William, Merchant Taylors' Boys' School
I enjoyed this story, as the style of writing portrayed the narrator’s feelings well, allowing the emotions and opinions of the main characters to engulf the reader. The setting of the story was situated in a foreign country, with a foreign culture. This helped to highlight that the setting was strange and unnatural, making me want to read on, to understand the customs, language and adventures of this alien country. I think the best part of this story is the moment when the main character (and his friends and tribesmen), stand up to a domineering and aloof oppressor (Americans).
The story is about a mountainous tribe called Bontok, in the Philippines. The main character (Samkad) is desperate to become a man and fight for his village, but soon a revelation shatters his dreams. Before he is made a man his long lost blood brother must return home. However when his “sibling” returns he brings with him men who one day will become the most powerful and influential people in the world, Americans. These aloof, cold invaders give gifts of sweets and guns, but their real intention is to control and direct the path of the people of Bontok. Along the way rival groups strike at Samkad’s tribe, causing chaos that ends with death…
I think the main character, Samkad, was strong and preserved his tribe’s honour. He was fiercely protective and proud of his people. However Samkad was also very reckless, and attempted to strike back at his family’s tormentors, the Americans. His defiance in the face of a greater power almost ensures that he faces the Americans’ wrath, until he is saved by his father. I believe that Samkad helped the story, as without his bravery and loyalty, his tribe would never have survived the dark times that lay ahead.
Posted on: 17th June 2019 at 02:29 pm
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