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Looking For A Rain God
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Looking For A Rain God

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  • 1. Looking For a Rain God Team members: Musab Umair bin Zahrin Muhammad Azim bin Surani
  • 2. About the Author
    • BESSIE HEAD was born in South Africa, the child of a white mother and black father. After a childhood in foster care and in an orphanage in Durban, she trained as a primary teacher and taught school for several years. In 1962 she married a journalist, Harold Head, and they had a son. In 1964, estranged from her husband, she left South Africa for Botswana where she made her life. Her first novel, When Rain Clouds Gather , appeared in 1967. As her writings made her better known, she traveled to the United States and to Australia. Granted Botswanan citizenship in 1979, she died in 1986 of hepatitis.
  • 3. Synopsis
    • There is a terrible drought in the African bush,and people living there have little food to eat.They become desperate as they face starvation.they wait uselessly for rain.
    • Finnaly ,an elder,Mokgobja,comes with a solution.He thinks about the way people used to make the rain fall by ritual murder.So,two members of his family are killed,but there is still no rain.The family have no choice but to return to their village.They have to face the consequences of their action.
  • 4. Themes
    • Nature can be a friends or enemy
    • Man cannot control nature but nature can control man’s destiny
    • We must be tough and strong to survive under harsh living conditions
    • We must have hope in times of despair
    • Superstitions make us lose rational thought
  • 5. Settings
    • The bush country in the southern part of Africa(Bostwana).
    • The wild bush.
    • *Some parts of the wild bush are cleared and ploughed for farming.
    • *These clearings,known as lands are located within walking distance to the village.
    • *The villagers stay on these lands to farm and live off the crops and rear animals.
    • Before 1958:The scene before the drought.
    • The rest camps are shady watering places with shallow wells,lush trees,wild flowers,green moss,wild figs and berries.
    • *The villagers dig the wells to tap the underground water that rises to the surface.
    • *They stop at these camps to quench their thirst on their way back to their own lands.
  • 6. Settings
    • The village.
    • *The people in the village live near each other. *The village is located near their lands.
    • *During the drought,the people return to the village to stay.
    • The scene in 1958-after the terrible seven-year drought.
    • *The leaves of the trees curied up and wither and the moss becomes hard and dry.
    • *The ground has turned powdery black and white.
    • *The air is so dry that it burns the skin.
  • 7. Plot
    • -The story is set in African village where the villagers are mostly farmers.
    • -A seven-year drought swept the land and brought severe hardships to the
    • People who depend on the land for survival.
    • -The people became desperate and some committed suicide.Others became
    • Superstitious and turned towitch doctors for help to make the crops grow and
    • The rain to fall.
    • -Towards the end of the seventh year in early November,the rain came for
    • two weeks and the villagers rush to plough their lands.
    • -Mokgobja and his family were among the first group to move to their lands
    • to start ploughing.The family consists of Ramadi,his son,Tiro,his daughter-in-
    • Law Neo and Boseyong,her two daughter,and Nesta,an unmarried sister.
    • -In mid-November,the rain stops suddenly and the family who had prepared
    • the lands for farming became desperate.
    • -Only the two girls,Neo and Boseyong,were happy in their own world playing
    • house and imitating their mother.
  • 8. Plot
    • -The women broke down and became hysterical when they realized that they
    • could not face another year of drought and starvation.The men,too were
    • Beginning to lose their self-control.
    • -Then,Mokgobja remembers a rain-making ceremony he witnessed as a
    • young child where children were sacrificed to a Rain God to bring the rain and
    • make the crops grow.
    • -Ramadi and Mokgobja tell the women and the children were sacrificed to
    • the rain god.But the rain did not fall and they became so terrified.
    • -The family returns to the village and the people noticed that the children
    • were missing.When they saw the frightened look on their faces,they called
    • the police to investigate.
    • -When the family,Tiro broke down and confessed everything.Mokgobja and Ramadi were sentenced to death for ritual murder of the two girls.
  • 9. Characterization
    • The main character: Mokgobja-the head of the family
    • Head of the family and the decision-maker
    • 1. “The family of the old man,Mokgobja were among those who left early for the lands.” (pg 63)
    • 2. “He explained the ritual and as he talked,his memory became a conviction and he began to talk with unshakeable authority.” (pg 65)
    • Desperate and became supersitious
    • 1. “Finally,an ancient memory stirred in the old man,Mokgobja.When he was young and the customs of the ancestors still ruled the land,he had been witness to a rain-making ceremony.” (pg 65)
    • 2. ”And he came alive a little struggling to recall the details which had been buried by years and years of prayers in a Christian church.” (pg 65)
    • 3. “There was”,he said, “a certain rain god who accepted only the sacrifice of the bodies of children. The rain would fall and the crops would grow,” he said. (pg 65)
  • 10. Characterization
    • Sentenced to death for the murder
    • 1. “Throughout the terrible summer, the story of the children hung like a dark of sorrow over the village and the sorrow was not assuaged when the old man and Ramadi were sentenced to death for ritual murder.”
