The Theme Of Tribalism In When Rain Clouds Gather By Bessie Head

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In the novel When Rain Clouds Gather by Bessie head, we witness the trials and tribulations of Makhaya, a refugee from South Africa. He suffers from internal effects which torment his state of mind and his emotional detachment. Although he faces many battles externally such as tribalism, greed and hate, he internally faces things such as being antisocial, the weight of external conflict in which he always reflects back on and has created a “hatred” for, and his inability to feel a sense of belonging. In my essay I am going to discuss the problems of tribalism, greed and hate and how the characters in the book helped Makhaya. Through these characters we will see how power and greed is irrelevant in the personal discovery of self-discovery. Our first impression of Makhaya is that of a man who is anxious, insecure, out of place and unsettled. Bessie Head describes Makhaya that he is ‘too easily jangled by the irritations of living.’ We look at the scenario on which Makhaya was introduced. He is literally at the border between South Africa and Botswana, while metaphorically and mentally he occupies the border of sanity. We know this by Bessie stating that ‘the inner part of him was a jumble of chaotic discord.’ We also get account of Makhaya’s emotional detachment and his avoiding of other people as he felt like ‘no man was his brother or worthy of trust.’ This belief will be spoken of more when we look at the different characters, the friendships formed and how they helped

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