he was in school, though, for him, this occurred earlier on than for the narrator. For the author, this was provoked by the death of his father accompanied by the loss of security in his life, but for the narrator, it is unclear what drove him to have such mental issues. Nevertheless, because the narrator mixes different timelines frequently and appears to not only have had mental issues, but also a history with drug and alcohol abuse, I believe it's unclear when his father died and whether that might have been the cause for his mental issues as well. Overall, many parallels between the narrator and the author can be made based on “An Interview with Himself” and outside biographical information - both wrote poetry, both lost their fathers at an early age, both had psychological problems (including stammering), and both were conflicted because of their use of Shona and English. Considering these and the fact that the novella is written in first person, even though that is very common for literature of that time, I'm inclined to think that the author is trying to convey his personal story through the protagonist in (48).

    21. augury

      a sign of what will happen in the future; an omen

    22. indunas

      a tribal councillor or headman

    23. dragnet

      a systematic search for someone or something, especially criminals or criminal activity

    24. ninny

      a foolish and weak person

    25. derisively

      expressing or causing contemptuous ridicule or scorn

    26. consternation

      amazement or dismay that hinders or throws into confusion

    27. His arm swept the panorama of barbed wire, whitewashed houses, drunks, prostitutes, the angelic choirs of God-created flies, and the dust that erupted into little clouds of divine grace wherever the golden sunlight deigned to strike. His god-like gesture stopped abruptly -pointing straight at the stinking public lavatory.

      The use of words relating to God, divinity, and Biblical figures is recurrent throughout the story, which is not surprising, given that the dominant religion in Zimbabwe is Christianity. This paragraph contains many words related to these themes, and here they are used ironically to juxtapose the perfect and divine with the poverty and misery. They create contrast between the description and the reality itself as well as between the portrayal of Harry and his true nature. Harry thinks of himself higher than the other blacks because he has money and goes out with a white chick, but, actually, in serving the Special Branch of the police, he is betraying his people and his country. While he might seem to be better off than other blacks in Rhodesia because of it, the narrator is depicting his gesture as "god-like" only to reveal his hypocritical and egotistic nature (22).

    28. Gandanga

      Gandanga is a word in the Shona language, which usually describes males. According to the different definitions given by dictionaries, it can mean "terrorist", "murderer", or "a wild savage person". During the Zimbabwean liberation struggle, gandanga was used to refer to a nationalist guerrilla soldier who fought against the Rhodesian Security Forces. However, the term is considered offensive, so the Shona people themselves never called their freedom fighters gandanga or its plural form magandanga. The word was mostly used by Rhodesians. The guerrillas also used it but only when they wanted to refer to themselves sarcastically (20).

    29. sixth form

      As Rhodesia became a British colony at the end of the 19th century and remained one until the latter half of the 20th century, its educational system was modeled on the British pattern. Prior to the 1990-1991 change, secondary education in Britain was divided into six forms based on an earlier system in which the long backless benches in a classroom where the pupils sat were known as forms. Students aged 11 started the first year of secondary education on the first form and moved up a form each year. The fifth form where pupils aged 15 would normally sit was the last compulsory year of secondary education. Students who wanted to go to university would stay for the last two years of secondary education — years numbered 12 and 13 — also known as the sixth form. Pupils in the sixth form included children aged 16 to 19 (12).

    30. I remember coming home one day. Running with glee. I forget what it was I was happy about. And though it was a rather dismal day -the sky looked as if god was wringing out his dirty underwear - I was on heat with living. I burst into the room and all at once exploded into my story, telling it restlessly and with expansive gestures, telling it to mother who was staring. A stinging slap that made my ear sing stopped me. I stared up at mother in confusion. She hit me again. 'How dare you speak in English to me,' she said crossly. 'You know I don't understand it, and if you think because you're educated .. .' She hit me again. 24

      Similarly to how the author views English as an escape from the daily misery of living in the ghetto, the main character also associates happiness with the English language. As a nine-year-old child in this memory, he doesn't realize that he is telling about what brought him glee in English until his mother slaps him and informs him of it. The fact that he is not using Shona even though he is talking to his mother suggests that he cannot imagine the happy story in his own language and the reality the language carries with itself. There is a clear distinction between Shona and English and what they signify for him. Shona is associated with the gut-rot House of Hunger, poverty, misery, and savagery, while English — with splendor, civilized way of living, wealth, and culture. In the next paragraph, we see that even though the protagonist is still so young, the truth of this reality scares and angers him. He hates that he unconsciously used English to describe his happiness, so he tears up his English exercise-books (24).

    31. insurrection

      an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government

    32. akimbo

      with hands on the hips and elbows turned outwards

    33. irruptions

      a sudden, violent, or forcible entry

    34. casus belli

      an act or situation that provokes or justifies a war

    35. ignominy

      public shame or disgrace