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SHORT

STORY :
LEAVING

Background information:
Tanzania
This short story is set in Tanzania, a
country located in East Africa. Dar
es Salaam is its most important city.
Tanzania is one of the most poorest
countries in the world. Most of its
population are farmers. Education is
very important to the people. All the
subjects in the secondary school are
taught in English.

o
c
Th e

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y
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t
n
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The People

The Culture

The Houses

The Beach

The City

SETTING

Place
- Uhuru Street : The family store and
home
- Upanga : Their new home in a quieter
neighbourhood.

Time
Present day

SYNOPSIS
The story, Leaving is set in Tanzania. A
woman raises her five children alone after
the early death of her husband. After the
two elder girls get married and the eldest
son acquires a job, the mother focuses on
the two younger ones, Aloo and the
narrator. She pins all her hopes on them
that they will have a better education.
She winds up their store and moves them
to a quieter part of town, Upanga.

The place is quieter and provides a better


environment for them to study. The return
of Mr Datoo, a former teacher inspires Aloo
to think of furthering his education
overseas in medicine in America. He starts
writing to American universities to get the
necessary information. He is not keen on
studying agriculture in a local university.
He is offered a place with a scholarship in
the California Institute of Technology.
However, his mother would not allow him
to accept the offer, citing finances and fear
of losing him as the reasons.

Finally, on the advice of a school


officer, the mother relents and accepts
the idea of allowing Aloo to leave
home for a different sky. The narrator,
for the first time, sees her mother as a
person and not just as her mothersomeone who has always thought only
of the childrens welfare. Aloos first
letter was a graphic enthusiastic
account of London but to the mother,
she is uncertain of his return

Point of view

First person point of view-story is


told by Aloos sibling, the third
daughter in the family
She gives a subjective view of the
story her mother and siblings
relationship, feelings and attitude
towards the issue at hand.

Figurative Devices

Simile:
his headwhich looked like an egg
he walked in like a soldier
Personification:
a little wind came in..
Figurative expression
mother was not made of stone
the letter was full of excitement

THEMES

The importance of education


Mother closes down her shop and
moves to a quieter town just so that
her two children are able to
concentrate on their studies. Apart
from that, Mr Velji too admits that the
California Institute of Technology is a
good university and Aloo will get the
best education there.

Sacrifice/Selflessness
Mother has to make many sacrifices
while bringing up her children without a
husband. She always puts her children
first and refuses to remarry if it means
parting with her children.
Seizing opportunities
Aloo is presented with the rare
opportunity to study in a top American
university and knows that he must
seize it. Mother too, realises this and
that is why she eventually allows him
to go.

MORAL VALUES

We must not let opportunities pass us


If we receive a rare opportunity, we must try
to seize it just as Aloo has done in the story.
Mother too realises the significance of the
university offer which is why she allows Aloo
to go despite her reservations
We must be grateful to our parents
In the story, there is a point when the narrator
has a new awareness of the sacrifices.
Parents are always willing to sacrifice for the
good and happiness of their children.

Good education is very important


It is very important to have a good
education so that we will have a better
future. Mother realises the importance
of a good education which is why she
is willing to close her shop and move
to a new town just so that her children
can focus on their studies.

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