Beka lamb – cultural social and political aspects

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Zee Cudgel also shows the cultural aspect of Belize through Beak’s mother staying home and wakes being held when somebody dies. In Belize society, Saturday was payday for many families. On this day, many families went to the market to buy goods. Women and girls, whether they lived in a nice house or a ‘adage- showdown house’, scrubbed, dusted, polished and cooked in order to do as they pleased Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Cooking big meals on Sunday is also traditional in the Belize society, from the poor to the wealthy.

Some traditional dishes cooked in Belize society were potted meat sandwiches for Saturday lunch and Creole bread for tea. Cudgel goes onto describe Belize culture through L Lila Lamb and Granny Ivy’s role in the family. They stay home and take care of the house and the family. In many societies, like the Belize society, mothers stay home to run the household and take care of the children. On the other hand, men are expected to be breadwinners and provide money for the home. Meanwhile, in Beak’s household, Cudgel describes the traditional role of a woman in Belize.

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In Beak’s household, her mother Lila and Granny Ivy take care of the home by cooking, cleaning and watching over Beak, Candy and Chuck. Filling the traditional role of a father, Bill Lamb works at Blanch providing money for himself and his family. They also expect Beak to fill the role of being a traditional Belize woman by requiring her to assist with chores and help out when meals are being prepared. In Belize, “… To work like a woman was an honorable thing… ” And we see this when “… Beak was in the kitchen helping Granny Ivy fry conch fritters for tea…

The last cultural element that Cudgel portrays in Belize society is wakes. Wakes are held to show respect and to remember the life of the deceased. Wakes also take place to protect the surviving family members from the spirit of the deceased. In the beginning of the novel, Beak wanted Aunt Leila to have a wake for Toxicity. Aunt Leila couldn’t afford a wake at the time. She did not have the money to provide a lot of food and drinks for the people attending the wake. Wakes are also sometimes held over more than one night, sometimes even up to nine days, which includes ore food and drinks.

Aunt Leila knew that if Toxicity was alive she wouldn’t have wanted to her to spend a ton of money, stating that “… Toxicity would not have want me to put missile in poor house… ” And borrowing money was not an option, so she decided not to have one. Zee Cudgel also outlines social elements in Belize society. Cudgel portrays social elements through the people in the community and color relationships. In this society, everyone was aware of everyone’s business. They were avid gossipers and only a few genuinely cared about the other.

When Beak Lamb failed first form, everyone, even the grocery store owner, was aware of her failure and she was embarrassed. Also, the citizen looks out for each other. This is seen in the grocery store owner, who allows the Lambs to receive credit so they can get their goods and pay him later. The grocery store owner asked Beak about first form and when he found out it was the truth, he invited her to mass. He also told her how she should be appreciative because her father and mother are trying hard so she can get an education and how she’s lucky to have both of hem protecting her.

Another Way Cudgel portrays social is by color relationships. Majority of the people in Belize are prejudice. Relationships never go as far as marriage because of these people in Belize. Examples of such a relationship is the relationship between a masked man and a Carob woman and the relationship between Toxicity and Emilio. The masked man in Belize was once a handsome, sweet boy who during a sojourn in Stan Creek, a coastal town south of Belize, compromised the daughter of a Carob man who had befriended him.

Though he loved her, the masked man could not marry he girl without losing face in the Creole community, whose members seldom married among the Caries. “… One night so it was said” a group of Carob people in painted masks, entered his home and touched his face and neck, obeying him so that these parts of his body became dotted with white speckles, leaving the rest of his body black… ” Another example of a relationship that is unaccepted is the relationship between Toxicity and Emilio. Toxicity was a Creole girl and Emilio was Pandas, with his Maya Indian blood being more pronounced in his complexion than his Spanish blood.

Toxicity really loved Emilio but Beak stated that “… Pandas scarcely marry Creole like we Toxicity… “. But Toxicity only ignored Beak. The final way Cudgel portrays Belize society is through their political views. Their political views were displayed through Bill Lamb’s coffee and by the country where Tootsie’s guitar was made. Bill Lamb had imported his coffee from Guatemala. Beak was upset because they had always traded with the Republicans around Belize and the fact Guatemala was trying to take over Belize meant that it was dangerous to have contact with them.

Bill Lamb then stated the British brand Of colonialism isn’t the worst they could have had. He also stated that their politicians are new to politics and they better watch which countries they accept aid from including Guatemala. Belgians like Bill Lamb want their politicians to be careful about who they accept money from, because it might be bad for the country. In addition to the coffee, Cudgel portrays political views of Belize society through Toxic?s guitar. When Toxicity got her guitar she brought it over for Beak to see. Toxicity then began to show Beak how to old the guitar and play.

They both loved the guitar and its beauty but then they found a flaw in it. Beak noticed that it was made in Spain and Toxicity couldn’t believe it. Toxicity then asked Beak why does she make everything about politics. Beak responded Toxicity! Guatemala claims Belize from Britain through rights inherited from Spain and Spain got right from the Pope and who are we going get right from… ” Beak is stating that she is against any county trying to colonize her country. She is against any country that would assist another country to colonize Belize.

These statements that Beak dad left Toxicity disappointed until Beak made a suggestion to scratch off ‘made in Spain’ and cover it with something else. Toxicity did what Beak said and it made her feel better about the beautiful guitar. In conclusion, Zee Cudgel portrays Belize society through three main aspects: political, cultural and social. Through ordinary tasks, such as market day, cleaning and cooking, and concepts, such as traditional gender roles, and relationships been people and countries, Cudgel enlightens the reader as to how Belize really is, socially, culturally and politically.

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