THE CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE


CHARACTER AND CHARACTERISATION

GRUSHA VASHNADZE

USE IT
GRUSHA to the Northern Mountains (photo photographium.com)

Grusha was a Kitchen maid in the governor’s palace. She is engaged to Simon Shashava but ends up marrying Jussup- a dying man to conceal the identity of Michael Abashwili. However, she reunites with Simon during the trial which is presided over by Azdak.

Character traits

Hardworking/loyal/ faithful/steadfast/honest

Grusha portrays the image of a hardworking servant. Acording to Simon Shashava, the young lady is occassionaly seen down the river washing linen. Furthermore, when she is called to go and bring the the goose, she wastes no time. Moreover, she is honest enough to tell Simon where she had been and why. When Simon finally finds her in the Northern Mountains, she openly admits that she is married. Besides, she had struggled to keep to her fidelity waiting for simon but Jussup was too suspicious forcing her to relent for the sake of Michael.

Loving/humane/selfless

Grusha, through her love for Simon, promises to wait for him (pg23). In her humanity, she takes Michael with her knowing the risk she was putting herself into. She uses her entire savings to buy milk on the way despite him not being her child. She puts herself in harm’s way when she hits an ironshirt with a plank of wood. Furthermore, despite its dangers, Grusha crosses the broken bridge

She is not done yet because, when she is received cold by her brother, she decides to do what she thought was best for Michael. She marries a dying man –Jussup- who after the war rises from the dead miraculously to claim Grusha.

Lastly, in a court in Nuka, she confronts Azdak and also has a heart enough never to fight for Michael knowing pretty well if she had done it, then, she could have torn Michael into pieces.

Courageous/Fearless/suspicious/instinctive

Grusha displays her courage when she hits the Corporal, grabs Michael and runs away. She also crosses the rotten bridge across the chasm despite the huge risk she is subject to.

Her suspicion proves right when she meets the Ironshirts. She realizes that she is the only one who can take good care of Michael despite her being unmarried.

She bravely confronts Judge Azdak before the court prompting her being charged with contempt of court.

Furthermore, she knows fully well that Michael is not her child but she puts on a spirited fight to claim the child. Her courage however pays up when Azdak gives the child to her.

Sentimental/religious/Loyal

She holds on to the silver chain Simon gave her even after she got married to Jussup. Secondly, she tells Shashava that she fought for Michael because she found the child the day they got engaged. That is she puts sentimental attachment to objects given to her by her lover. Furthermore, she sings a song of the Center (pg 47) for her lover in war.

Though she is not as religious as her sister in-law, Grusha obeys the religious laws and that is why she baptizes Michael Abashwili when she adopted him. Secondly, she obeys her brother’s suggestion to marry the dying man so that the child may have legal papers. She does so for the safety of Michael and also not to taint the religious image of her brother and attract whispers from the community.

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CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE


CHARACTER AND CHARACTERISATION- FROM THE PROLOGUE

THE DELEGATE FROM TIFLIS

This is a government official appointed to oversee the peaceful reconciliation of the two farms over the new ownership of the Rosa Luxembourg farm.

Character traits

Keen/silent/observant/accommodating

He involves himself into the discussion as a member of the committee listening to the conflict keenly without any condescending interruption. He lowers himself to the level of the peasants to try and understand the root of the conflict.

Impartial/Firm/decisive

The delegate makes his deliberations after carefully evaluating the reasons given by both farmers. He therefore, putting into considerations the communist economic importance of both groups opinions, makes his decision on who should get the disputed farm and why. On the side of the losers, he promises that the government shall be free to offer a helping hand where necessary. He stands firm by his ruling earning respect for he made both factions realize why he made the said decisions.

It should be noted that, the delegate did not influence the decisions made but made it possible for the two factions to arrive at the decisions that they were pleased with. He gave the two fruit farms the authority to make their own decisions.

