Characters In A Sunrise On The Veld By Doris Lessing

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Last year on the 15th of May, my grandfather passed away. The 15th is the day after Mother’s Day, so I was able to talk to him on the phone just the day before. His death changed my family’s life, as my grandmother (who has Dementia) had to come live with us. Death can change people. Death can offer new problems for the one’s affected, or maybe death can take away problems. However, kindness can change people almost as much as death can. Both the death of others and the kindness of others can change one’s way of living. The death of something can have a dramatic effect on the people around them. In the short story “A Sunrise on the Veld” by Doris Lessing, the main character is changed when he sees a dead animal. Near the beginning of the story, the main character thinks to himself, “I can control every part of myself” (Lessing 90). He thinks of himself as some sort of God-like figure who can bend nature to his will. He begins to take nature for granted and sees it as only a servant to him. Later in the story, the main character is faced with the sight of a dead buck being eaten by ants. When he encounters the animal he thinks “I can’t stop it. I can’t stop it. There is nothing I can do” (Lessing 94). This changes him, and he realizes that he does not play as powerful a role in nature as he thought. He also realizes that not everything is under his influence, and all must come to an end, which is out of our control. When faced with death, he becomes humbled and wiser.

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