[2015] Conor FitzGerald (E Block): Children of the River

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by oakest22
Last updated 5 years ago

Language Arts
Reading Comprehension

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[2015] Conor FitzGerald (E Block): Children of the River

The novel, Children of the River by Linda Crew, is set in Cambodia in the 20th century. The setting is then moved to America after the beginning of the novel. Sundara, the protagonist, is stuck in between her Cambodian culture and her want to just have a normal, American lifestyle. Sundara’s guardians strongly believe in the culture’s ways, but Sundara just wants to be “normal” and do what everyone else does. When Sundara meets a boy named Jonathan, everything changes for her. Jonathan and she instantly have secret relationship, because of Sundara’s parents finding out. If this would happen Sundara would be in a lot of trouble and would never be able to see Jonathan again. This gets very hard for Sundara and Jonathan and they both have to go through a lot of hardships. Their love for each other keeps them together through all their tough times. Most people have to go through the same struggles that Sundara went through especially girls in the earlier years. These girls are stuck in between their culture’s ways and their want for a normal, American lifestyle. But, sometimes these responsibilities get too much for these young girls. These girls’ are affected by their education, marriage and their life expectancy due to their healths’ in many ways.

Children of the RiverBy: Linda Crew

Made by: Conor FitzGerald

Cambodian people have to go through many struggles for school. Kids in the floating village of Chung Khnoas have to ride boats to school every morning. Since this location is right on the Tonle Sap river, it makes it harder for the children to get to school and even learn. This could make most kids in that village not even want to go to school because of all the struggles they would have to go through every morning. Since the school is on a raft, making it float, the school could move around a lot and make it hard for the kids to focus. A storm could even come and tear down the whole place at any moment. They have to watch out for things like that. Younger kids don’t go to school , but this doesn’t mean they don’t have lots of responsibilities too. By the age of four, Cambodian children are expected to feed and clothe themselves. This makes a very hard living on these young children. Children in Cambodia have to be very independent and this shows with all the things they have to do by themselves. Because of all of their hardships, children will end their schooling before they attend high school. The hardest workers learn how to read and write early because they know that this can help them later in life. Half of all women and one-quarter of all men can’t read or write. Because most children don’t go to school, it makes a skill like this very rare and hard to learn. You can always tell who the real hard workers are, by seeing who succeeds in the future.Cambodian people have very strict marriages rules, due to the Cambodian culture. Marriage is traditionally arranged by the parents of the bride and groom or by someone acting as their representative. Usually the man asks their parents to talk to the parents of the girl that he is attracted to. Knowing this, you can see that there is not a lot of freedom for the people getting married. It is a very fast, straightforward process. When a woman marries, she keeps her maiden name. This is meaning that she is keeping her “identity”. Women in Cambodia raise their kids and run the house. They take care of all the money, food, and the whole entire house. Men in Cambodia all know that women rule in this aspect of the culture. “If you are a colonel, your wife is a general.” This quote means that if the man is important, the woman is even more important. This is some of the things that make marriage in Cambodia so strict. They have to follow the culture’s rules so precisely that it makes them struggle and this leads to even bigger problems. Marriage isn’t the only thing that is hard for women in Cambodia. Literacy rate and all the little things that affect it make it harder for everyone in Cambodia just like education and marriage do too.Due to Cambodian environments, Life expectancy is low in this country. In Cambodia, the Life expectancy is just 55 years old for men and 60 years old for women. Now, if you were talking about the United States’s Life expectancy, you would be looking at a number near 78 years old for both men and women. There are many ways this expectancy could be altered. A country like Cambodia has very low supplies for everyone. Since the average Cambodian woman has four to five children in her lifetime, this means they would have to have enough money to provide for the whole family. The average children uses about 1 million dollars just to be raised over their lifetime. In Cambodia, poor parents can’t afford this money, meaning they wouldn’t be able to afford health care if their child was ever sick. Another way children get sick is by not having clean water in most of the villages in Cambodia. This causes diseases because bugs or different things like bacteria can get in your system and try to get you sick. These instances later lead to death because in Cambodia they don’t have enough medicine to heal all the people. People in Cambodia have to go through many struggles, even when it comes to just drinking water. This makes everyone’s life in Cambodia that much harder.

Throughout the book, Children of the River, I have recognized that all the times that I am struggling with life or get mad, I should just remember this novel and remember all the people in the world that are struggling through life everyday! I have realized that I was just acting selfish. All of the struggles that these people around the world have had are way worse than whatever mine were. Some struggles that people all around go through are mostly education, strict marriage, and their average number of years to live, life expectancy. People die everyday all over the world and now I have recognized that I should be thankful. There are some people that work so hard to provide for themselves and their family. And because of all of this you should remember, although all of these struggles are overwhelming, some people work through all of them and continue a great life. This should make you want to continue and to keep your head up at all times, just remember life will get better!




Oh I just hate Cambodian culture. Its so unfair


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