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Book Review: 'No More Plastic Balls and Other Stories'

by Wilson Chipangura
26 June 2016 | 9130 Views
The last analysis of the anthology 'No More Plastic Balls and Other Stories' was almost a success to the purpoted audience who received the piece with great enthusiasm.

It is a rare thing that in all my pieces of art which i have written i have received compliments as many have felt at least being helped by those articles.

Not knowing about the always available prophets of doom: How are they feeling? or Where are they?
Because pragmatically speaking their non-existence is always an itch in the stomach,since it will always compromise quality.
Those are the characters which are found in the story "The Lodgers" by Nhamo Mhiripiri were the lodger is on the receiving end as all that exist is a critic to him the landlord who is always demanding taking advantage of the former's desperation for accommodation.

The lodger's wife who is always at loggerheads with her husband for being too 'naive' and compromising by giving away a bag of mealie-meal to the ever-demanding and unfeeling landlord.

The children in this story have not spared Mangwiro as much as they were expected to, instead they have added more woes than comfort to Mangwiro.

In different areas especially Africa,despite the ailing poverty it is a belief or a norm to some that children are consolers in fact the act as the mythical 'bundle of joy' to whoever would be suffering from depression or mental 'cramb' but if a question is to be asked : Was this true of Zimbabwean families in 2008? or Somalians as is always.
Thus the story "The Lodgers" is presenting children as suffering due to the 'wrecked' economic situation and fragmented society in most African countries ,because of issues to do with homelessness and unemployment which has forced people to embrace 'shanty' homes and low paying jobs respectively.While at the same time these children have become a burden on their economically deprived families.

Thus it is ironic that while lodgers like Mangwiro are being abused as the landlord does not feel or condone Mangwiro for his loss of a child in an inferno,he(the landlord) is anxious of how Mangwiro is going to compensate him for destroying his shack,thus one feels sad for the treatment of lodgers by their 'cash-hungry' landlords while the authorities are keeping an eagle's eyes and folding their hand at the same time.HENCE to ease the rise of other people's tantrum especially lodgers in the societies there has to be a drifting or a digress.

QUESTION:Write a critical appreciation of the story "Beatiful Children"by Memory Chirere from "No More Plastic Balls and Other Stories" paying attention to the presentation of children. To what extent is this passage characteristic and evident of the collection as a whole. Refer to at least two stories you have read.[25]

This is not a question literature students only but everyone who can read and can think at the same time and as such it always helps one's health to try and tuckle this question

AND HERE  are some of the point that can help to answer the question presented:
A critical appreciation is the same as an in-depth analysis of a piece of art and in this case the skills which are required for the unseen paper or Paper 1 can be put into use.

To do this i will focus on the presentation of children in the story 'Beatiful Children' and other stories throughout the text and identifying the narrative techniques and literal devices used and how the complement with the presentation of children from page 28 to 29. Why shoul i go? Its a rhetoric question it potrays the loss of patriotism and love of the state of origin. Walked westwards without stopping longer......It bring emotional attachment to how children have been brought in suffering through long journeys where they are relocating to a xenophobic prone area where they become refugee and are content with it thus loss of national pride as Andrusha can no longer recall anything about his country except that "bullet-lit sky". Children are further presented as suffering from the greedness and unfeeling nature of some power hungry thugs in society or the global fraternity at large.These people are prepared to fight to the last with each other(civil war) while the children suffer as evidenced by "Zhuwana and Laura had walked closely behind their mother,falling with tiredness,rising,falling and rising again."

This therefore brings out a sombre tone and one is made to feel sad for the children's plight in the text while their resilience is highly commendable.

The children are presented as being alienated that is they have been made to belong to another country which is not theirs and they have lost out on inheriting the heritage,land and everything that should have belonged to them and the other generations.

Andrusha and his sisters in Beautiful Children" and Sami in An Old Man have thus been presented as alienated
Children have been presented as ophans who have be deprived of a bread-winner or saviour of their lives.This is through the death of Andrusha's father of diarrhoea in the refugee camp thus living the children with no one to turn to for answers,solutions and intervention.

This is similar to general life where children deceased of their parent are turned into opharns and deprived of 'an armour or shield of protection in desperate times. Children are presented as slave in foreign land were they have been turned into mine workers and farm labours.This is also a fate which befell Zhuwana and Laura.[quote evidence]. The children have been turned into 'family headers' and turned into vendors as is true of Andrusha's plight were he has become an informal sector business person as he has to sell Ma`Ruzvidzo's boiled eggs and "other things" when he is supposed to be schooling.Thus the children are presented as being deprived of education.

This is verisimilute of children in refugee who have no one to fight for what is supposed to be a fundamental aspect of their future that is basic education. The children have been mentally affected/disturbed by images of suffering such that they have lost pride in their own country of origin and have wished to stop forthwith being associated with it.("children with swollen tummies")-this is an image look for its effect in line with the presentation of children in the text.
Refugee children are presented as social outcasts due to differences in dialects and cultures .This has made them to belong to nowhere.

Lastly,children have been presented as "wolves' sort of in a world they should have been united as noticed by their reluctance to allow Andrusha breathing space to co-exist with them.Thus these children are xenophobic rants who have helped turn Andrusha stateless as much as Raji does to Sami in the story  "An Old Man".
The word Moscan is a mockery to the children while it is ironic that the children have been dubbed "Beatiful Children" while their plight suggest otherwise.


Hope you enjoyed the analysis which was construced for A LEVEL LITERATURE and passionate novel readers.

Wilson Chipangura is a versatile character who is of no fixed aboard but currently is attached in Sanyati.

He can be contacted via: or
twitter: @wellschipangura
Instagram: @wilsonchipangura
Facebook page: Hon.Wilson Chipangura

Book Review Plastic Balls Heavmany

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Source: Wilson Chipangura


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