Rwanda genocide, children are not exempt Essay

Submitted By Ivan-Zozulya
Words: 1328
Pages: 6

Rwanda genocide, children are not exempt. “My Parents’ Bedroom” by Uwem Akpan, is a Rwanda genocide story told from a young girl’s point of view, full of symbolism which will make the majority cringe while reading. Akpan did a great job making the reader fell a part of the story, even if the reader was not interested in seeing the Rwanda genocide from a 9 year old girl’s perspective. “My Parents’ Bedroom”, demonstrated the routing struggle of a family living in Rwanda during the genocide. Symbolism is a huge part of the story shown through, blood, religious disagreements, and of course the crucifix. Right out of the gate the story is gloomy, the reader is informed by the young girl that “Our parents have kept us indoors since yesterday” (Akpan 703). Parents’ number one goal is for their children to get some exercise in order to keep them healthy. Therefore, the quote expresses a sign of distress, which is happening outside to the whole country. Monique, the young 9 year old girl has grown up believing that her mom is a good woman, and good women do not go out at night. Out of the blue Monique’s mother a good women “starts to undress, tossing her clothes on the floor. She tells us that she’s going out for the night and that she’s already late. She’s panting, as if she’d been running; her body is shining with sweat.”(Akpan 703). The dress symbolizes a beautiful occasion, which in this case is in fact a very ugly occasion. At this point Monique believes her mom is going out, but she does not know where. While in all reality the mother is just protecting her offspring by lying. Before her mother left, she told Monique “’When they ask you,’ she says sternly, without looking at me, ‘say you’re one of them, O.K.?’” (Akpan 703). At this point in the story the author reveals that someone will be coming and whoever it is are bad people, judging by Maman’s panicky and hasty actions. After finishing the story the author discloses the mom was not actually going out, she was just going into the attic of the bungalow. After the mother leaves the addressees are introduced to the crucifix, which is explained in deep detail. Both of the kids love the crucifix very much, but Jean is the one that plays with it before bed time. The crucifix symbolizes what their father gas taught them, their beliefs, and the light the crucifix emits symbolizes life or even hope. That same evening Monique being the big sister put her younger brother Jean to sleep. In the middle of the night she get woken up by her “father’s brother. He is a pagan and he is very powerful. If he doesn’t like you, unless you’re a strong Catholic, he can put his spell on you, until you become useless.” (Akpan 704). At this point it becomes clear that the father and his brother are not in an agreement of some sort, “they don’t even greet each other on the road” (Akpan 704). Eventually the brother also known as the wizard trick Monique into opening the door and immediately starts asking “Where’s Maman?”(Akpan 705). This confirms the mother was in fact running and hiding from someone. The Wizard arrived at the bungalow; he had a large hostile mob with him, which was not scavenging though the house looking for a sign of the mother and father. While the mod was trying to locate the parents, the wizard was terrorizing the kids by “[swinging] his stick at the crucifix, once, twice, and Christ’s body breaks from the cross, crashing to the floor. Limbless, it rolls to my feet. Only bits of its hands and legs are still hanging on the cross, hollow and jagged.”(Akpan 706). The breaking of the crucifix symbolizes the kids having what means most to them taken away. Jean grabbed the crucifix and hid it from the Wizard who was angrily looking for it. However, Jesus’ body stayed lit after it was shattered, this symbolizes hope for the kids with in their faith, never the less eventually their ugly uncle gets Jesus, but not before his fingers gets bitten by Jean. While the crucifix did stay in