Now that I have finished the novel Baho! by Ronaldo Rugero I am looking back at the translator’s note which says “As you read Baho! my hope is that what you love most about the novel comes to rest with you.” At first, I had to read this quote a few times to really come to an understanding about it and decided it would be best for me to break it into parts.
At first I decided to look at the aspect that talks about what “you” or the reader loved most about the novel. At first I thought I would discuss the gender roles in this society as they are something I found myself very passionate about throughout the novel. However, not only is this something that I have discussed to an extent in the past, I don’t think it is really what I would consider a favorite part of the novel.
Going further into my thoughts and what I really enjoyed about the novel I discovered that the aspect I enjoyed most was actually the way in which the author moves between characters to narrate the story. In doing so we are allowed into the thoughts of many characters creating a more complete picture of the whole story. For example, there is a period of time in which the main character is knocked unconscious and the reader is moved into the mind of another character. Not only did this provide the reader with insight into the other character but also allowed the reader to know what was happening while the main character is unconscious. Without this switch in narrator, we would be left only with the main characters thoughts and far less understanding of the situation.
This multiple perspective way of telling the story also allowed for me to have a better grasp on the culture in which the main character lives. For example, while it is made clear that the idea of raping a young girl is very looked down upon in this culture by the actions of all those reacting to the main character’s supposed attempted rape on the girl, it is a far more complex situation. With only the information the main character is given it would leave the reader with the impression that women and girls are valued highly in this society and are protected and cherished by the men. However, as we learn from the other characters’ thoughts and experiences, that is not the case at all. The men care about the women as property to be treated however they wish to treat them. They seem to have very little respect for women as a whole and only wish to defend their property from being sullied and protect what they believe belongs to them.
As I come to a close on the discussion of this novel, I am inclined to be thankful that I read it not only because it was a thought provoking story but also because it illustrated techniques in writing that I did not even know that I valued. I do believe, as the quote mentioned, that my favorite aspect of the novel is one that will rest with me as it has made me want to read more books that utilize this technique of multiple perspectives. Going forward I plan to look more in depth at the books that I read and focus not just on the aspects that I feel passionate about but also on the elements of novels that I truly enjoy.