THE RIVER AND THE SOURCE by Margaret Ogola PART III

PART III

LOVE AND LIFE

Love and Life yanks us from the painful oppression of death into a new realm of love and understanding. Mark Sigu, we can now imagine what they talked about with Akoko, steers his family away from tradition into the new sphere of the evolving world.

He is blessed with 7 children 4 boys and three girls. Each child has different personality. We see Mark and Elizabeth as capable parents who administer discipline and love to their children. The two parents provide education food and shelter to their new life and work best to establish family unity.

Mark seems more than ready for his task for he works extra hard to ensure his family’s posterity. When Kenya attains her independence and there are new opportunities, Mark takes correspondence class and he is promoted to position of a manager.

As a man and one who ad sworn to monogamy, Mark works out of the desires of his body to build his love for Elizabeth and family. Elizabeth though sidelined in most of this part, shows a greater understanding of her man and her parenting reflects her agility and bravery.

She does not cordone indiscipline but is tender and loving. She offers food to the boys, Aoro and Tony when the two had been punished for not being on the look out of their young brother Opiyo and Odongo. She hastily breaks into Aoro and Tony’s room when Tony suffers acute appendicitis and also quickly rushes to her son Aoro when he faints after a day of starvation.

Despite her love for her children, Elizabeth keeps a straight head and clear vision not to spoil her kids. She stands behind when Aoro is punished by his father, though she knew the punishment was punitive and way above discipline, she took a back step until it was time for her intervention. She also steps back when Mark pours his love over their last born Mary.

Through love ad life we are passed through the rigors of parenting, the pain of child bearing and the constant desire of providing for the family despite the harsh economic realities. Mark bravely takes s into the rat race to try and manage the care of his family.

On the other hand, we silently follow the children as they grow into adulthood. From the brave and confident Vera to her timid and self possessed twin sister. The relationship of the two girls sours as they take on different personalities in life. Aoro and Antony also come out strongly shaping their destinies different ways though the show unrivalled level of competence. Aoro takes medicine while Anthoy joins the seminary. The twins Opiyo and Odongo also manifest differently.

As we manoeuvre trough part III of The River and the Source we ultimately draw a line between the quest for independence in Kenya and the struggle to shape one’s identity in the rapidly metamorphosing society.

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