    • The supporting character: Ramadi.
    • Hardworking
    • 1. “…the father and supporter of the family, Ramadi, who drove the donkey cart.” (pg 63)
    • 2. “…and still in this light misty rain, Ramadi, inspanned two oxen and turned the earth over with a hand plough.” (pg 63)
    • Skilled farmer
    • 1. “In the rush of the first hope of rain, the man, Ramadi, and the two women cleared the land of thorn-bush and then hedged their vast ploughing area.” (pg 63)
    • 2. “They cleared out and deepened the old well with its pool of muddy water.” (pg 63)
  • 11. Characterization
    • Weak and a follower
    • 1. “As soon as the mist cleared a little, he began consulting in whispers with his youngers son, Ramadi.” (pg 65)
    • 2. “Ramadi’s nerves were smashed by the wailing of the women and soon the two men began whispering with the two women.” (pg 65)
    • Depressed
    • 1. “…they did not even hear the funny chatter; they sat waiting for rain; their nerves were stretched to breaking-point willing the rain to fall out of the sky. Nothing was important, beyond that.” (pg 65)
    • 2. “The men sat quiet and self-controlled; it was important for the men to maintain their self-control at all times but their nerve was breaking too.” (pg 65)
    • 3. “Ramadi’s nerves were smashed by the wailing of the women.” (pg 65)
    • Feels remorseful and guilty
    • 1. “After it was all over and the bodies of the two little girls had been spread across the land, the rain did not fall. Instead there was a deathly silence at night.” (pg 65)
  • 12. Characterization
    • The supporting character: Tiro
    • Ramadi’s wife and mother of the two girls
    • 1. “…two little girls Neo and Boseyong; their mother Tiro.” (pg 63)
    • Strict with the children
    • 1. “They made children from sticks around which they tied rags and scolded them severely in an exact imitation of their own mother.” (pg 64)
    • 2. “You stupid thing, when I send you to draw water, why do you spill half of it out of the bucket!.” (pg 64)
    • 3. “You stupid thing! Can’t you mind the porridge pot without letting the porridge burn!.” (pg 64)
    • The supporting character: Nesta
    • Hardworking
    • 1. “…and the two women cleared the land of the thorn-bush and then hedged their vast ploughing area with the same thorn-bush to protect the future crop from the goats they had brought along for milk.” (pg 63)
  • 13. Characterization
    • The supporting character: Neo and Boseyong
    • Happy
    • 1. “Only the children, Neo and Boseyong, were quite happy in their little world.” (pg 64)
    • Playful
    • 1. “They carried on their game of making house like their mother and chattered to each other in light, soft tones.” (pg 64)
    • Imitate their mother
    • 1. “They made children from sticks around which they tied rags and scolded them severely in an exact imitation of their own mother.” (pg 64)
    • 2. “You stupid thing, when I send you to draw water, why do you spill half of it out of the bucket!.” (pg 64)
    • 3. “You stupid thing! Can’t you mind the porridge pot without letting the porridge burn!.” (pg 64)
    • 4. “You stupid things! How could you have lost the money on the way to the shop! You must have been playing again!” (pg 65)
  • 14. Messages
    • While respect for our elders and traditions is valued in most societies, we must also be able to think by ourselves
    • We must think about whether all old ways of thinking actually fit into the modern world
  • 15. Tone and Mood
    • The story shows the sympathy for the family members who have done this terrible things.Te are asked to understand why they commit this crime to their own flesh and blood.The tense atmosphere of the drought help us to fell sympathy for the villagers
  • 16. Language
    • This story is written in a realistic style.
    • They way it is written gives the story a sense of a legend or traditional tale.
    • The author uses the literary device of:
      • Personification-
        • The sun has a ‘strange cruelty’ as if it enjoyed the suffering of the villagers.
        • ‘ The rain had fled away’ as if it purposely wanted to run away from the land.
  • 17. Point of view
    • This story is told by an omniscient narrator, who is not a
    • character in the story. The narrator reveals to the
    • reader, not only what is happening in the story but also
    • the thoughts and feelings of the characters.
  • 18. Moral Values
    • Critical thinking is important in life
    • - learn to solve problems carefully
    • - be realistic in life
    • It is important to appreciate the gift of life
    • - the gift of life is divine
    • - not to commit suicide
    • It is important to discard any cultural and tribal practises that are irrelevant
    • - tribal practice that need to take one’s life for making rain is not relevant