Time conscious/considerate

He pleads with Arkadi to shorten the song so that he can get back to Tiflis. However, when Arkadi declines, he obeys and from his silence, we can conclude that he stayed around for the entire song.

OLD MAN, RIGHT

The Old man, Right represents the Rosa Luxermbourg. He forms the bedrock of most of the discussion on the issue of the disputed land.

Character traits

Argumentative/observant

He argues that the time given for the discussion is very little. He raises various points which are arguably weak and irrelevant. For example, the way the cheese tastes now that they are not living in the Rosa Luxembourg farm and how it doesn’t smell of morning in the morning. (pg8)

He observes that in the present circumstances, event time is rationed. There is no enough time to discuss issues extensively as it used to be.

Moderate/reluctant to change

He doesn’t want to embrace the changes that are going on in his society. He would rather have lived in Rosa Luxembourg than gone into what he believed to be wasteland. However, he concedes to the new plans by the Galinsk and accepts to move on to the new lands.

Humorous/articulate/witty

The old man dishes around cheese to articulate his point on the detororiating quality of goat cheese. His explanation on way they should come back raises laughter from several people. He heavily anecdotes his talk with proverbs and sayings eg. “I refuse to have a pistol pointed at me” (pg8

OLD MAN, LEFT

He is among the Galinsk.

Suspicious

He thinks that the intention of the Old Man right is to influence the people with the cheese so that they (Rosa Luxembourg) could come bak to their farm.

Clueless

He doesn’t grasp the witticism of the Old man on the right but goes on to answer that the cheese was sweet. “Why? When I tell you I like it?” (pg8)

 

WOUNDED SOLDIER, left

He plays a significant role of putting as at the heart of the recovery process as the people are coming to the realization that, after the war, despite the pain and loss, life has to go on.

Character traits

Realistic/wise

He brings the old man to the reality of the situation at hand. He wisely tells him that, despite there being peace, life has to be rationed to cater for the many needs of the post war society.

GIRL TRACTORIST

She represents a new crop of post war women who now engaged men in conversation and freely shared their ideas without fear. She acts as the unofficial mistress of ceremony.

Bold/Brave

She states that she started the fire that may have consumed the dairy farm. She bravely participates in the conversation, bringing a new era especially in Africa where, in the issues of land, women had no say.

Radical/idealist/visionary

She explains how they conceived the new plan while still fighting. This shows that, despite the fear of the bullets flying over their heads, they tried to imagine a future after the war. Her idealistic tendencies made sure that the plans were elaborate and visionary.

Jovial/knowledgeable

She introduces the singer Arkadi with applause. While discussing the project she is animated making everyone listen and applause regularly. She quotes Mayakovski in her presentation.

KATO

He is the master of the plan to water both the Galinsk and the Rosa Luxembourg farm and Plant Vineyards.

Experienced/knowledgeable

Everyone is pleased with his plans. The old man on the right says that he refuses to look because he knew the plans will be good.

ARKADI TCHEIDZE (SINGER)

He is the singer invited by Girl Tractorist.

Indignant

He flatly refuses to shorten the song as requested by the Delegate.

Talented

He performs the song easily thumbing through the pages easily as master of his art.

IN THEATRES:TOP NOTCH SETBOOKS DRAMA


It is sometimes lazy to sit down and browse through a voluminous setbook few hours to the exam. However, it is hard to forget that rib-cracking play that you watched in a dimly lit theatre with the cast who made sure that, despite the length of the book, they gave you the best of it in 2-3 hours.

This year, they are at it again rehearsing through the play making final touches to the showcase that begin later this months. Who doesn’t love a hearty laugh? Therefore, brace yourselves to a Hotbed of fun and education as different theatre groups put on their best to make it easier for students to follow through the setbooks as they enjoy themselves. It will be a day out, it will be a day of fun.

