Strength In What Remains. Kathleen Disselkoen:. Cornerstone
1441 WordsJan 25, 20176 Pages
Strength in What Remains
Cornerstone University Strength in What Remains Mass killings have disrupted and affected many communities in the world. The ethnic violence witnessed in Rwanda, and its neighbor Burundi is a relatively recent twentieth century example. Tracy Kidder, in his book Strength in what Remains, tells the story of a Burundi immigrant, Deogratias (Deo) Niyizonkiza, who witnessed the Burundi and Rwanda genocide and eventually becomes a U.S. citizen. It follows his flight from this predicament, and recounts how he suffered and overcame homelessness to graduate from Columbia University, and finally- to his unrelenting pursuit and achievement of his childhood dream of building a health care…show more content…
It is, therefore, evident that the book outlines the experiences of Deo in both a figurative and literal sense to the reader. As such, one is able to witness the horrors faced by Deo but still at a restrained pace since the author inputs the accounts of genocide and the destruction it wrought as a flashback from a trip during which, Deo decided to stop retracing or remembering the harsh conditions and trauma suffered and instead focused on building a clinic for his community. This in a way is an attempt at crippling the power that the past has on Deo, by not implicating pain on his audience through his past recollections, while at the same time is an effective way of indicating that at least some of the people who suffered the genocide could move away from their haunting pasts.
The peak of the story is the success of his medical center in his hometown. How despite being driven from home by atrocities, Deo still feels love and a connection with his homeland, and he strives to help his community. Driven by a childhood dream after witnessing his best friend die of Malaria, it is evident that this ambition is what helped to save his life, and improve the lives of many others. The question, however, is why he succeeds in doing something that many others have failed to do. His success is clearly propagated by the support he gets from the members of his village, who help to build the clinic by making the bricks used in the buildings.