Fiela's Child

Family Values as Expressed Through Ostriches and Elephants 12th Grade

In Fiela’s Child, the two families, the van Rooyens and the Komoeties, have a strong connection with animals, albeit not always a positive connection. The van Rooyens have a problem with elephants in the forest. The Komoeties’ ostriches give the family all kinds of trouble. Other animals are made reference to throughout the novel, as well. Given ostriches, elephants, other animals, family values, and various examples of foil, symbolism, and metaphors, the ostriches and the elephants represent the families of the van Rooyens and the Komoeties.

Kicker and Pollie are the Komoetie family’s ostriches. The family had Kicker for a very long time, and then they got Pollie in the hopes of mating the two. However, things do not go according to plan at first; Kicker hardly glances at Pollie, which worries Fiela: “It was more than four weeks since they had started taking the ostriches to pasture and still Kicker showed no sign of being ready to take the hen” (39). Most animals have a very decisive, instinctual way of wanting to mate. However, Kicker did not- it was almost as if he were human, fighting his instincts. Pollie, too, proves to be a strange ostrich: “To get her out of the enclosure was less trouble than they had thought it would...

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