Coping and Accepting Change
Coping And Accepting Change Nothing in this world is permanent, changes are brought into our lives and how we deal with it depends upon ourselves. Whether we accept it or not, changes affect who we are in the future. Both Kamau in The Return and the narrator in A Marker on the Side of the Boat portray how they dealt with changes around them as a result of a war that occurred in their beloved home places. Their passive decision to accept reality lead to a positive outcome that has not made their lives miserable, but instead those depraved memories remain as an experience to move on and find more meaning with life.
In the short story, The Return, Kamau contemplates and distinguishes the considerable amount of changes that seem to have developed while he was far away from his village. Kamau points out certain valuable changes that dishearten his emotions and perspective. He fears that his most valuable possession, his wife, Muthoni has forgotten him. Alas, Kamau’s wife, Muthoni, decides to leave and move forward with time as Kamau was exiled away. Kamau is heartbroken and is forced to accept the revelation that Muthoni will never return, and decides to do just what Muthoni had done, move on. He tried to remove his coat, and the small bundle he had held on to so firmly fell. ” The loss of his cherished, dearly loved wife did not make him give up but instead move on with his life. Bao Ninh’s “A Marker on the Side of the Boat” tells a story of a soldier named Kien meeting a woman and falling in love with her without even being able to see her face, their short-term encounter has changed his life but this time it had brought a mark in his life with regret. When the B-52’s attacked, Kien made the mistake of taking the woman out of her house and trying to get both of them safely to a shelter.
He also used a trolley as a mental marker of where her house was so he would be able to find her after. Later on after the attack was over, Kien went to help others who were hurt and told the woman to go and he would meet her at her home. After all that Kien realized and mournfully regretted everything he had done. All in all Kien regretted leaving the woman to help the others; he now had no way to find her. He forever regretted the decisions he made that day and worst of all he lost the one he loved. To this day, the narrator shares that he ravels back to the same street in Hanoi to find the house where this young Vietnamese woman had tended for him. He hopes to someday spot the exact location and despite the impossible, identify that beautiful young lady he had met decades ago. Kamau in The Return and Kien in A Marker on the Side of the Boat both lost a loved one as they experience aggression in their hometown. Changes in our lives give us a choice whether to accept or regret it the rest of our lives. Letting go or feeling guilty for it, either way makes a vast impact in the future.
Hence, it is easier to accept and let go of the past to be able to handle the forthcoming experiences just like Kamau. Both of the short stories are about how two young men cope with the mountain of changes that have occurred before them. They were faced with the worst and anticipated for the least, despite this they withstood the circumstances and illustrated the bravery and courage of a man. It is clear then, that giving up is never a good choice when faced with arduous changes in life but accepting it leaves a peaceful mind that makes a better road ahead.