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In the Shadow of the Banyan
A hauntingly powerful novel imbued with the devastation of monumental loss and...
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What does Big Uncle have in common with Papa, and how do the two brothers differ? What ultimately breaks Big Uncle's spirit?

Created: 05/24/13

Replies: 6

Posted May. 24, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 505

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What does Big Uncle have in common with Papa, and how do the two brothers differ? What ultimately breaks Big Uncle's spirit?

What does Big Uncle have in common with Papa, and how do the two brothers differ? How does Big Uncle handle the responsibility of keeping his family together? What ultimately breaks his spirit?


Posted Jun. 04, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 140

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RE: What does Big Uncle have in common with Papa, and how do the two brothers differ? What ultimately breaks Big Uncle's spirit?

Aside from the family genes, I thought that Papa always seemed quite different. Maybe it was just my mental image, but somehow I pictured Papa as the more slightly built boy, one who loved observing nature and writing. Big Uncle seemed more physically strong. The death of the innocent children when the embankment collapsed in the monsoon reminded him too much of when he had to unceremoniously bury his own family. I think at that point it truly was a case of giving up the will to live. The torture, hard work, starvation did not seem to have any end in sight.


Posted Jun. 06, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
alisonf

Join Date: 01/31/13

Posts: 35

RE: What does Big Uncle have in common with Papa, and how do the two brothers differ? What ultimately breaks Big Uncle's spirit?

This was one of the most painful story lines of the book. Big Uncle wanted to survive and protect and truly thought of his family to include Raami, her sister and mother. He was devastated when Raami was separated and she stayed with her mother. He believed he was the best chance to save them all. His circumstances were not as good as Raami's and he ended up with worse leaders and much worse conditions. He could not bear the horrific and senseless murder of his family but found a reprieve in finding Raami and her mom alive. The embankment accident became too much and his losses came flooding in. He knew that he could not control the survival of anything and could not leave his own losses for a future. He was a good person with too much to bear.


Posted Jun. 09, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kathleenr

Join Date: 12/07/12

Posts: 68

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RE: What does Big Uncle have in common with Papa, and how do the two brothers differ? What ultimately breaks Big Uncle's spirit?

Big Uncle broke when he had to bury children in the mud for a second time. His wife and children died and then his mother died. He was like the peasants fighting the storm. He couldn't win. He couldn't keep anyone he loved alive or treat them as more than animals when they died. It must have been unbearable for all those who actually experienced these sorrows.


Posted Jun. 10, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kate

Join Date: 01/22/11

Posts: 31

RE: What does Big Uncle have in common with Papa, and how do the two brothers differ? What ultimately breaks Big Uncle's spirit?

Both of these characters had such a strong sense of family and the desire to protect their loved ones. They seemed very different physically, but I thought you could tell they were brought up with the same values and principles. It was heartbreaking to read about Big Uncle's experiences and demons that he carried with him. In a sense, it was harder for him then his brother because he had to physically watch his family being tortured, starved, etc. Big Uncle kept hope, pushed on and finally came to his breaking point when yet more children were senselessly killed and he could do nothing to save them.


Posted Jun. 13, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kateg

Join Date: 04/28/11

Posts: 22

RE: What does Big Uncle have in common with Papa, and how do the two brothers differ? What ultimately breaks Big Uncle's spirit?

I think both brothers had a strong sense of family. Papa was more cerebral as a poet while Big Uncle was strong and able to labor. Big Uncle broke burying the children from the mudslide; I think if his entire nuclear family had not been wiped out he might have survived.


Posted Jun. 14, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
crofly

Join Date: 06/14/13

Posts: 15

RE: What does Big Uncle have in common with Papa, and how do the two brothers differ? What ultimately breaks Big Uncle's spirit?

Yes, I agree with the notion that what finally broke the uncle was having to physically bury the children and not just witnessing their deaths.


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