An Analysis of Witi Ihimaera’s Whale Rider Essay

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In Witi Ihimaera’s novel “Whale Rider” we follow Rawiri as he goes through his life watching the growth, incidents and magic of his niece Kahu. Kahu is destined to be the next chief of the Maori in Whangara, New Zealand, a tribe that has descended from the legendary “whale rider.” However, Kahu is, as Nanny Flowers says, “Hungry for [her grandfather’s] love,” (Ihimaera 34) and struggles to receive it because she is a girl.

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Rawiri comes into play in that that he has had a special connection with Kahu since her birth, and being in a first-person perspective with Rawiri makes Rawiri like the reader in that they mutually want all of the answers. If the novel were from the point of view of Kahu, the main focus, the plot would lose all curiosity. It was thought provoking and interesting to see Kahu strive for her grandfather’s acceptance from before she could even walk.

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For the readers it is for the book’s climax. For Rawiri, Nanny Flowers, and even Kahu herself, it is for the end of Kahu’s childhood and for the answers to be revealed. Ihimaera does a great job of manipulating the motivation of the reader and intertwining it with the motivation of the characters while also leaving a prism in the middle of reality and literature where some of the gaps and missing pieces are left to be filled with the reader’s empathy, curiosity and imagination.

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Words: 448
Pages: 1.1
Uploaded time: April 1, 2022
Author: admin
Type of work: essay
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