Commentaire de texte "the house with sugarbag windows"
The document is an extract from a book regrouping several short stories entitled The New Net Goes Fishing and which was published in 1977 by Witi Ithimaera, a New Zealander writer of Maori origins. The text deals with childhood memories of a young Maori boy, Watene, and presents Maori way of life, situation and their relation with other people (including whites).
Maoris are native New Zealanders.
I/ Description of their situation
a) Family members:
- A large family: “Watene had been the fourth child and first son” (l.4), that means he has “three sisters” (l.6). The parents are also mentioned “mother” and “father”.
b) Location of the house:
- Located in a remote area: “It stood in the middle of nowhere at the top of a dense-forested valley overlooking a river”. (l.1) They live in the country not the city “dense-forested valley”.
- They're far from civilization, the closest village is “twelve miles away” (l.16)
c) Description of the house:
- Small; “tin house” (l.25).
- Only few rooms: “tow bedrooms” (l.24) and and “all-in-one” room which is the “only other room”, they use it as a “kitchen, dining room and siting-room” in the same time (l.27)
- Very few furnitures: “two benches and a cabinet” (l.29)
- Home-made decorations: “his mother had pasted newspapers and pictures from magazine on the other walls” (l.30-31)
d) Living conditions:
- They live poorly and in difficult conditions: “they don't have electricity”(l.8).
No electricity means no “washing machine”, however even if they had electricity they couldn't afford buying one. Consenquently, his mothers and sisters have to wash clothes manually: “slapped clothes on the rocks and dipped them in the water” (l.6-7)
- They don't have any modern equipements (require electricity and are expensive) such as “refigerators”, “toilets”, “gas fires”.... (l.9)
- They have to share beds: he slept with his parents and his sisters shared the same