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Big Brother, Little Sister

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Title of text: 'Big Brother, Little sister'

Author of text: Witi Ihimaera

Text type: Short story

Theme: Surviving what life can throw at you

1. Our theme is surviving what life can throw at you. Explain how your text shows this theme refer to 3 specific examples.

My text, the story 'Big Brother, Little sister' shows the theme, surviving what life can throw at you in several ways. This is shown when the father (Jack) and the mother (Wiki) have an argument and Jack leaves her and the kids. But she wasn't going to sit at home and cry to have him back. Wiki still had another chance of having another man in her life and it appears in the story that once Jack left, uncle Pera came along. The second example from the story is after Hema receives a brutal beating from uncle Pera for talking back to him. For example, 'Do as your mother says.' Uncle Pera said. 'You're not my father,' Hema answered. 'I don't take orders from you'. Another reason that made him more angry and frustrated was that Wiki didn't even stop uncle Pera from beating him and also leaving the house straight after what happened to go out for the night with uncle Pera. Hema didn't want to make this something that would stop him from living a better life. Hema's had enough of their mother's boyfriend and so, he decides to run away. Another example is when Hema hears Janey screaming as she struggles in the arms of an old man. Hema becomes frightened, but he wasn't going to let anyone hurt her little sister, he had to do something. He grabbed a loose paling nearby and threw it at the predator. Hema didn't want to risk losing the loved one he only had left.

2. Explain 3 things you learnt about survival from this text.

The first thing I have learnt about survival from this text is the importance of standing up for your rights. This is shown in the text by Hema and Janey after Hema gets a beating from uncle Pera for talking back. Uncle Pera took demand of Wiki's time and so when it came to having dinner, Hema and Janey had to eat I the sitting room. Whenever he wanted to watch TV, Hema and his little sister had to go to bed. Hema was fed up with how uncle Pera was treating them and he couldn't take it. The only way to get away from this was to run away. He didn't want to live his life like a slave to uncle Pera and so he runs away and Janey follows him. I have also learnt that violence is not the answer. An example from the story is when Wiki and her husband (Jack) have an argument after Wiki found out that Jack was in a affair with auntie Lena and when Jack found out that Wiki too is in a affair, but with uncle Pera, he got more frustrated and angry because she was mad when she found out about Jack's affair, after all she had an affair too. He started beating her up, grabbing her by the neck and kicking. Wiki ended up with a bruised and bloodied face. All this violence didn't help make anything better, it just made everything worse. Dad left them and the kids were stuck with uncle Pera who treated them like slaves.

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