Monday, November 12, 2012

because women have their lives in their arms, and men have it in their heads.





I finished -the grapes of wrath, Steinbeck-this afternoon. It was raining outside, it was flooding in the little camp where the family in the book were living. I have to say, I haven’t read such a moving  book in a while. It took me a month to finish. The only other book I took so long to finish was – Gone With the Wind-

It’s about a family, families that get displaced from their homes by the land owners, and as they try to find their way to California to get work in the farms, the troubles they face will make you shiver. The reader complements the writer. He can take up different voices with so much ease, it’s like listening to a play  with closed eyes.

I got some favourite lines like this dog that got embarrassed at barking for no reason and-it looked around for something that could honorably distract him-
I have to say, the mother in the book was the character I admired most, she’s described at one point- it was up to her to build laughter from inadequate materials-

And the description of the son in law that escaped when problems increased- he thought, when it was required of him, sat quietly in a gathering and still managed to be there and be recognized.

When the narrator goes on about the situation in general, it’s amazing, he’ll tell about the clouds, the air, the turtle wandering off going somewhere. Guess it made more sense coz I could relate in two ways. I understand what he means by- the smell of burned dust was in the air- reminds me of going home from nursery school at midday.

The theme of family stuck out most. I was never much a family person. From the start I just wanted to get out the first escape route I got, start my own clan somewhere I thought.

Tried it. Then realized that I actually loved those guys. Tried to go back but it was past due date, guess in my generation there is an expiry date to be in family. If you are in the village, you’re expected to get a job in town. If you’re in town you are expected to move to a different estate, then that will mean you are progressing. Maybe down inside I am  South American, or Indian.

There’s a young deaf girl I discuss the Bible with, her brother joins in, he knows  most signs which is really cool. So one day we were coloring a picture of Noah and his family building the Ark. When done, I was amused that the boy had colored all the men black. Well, if you live in Dandora, that’s what you see, and then TV isn’t that real to you.

But as I was reading the book, in my mind, the Joad family were all black, apart from Cornie, the son in law, despite the mention of niggers, not in context.

I played some of the last chapters on an updated version of VLC and it showed the cover of the book. It was a white family. But I’ve never seen a white family have to eat ugali(maize meal mash they called it) with coffee because that’s all they got you see.

 Books, unlike shows leave your mind to imagine the people any way that make sense to you.

Fiction affects you, subconsciously. In the book, they accompanied their meals with coffee.  Found out that I started drinking coffee like a normal drink. So as I work in the evenings, I find I am drinking at least 3 cups of coffee in a week. Weak coffee, and unlike tea, I prefer it cold, it doesn’t make me jumpy and I like the taste.

The Grapes of Wrath, disc 17…. I’ll miss that : )

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