The following is an itinerary for some of the groups I received messages from

GROUP: JICHO FOUR PRODUCTION

Jicho_Four_Productions_logo

VENUE: SARAKASI DOME – NGARA- KENYA

SETBOOKS: THE RIVER AND THE SOURCE AND MSTAHIKI MEYA

CHARGES: KSHS. 200

DATES: 9TH- 20TH FEB 2016

 

GROUP: ______________

VENUE: KCA UNIVERSITY main campus-NAIROBI KENYA

SETBOOKS: THE RIVER AND THE SOURCE AND MSTAHIKI MEYA

CHARGES: KSHS. 150

DATES: 10TH- 20TH FEB 2016

 

GROUP: CREATIVE TALENT PRODUCTION

VENUE: SIRON PLACE, ONGATA RONGAI- KENYA

SETBOOKS: BETRAYAL IN THE CITY AND MSTAHIKI MEYA

CHARGES: KSHS. 200

DATES: 29TH JAN 2016

Calvin Oichoe of Creative Talent Production promised a thrilling performance which will get the students of their seats. However, I will be profiling individual performances as we move on. Meanwhile, from tomorrow let us keep it strictly set books.

 

 

 

THE CHARACTER TRAITS OF AKOKO OBANDA


 

THE RIVER AND THE SOURCEriver and the source

AKOKO OBANDA

Akoko Obanda is a woman of many names and surprising flexibility. She stands out as an epitome of change and exudes a confidence and strength hitherto unheard of.

Her first name was Adoyo. She was given this name because of the time rather season she was born. It was the season when the plants were struggling with the knees of the farmers.

Her Second name was Obanda. Obanda is predominantly a male name but in this community, the dreams of ancestors were never taken lightly, hence she was named after her grand uncle who was famous for his medicines.

Her step grandmother did not hesitate to cast a spell upon this brilliant first born daughter of the great chief of Yimbo. Akello though dead, without children, wanted also a recognition. She fought for it through a bout of colic and fever that sent Akoko whimpering in agony until incantation unearthed the coded message.

She was not done, with her ambitious character, she quickly evolved into Akoko. The name became loud as the character.

With Christianity, Akoko was baptized Veronicah terminating a long journey of naming and character growth.

It is a humongous task to open up about Akoko. She is a phenom, an elaborate character whose struggles establishes a change embracing society that goes on and on despite the ravaging death.

Therefore, in summary, here are some of ADOYO OBANDA AKELLO AKOKO VERONICA’s character traits.

BOLD/VOCAL/DEMANDING/UNAFRAID

Akoko demystified her want on this world with two first peculiar words ‘Dwaro Mara’ which meant- ‘want mine.’ With this proclamation, Akoko shaped her world. She earned deep love from her father- chief Odero Gogni and her many brothers. She also earned pride and admiration from the people of Yimbo who saw in her a great woman with Great Spirit that they would use her in advising their own girls. When the suitors came calling, especially the men from Sakwa, with Whom Akoko’s father liked, she walked into the room with great courage that astounded the men of Sakwa.

She fought earnestly for her position in the society by confronting her Mother-in-law (Maro) after the Maro had called her a Jajuok. Her daring spirit did not wither before Otieno Kembo her brother in Law.

Akoko also wades into the waters of controversy when she reports Otieno Kembo to the DO and Subsequently to the DC for his disregard of her rights and greed.

RISK TAKER/HARDWORKING/VISIONARY

Women of Yimbo had incorporated Akoko’s name in a saying that when sending children on errands they would tell them to run like Akoko-she of the flying feet.

Akoko had one primary Motto: that women ought to be hardworking because a hardworking woman would cover the shame of her lazy man but a lazy woman would disgrace her husband however hardworking he was (paraphrased). She therefore worked her and her productivity paid off with wealth unimagined that she had her own dam to water here cattle.

Allow me to quip into Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, in this book, Okonkwo works hard not to be as lazy as his father. This is unlike the River and the Source where the responsibility of wealth rests squarely on the womenfolk.

Akoko takes great risk of walking all the way to Kisuma to fight for her rights and her grandson’s birth right. She entrust her wellbeing as it were in the white colonialist. After securing her grandson’s position she takes on another journey to Christendom in Aluor and forgets all about her former love and home in Sakwa.

