Monday, January 24, 2011

Kahu, The Whale Rider

Kahu, The Whale Rider

Upon finishing “The Whale Rider” it can be seen very evidently that Kahu is the whale rider. She is the seed of life planted by Paikea’s spear for the Maori village. Throughout the novel, there are many events that foreshadow her emergence as the chosen one. Exemplified mainly in the second half of “The Whale Rider” many actions and characteristics of Kahu resemble those of the original Paikea.

As we spoke about in class, Kahu shows the same oneness with whales and with nature that Paikea had. Her actions, natural talents, curiosity, and love all foreshadow her becoming the chosen one for the Maori people. Kahu’s interest in the Maori culture shows her deep connection with the tribe, both present and historical. As she presents a speech about her love for her grandfather, Koro, at her school’s cultural event, she speaks in her native Maori tongue. This action depicts not only her ability to speak the ancient language, but shows her deep love for her grandfather, her genealogy, and for the Maori people and culture. This same love for the people and culture can be seen in Paikea as he gives the life-giving spear to the island, giving up his life in the sea for a life on land. Rawiri and Nanny Flowers can also see the virtues that Kahu possesses, noticing how she has no guile, envy, or jealousy.

Throughout Kahu’s life it can be seen that she longs for the sea, moaning like the whales she has seen in videos as she stars across the ocean. Her oneness with the sea can be seen, as she is able to dive deep into the ocean to retrieve Koro’s stone. While underwater, she is also seemingly able to communicate with the dolphins. Kahu’s oneness with the sea and with nature is rival only to that of Paikea’s. Her resemblance to Paikea is culminated when she is able to save the ancient bull whale, soothing him and convincing him that she is in fact Paikea herself.

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