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butterflyabuseThere is so much emotional terrain in Okparanta, “Tumours and Butterflies.” Okparanta uses stories like this to share a message… I can’t say if it is a moral or not, but it is close to it. This particular story really focuses on escaping abuse, and the many ways people deal with domestic abuse. Reading it, I felt invested in all the characters, I wanted the mother to leave, or the daughter to fight back, or even for the father to change, but that is not what happened. I felt upset with the ending. The daughter’s behavior at the end, I feel is morally wrong. I can understand the daughter wanting to leave and so her leaving the situation is very understandable and acceptable, but for the daughter to become the abuser, is very wrong and hard to take. I do not mean that Okparanta wanted to daughter to be abusive, in fact to others it might seem heroic, but to me it was not, it was painful to read and it made me sad. This is why I can’t say if this is a moral tale, it lacks something that says, “this is the way a story like this should end, and how you can learn to do this too if you were in this type of situation.”

Okparanta writing is so beautiful and believable and the words not only jump off the page they become a movie or show inside my mind, and I can see everything. I can see the world in which these people live, the markets they use, the smells, the sounds, and the conversations. It is no wonder why this book is part of our Sense of Place class, the writing is living and authentic.

One Response to “Okparanta, “Tumours and Butterflies.””

  1. tleech12 says:

    I enjoyed your perspective of this story. I agree somewhat that the daughter may have stepped over the line at the end, but I think she was trying to preserve herself; and the only way to make her mother understand was to say and do the things she did. The father lived in a world of his own, and will never understand anything outside that narrow world. :o)