Akoko sees the future differently from others in her society. Her belief that the world as she knew it is changing makes her to resolve to confront Chief Otieno Kembo using the white administration. Secondly, she blesses Owour Sino to take on priesthood, she knew that the chieftaincy was not as it used to be and also reconciled with the fact that young people now had the decision making responsibility in their hands.

DECISIVE/PRAGMATIC/STRONGWILLED

Were it not for Akoko, the milestones made could have remained a mirage. She is the epitome of change. She makes ground breaking decisions basing on the circumstances at hand. She is wise enough to read her surroundings and adapts. She is keen to detail and that is why, she brings to Sakwa much needed respect for women. She knew because of her lack of children, and her husband’s stubborn monogamy, her reputation would be ruined. Because of her bravery, she confronted her fears by going for the source of character assassination- her mother in law.

She makes her new relatives come to terms with the reality. She reminds them of basic truths that children come from Were, the god of the eye of the rising sun and that she has nothing of controlling that. Secondly, she makes them acknowledge the fact that, she cannot as a woman dictate her husband’s wants.

LOVING/CARING/UNDERSTANDING/SUPPORTIVE

Akoko was full of love and adoration. This attracted a lot of love from her father OderoGogni and her Husband OwuorKembo. Her Brother Oloo too fell into this magical entanglement. She was very careful on how she showered her love to her husband that he took her as part of his unofficial counsel. This made the chief remain monogamous- a situation unheard of from this people. In her love for her husband, she made sure that he was given enough freedom to make his own choices; she says that she had not stood between the chief and his marrying more wives as was the want of the people of Sakwa.

Akoko was also careful on how she loved her children. She made sure that they grew up recognizing the value of hardwork and discipline. Obura is portrayed as a humble boy who doesn’t wield his power around because of his being the chief’s son. Nyabera is generous to a fault and as a woman, she is taught the value of hardwork. We can deduce that, Akoko showed tough love to her children given how strict she was that Obura had to run away from home- the only option he had given that he would not have been given the permission he so yearned.

As a widow with an infant Grandson, Akoko has to fight for the rights of her only surviving male. While fighting, she makes sure that the oblivious infant is kept away from harm.

Furthermore, she ensures that her remaining family receives the support they so need. She stands behind Owuor Sino’s decision to become priest and reprimands Nyabera when she displays paranoia on the impact of educating the girl child. We can see the impact of Akoko on the life of Awiti at her (Akoko’s) demise. She meant a lot to Awiti hence the painful reaction from Awiti when Akoko died.

Through her love and care, Akoko acts as a strong foundation in the lives of Nyabera, Awiti and her children and Owuor Sino, who look back at her life as a vital part in their wellbeing.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR- 2016


Hello friends!

I hope your 2016 has begun with a rush of adrenaline in the optimist. This is my prayer to you that this year would be full of happy beginnings. My belief is that, each day is a beginning of new things. let the clock tick as you find your way towards the end of the tunnel.

This year, I have bigger things lined for. It is my prayer that, with God’s love, I shall bring you more educational stuff on my own website than this WordPress controlled Blog. Therefore brace yourselves for academic excellence in 2016.

Meanwhile, Bake Blog Awards is back! You can find out more here : http://www.blogawards.co.ke/  In a statement released during the Launch of the five months long competition, the organizers said: “Jane Mukami, Winner of Best Health Blog

It is with pleasure that we announce the launch of the 5th Kenyan Blog Awards. Going by tradition, this also coincides with the official opening of the submission phase. Thereafter judges will decide the best 5 in each category before the public votes for their best in each category. This year, one new category, the Best Religious/Spirituality blog, has been added to bring the number of categories to 19.”

I wish the competitors well in the coming event.

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A REVIEW OF TODAY’S KCSE ENGLISH PAPER THREE FOR KENYAN CANDIDATES.


