The Rich People's School Analysis

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title Lauri Kubuitsile’s, “The Rich People’s School” is a story that could be replicated across many homes around the world, as well as within many people’s own lives. A reader will need no prior knowledge of the culture of Botswana to understand and experience the depth of “The Rich People’s School”, and the culture it depicts. The story, very clear cut and inductive, indicates the culture and the norms of the society in which it is set, however it does not illustrate racism in Botswana, specifically. Racism has reared its head in numerous societies, towns, and countries. This story portrays racism in Botswana, but expertise in the culture of Botswana is not necessary to follow the story. In “The Rich People’s School” the main character,…show more content…
Sylvia clung to this hope like her favorite teddy bear, giving “The Rich People’s School” her best effort. Coming upon the school, taking in the luscious green grass, Sylvia felt as if “she had been taken to another country” (Kubutsile 48). Beholding the sprinklers, rainbow rows of flowers, and winding jungle gyms, she realized she was not at her broken desk, dusty yarded, old government school any longer. As smitten by the surroundings as Sylvia was, her Gran was not. Sylvia thought her Gran was afraid of the children swinging to high, or the water that was being shot out of the ground. Neither of those were the cause of the frown. Gran had an idea of what “dirt” might be lying underneath the glitter of “The Rich People’s School.” Before dropping her off, her grandmother offered her a piece of advice, telling her to behave, in a ton of voice that Sylvia did not recognize. She was left at school “wondering how her Gran could be so frightened and angry when everything looked so lovely” (Kubitsile 48). Soon after, the loveliness faded as Sylvia noticed a group of children congregating and gaping at her, the only similarity apparent between them was the schools uniform. The students weren’t the only ones who noticed a difference, Sylvia admits that she…show more content…
The nuclear family, consisting of two parents and their children is seen as well as the extended family, consisting of kin like grandmothers, aunts and cousins are also seen in Botswana. Single parent families are also common as a result of divorce, death, distance of living, or having a baby out of wedlock. Monogamy was the normality amongst the Botswana people before their independence from Britain, and children were only to be had within the bounds of marriage, if not the female could be beaten or cast from the household. It is usual for mothers to work as housewives within their homes because of the patriarchal society of Botswana (Dintwat 281). If their husband dies because of HIV/AIDS virus, the family will be immersed in immense poverty because any property that belonged to the husband is taken by his extended family, leaving the widow without any means to survive. What was once a nuclear family is commonly split once the father dies. The extended family also splits because of common arguments over the inheritances amongst the widow and her patriarchal family after the father’s death, breaking the structural family unit (Dintwat 282). Most widows also die shortly after their husbands because of HIV/AIDS themselves. Post independence, some men and women conceive outside of wedlock, and choose to never form a structural nuclear family unit to begin with, no longer carrying a
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