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 WitiIthimaera, 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 meanshe 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 adense-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 andsiting-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 hadelectricity 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 anymodern 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...
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