I wish all the 2015 candidates their best in remaining papers. All other literature students worldwide, I also wish you well in your studies.

Today in Kenya, the Form Four Students (o-level) sat for their English Paper 3. It was full of surprises given that the examiners delved deep into the annals of the book to excavate vestigial questions which required so much thinking but more of creative writing.

The River and the Source– a compulsory set text- required the candidates to excavate their knowledge of Otieno Kembo and Becky and write an essay on how their quest for wealth led to the two characters’ destruction. The question was very clever it demanded the candidates knowledge of the book and the similarity in character between Becky and Otieno Kembo.

Betrayal in the City a Book by Francis Imbuga was also featured. interestingly, the examiner was interested in the knowledge of how relatives are important. here again, candidates with the knowledge of the book had an upper hand.

The whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera, is a book which in the past two years always had easy questions. however this year the examiner wanted candidates to prospect for the knowledge Rawiri acquires of the world when he leaves his country to Australia.

Candidates, especially future candidates must desist from procrastination and understand literature for better performance.

I will ensure that we get to help each other through this wonderful world where we make our imagination have some realism.

Thank you for your support. Keep sharing and asking questions.

THE RIVER AND THE SORUCE- YOUR QUESTIONS


What are some of the injustices faced by women drawing illustration from the novel, The River and the Source by Margaret Ogolla

Outrageous customs and the iron fist of men have subjected women to numerous injustices. From temple prostitution to forced commercial sex workers and sex slaves, women have more often been subjected to the wrath of man ever since the curse in the Garden of Eden. However, there have been numerous attempts by women to turn the cards to favour them. Right from Hellen of Troy in Greek mythologies, to Cleopatra, to Catherine the Great to Mekatilili wa Menza and Syokimau women have tried to prove how equal to task they are as compared their male counterparts. Despite this, there is still a long way to go given that USA has never had a female president despite having had 44 presidents. The River and the Source displays such injustices in a tale that spans four generations.

To begin with, the expectations of a girl is some communities are very little. For instance, when Akoko is born her father, who already had seven sons, thought that it was another boy. In his expectations, he never dreamt of fathering a girl. Secondly, Nyabera is forced to flee her matrimonial home because she has nothing to cling to. Despite having a girl child to her deceased husband Okumu, she leaves because of the insecurity she feels as a sonless mother. Remember, Ogoma Kwach had vowed to make sure that she gets a son to make claim of her wealth. Awiti, her daughter owned nothing.

Furthermore, Akoko, despite having an infant grandson, loses claim to her wealth which is ravenously dug into by the greedy brother-in-law’s family. She has no one to fight for her until she seeks help from the white administration.

One of the major responsibilities of women is to sire children. The other roles are secondary. In fact, the term fertilization was coined to mean that men plant a seed of a child into a woman who grows into the mother’s uterus, that is women contribute nothing whatsoever to the upbringing of the child. In this regard, despite her being reckless, Alando the wife of the late Owang Sino, had no claim to her son Owour Sino. That is why, regardless of her feelings, she had to go away leaving her young boy behind. Secondly, the family of chief Owour Kembo is embittered by Akoko propensity to sire children- the lack of children which is equated to the number of cattle given as bride price makes the mother-in-law angry and bitter. Akoko is not celebrated for her beauty and industry but she is ridiculed for her lack of regularity in delivering children one child after another.

Finally, Mark Anthony Oloo Sigu engages in extramarital relationship knowing extremely well the implications. When the said concubine claims to be pregnant mark is overwhelmingly angry that he sends her out of his house. If the girl had been pregnant then, it could be a case of a single mother struggling to raise a child while the man responsible enjoys his life without consideration of how tedious it is for a single mother to raise a child- a situation Mark had landed Elizabeth into as he enjoyed life in Nakuru.

Therefore, despite their challenges, women have struggled to make the wheels of change revolve. With a little help, as we see Aoro do to his wife, women can reach the stars.