Blood Diamonds

Blood Diamonds unveils a story of the mercenary who took part in smuggling diamonds and even went to the extent of kidnapping his son to work in the mine. From the presented story a reader easily understands the origin of the conflict in Sierra Leone that resulted in a large number of deaths. The presented research outlines the importance of storytelling to the people. To achieve this, Blood Diamonds is analyzed besides the works of Maxine Kingston, Antonia Byatt, and Kristin Vermilya to establish how the authors view storytelling. Despite being one of the traditional techniques of educating on the good and the bad in the society, the use of storytelling still holds a great advantage in educating, cautioning, and directing learners in the current age.

According to Kingston, storytelling, and retelling in characterized with some advantages such as providing a chance for reflecting on a goal that is worth pursuing. Taking into consideration No Name Woman, it is evident that Kingston draws upon past experiences in stories to offer guidance to the current happenings. Kingston also considers the use of storytelling and retelling as an important educational tool. For instance, through storytelling, a lesson is drawn that engaging in sex before marriage is a shameful act. Kingston’s mother was able to engage her and educate her on what to expect as an adolescent and even how to behave when he told her a story about her aunt. Through the story, her mother ensured that she did not leave out any vital points that were going to play an important role in educating her. Furthermore, storytelling is important as it can be used to caution an individual to lead a positive life. Evidently, Kingston’s mother utilized stories to caution her daughter from engaging in uncalled for behaviors similar to her aunt who gave birth before marriage. This is evident when Kingston outlines that, “Don’t let your father know that I told you.  He denies her.  Now that you have started to menstruate, what happened to her could happen to you.  Don’t humiliate us.  You wouldn’t like to be forgotten as if you had never been born.  The villagers are watchful.

Drawing from Kingston’s work, it is evident that Kingston retells the story to educate the readers on important life lessons that they need to know. Other than the lessons, Kingston uses the stories to show the consequences of failure to implement the lessons learned in life.  The main lessons that Kingston wants the learners to understand revolve around adolescence and how teenagers should behave when they begin menstruating.

Byatt considers storytelling and retelling as an important aspect based on the fact that it acts as a cultural communication tool. Prevalently, through storytelling, communication on traditional cultures as well as their meaning to the social structure is outlined. Besides,  Byatt considers the use of storytelling and retelling as a means of establishing historical consciousness in a community. Furthermore, Byatt considers the use of storytelling as a means of rectifying and challenging various community aspects and their perception. For instance, looking into Byatt’s Possession, it is evident that the author utilized fairy tales to not only attract the attention of the readers but to communicate on matters of female identity. Rapunzel is one of the fairy tales that the author utilized in discussing female identity issues. Also, Byatt considers the use of storytelling as an important factor that can be used in separating fact from fiction. For instance, the use of fairy tales stories enables the audience to understand fiction and how they can adopt them as moral lessons in real life. Vermilya also considers storytelling as a tool used to link people to their traditions and culture. The author considered the act of storytelling as appropriate as it enables people to understand their origins because such stories can only be narrated as a result of the time difference. Additionally, Vermilya considers storytelling as a venue that brings people together to learn about a common aspect. Incidentally, storytelling requires a narrator to have an audience. Furthermore, considering the work, The House on Loon Lake, Vermilya considered storytelling as a way of inflicting knowledge on the people. For instance, the fact that life always provides people with a choice.

Stories and storytelling play an important role in how we structure lives. Through storytelling and retelling, an individual can easily obtain guidance on how to lead his life based on a different person’s experiences. For instance, Kingston learned how to lead her life as an adolescent based on her aunt’s experiences. Storytelling can also be utilized to communicate a message of pain arising from conflict revolving around various life decisions. With storytelling, it is easy to resolve any conflicting situations based on the past experiences of individuals. For instance, providing a story on a person who resolved a conflicting situation in a peaceful manner is regarded as a source of motivation and education. Incidentally, it will be easier to implement similar moves of conflict resolution in a peaceful manner other than in a violent one as a result of the ethical motive that drove the character in a story. Moreover, storytelling can direct people in decision making. For instance, looking at the case of Kingston, it is evident that she considered some of the details missing from her mother’s story on how her aunt led her life. With this, she decided to engage in research and later established the truth about her aunt’s marriage and pregnancy after the story was retold to her.

Storytelling is important in many ways. For instance, storytelling is important as it aids education. Through stories, a person can easily understand their cultural and historical backgrounds. For instance, Vermilya regarded storytelling as an avenue that brought people together to learn about the past. Learning about the past enlightens the people on the cultural aspects that may have undertaken a new turn and are now perceived differently in the current age. Additionally, stories can be used in offering guidance to the people and how they should lead their lives. It is evident that through storytelling, children are provided with an opportunity of reflecting on any goals that they consider worthy of pursuing. Prevalently, words can offer clues on how their lives can be shaped with the choice being left on their hands on whether to pursue their dreams or not.

Storytelling is important to the people as it aids in linking people to their past and traditions. It is a fact that past generations have played an important role in determining the existence of the current one. The ability of the people to learn from their ancestors provides an insight into the fact that storytelling aids in knowledge transfer. Storytelling is also beneficial as it acts as a source of inspiration to the people. Taking into consideration Kingston’s case, it is clear that Kingston was inspired by the experiences that his aunt faced despite not knowing her personally. But through storytelling, he was able to understand how to lead his life based on experiences. Incidentally, storytelling is regarded as an important tool for teaching individuals from different age groups. Through storytelling, it is easy to master the significance of a concept and at the same time be inspired by the value of storytelling. Prevalently, storytelling connects people to their humanity by linking them to the past and providing insight into what the future holds.

Stories are also considered as important tools of tapping into resources of the past that are yet to be tapped into. For instance, stories aim at creating imaginative scenarios where an individual utilizes their imagination to understand aspects of the past. For Byatt utilized fairy tales to tap into the interest levels of the people and hence make them understand different concepts that are brought out in stories. In learning, linking curriculum to oral histories promotes an understanding of culture through the promotion of oral histories conveyed through storytelling. Therefore, it is a commonality that with storytelling, it is easy to preserve the historical and cultural roots of community while promoting a better understanding of a person’s origin.

Tamara Fowler