Ruth May's Reconciliations In Kilanga

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Spending a generous amount of time in the heart of the African Congo is bound to change an American family. After spending over a year in the small Congolese village of Kilango, the Price family comes to terms with the fact that they cannot leave Africa without being changed by it, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Living in the Congo at a time when their race was doing all in their power to Westernize Africa, the Price women left Kilanga feeling immense guilt for being a part of this unjust manipulation of the African people. By the end of the novel, all of the Price women leave with the task of reconciling the wrongs they have committed and learning to live with the scars of their mistakes. Kingsolver showcases the moral reassessments…show more content…
The closing chapter describes the Price women returning to Africa many years later as group. The significance of this final chapter is marked by the narration of the deceased Ruth May, who though she is not alive, has came to a spiritual reassessment of her own. Ruth May, who seems to have encountered the worst trial of Africa, death, comes to one of the most preeminent reconciliations of any of the characters. Ruth May offers her mother advice stating, “you can still hold on but forgive, forgive and give for long as long as we both shall live I forgive you” (pg. 543). Orleanna, like Leah, deviated from the ways of Nathan Price after succumbing to the guilt of complying with of his overbearing and disrespectful actions towards the Congolese. She grows old with the self-condemnation of staying with Nathan for as long as she did, for if she mustered up the courage to leave the Congo earlier, Ruth May would not have died. Ruth May’s plea for Orleanna to forgive herself, just as Ruth May has forgiven her, presents the possibility of repentance for anyone, no matter how great of consequence their mistakes are. Though she never passed the age of 6, Ruth May seems to have learned better than most the importance of finding strength from and learning from wrong-doings. Urging her mother to “Move on. Walk forward into the light”, Ruth may passes along her own moral reassessment to anyone whom will listen, telling the error in letting so-called sins weigh down ones self forever
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