When Rain Clouds Gather By Bessie Head Essay

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When Rain Clouds Gather by Bessie Head shows the beginning of a cultural and agricultural movement in Botswana during the 1960s. It all begins with Makhaya fleeing from his Zulu tribe in South Africa to Botswana and eventually finding refuge in Golema Mmidi. He goes to Botswana looking purely for freedom from traditional tribal life and instead finds more culture, family, and agriculture. Because the narrative flips between perspectives, readers understand Botswana life for outsiders and insiders alike. With such a detailed explanation of Botswana and South African lifestyles, it’s surprising to find all of them true. Her attention to factual details caused Golema Mmidi - a fictional place - to feel realistically utopian. Makhaya originally stayed in Golema Mmidi, despite his initial desires for peace because of the agriculture which later caused him to accept the cultural, familial, and communal traditions he initially ran away from. When Makhaya fled to Botswana, he intended to find peace of mind and a place where he can “live well and sanely” (Head 71). With this in mind, his search for an ideal community derived from his hatred for his old community in South Africa. First of all, Makhaya fled from the Zulu tribe (Head 3) in real-life KwaZulu-Natal, Africa. His tribe followed many of the old and often strict traditions of ancient African tribes. This includes the First Fruits Ceremony and Doctoring of the Army (Harries 113); both considered old fashioned during the
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