There is a common saying that you cannot know where you are headed to if you dont know where you are coming from. Literally speaking, where you are headed is more important and should be given more attention and priority but we cannot afford to overlook the past. It is from the past that we get to learn. Past mistakes make us better since we know where a certain path leads and how not to make the same mistake twice; fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Similarly, past successes motivate us to keep on keeping on because of the rewards that were witnessed some time back. Either way, our past plays a crucial role in shaping our future and in whatever way, it is a part and parcel of us. Basically, that is the whole essence of history and its importance in the society. This paper is going to expound on the role of history in kings short story of Indians in Canada.
Before Indians came to settle in Asia, they had different migration patterns just like most communities. In the early years, people moved from place to place in search for better living conditions and they would only settle when the conditions of that new place favored them. However, without this they would continue with their migration until they came across a suitable habitat. The term suitable habitat is relative and for a place to be termed suitable a lot of factors had to be considered and this also depended on the community. The lifestyle of the community, economic activities and social culture had a lot to play in determining the current location and preferred settlement.
In Kings short story, the role of history is quite crystal. In general, Indians are more business oriented than any other community worldwide. Most small scale and large scale businesses are owned by Indians and are very dedicated in running them. In todays world, most trade is punctuated by the presence of an Indian. This is not something that just happened overnight, the business culture has been there ever since as we can see from the kings short story. When Bob first landed in Toronto, the first thing he was asked is whether he was a businessman. Bob could have been anything; he could have been a pilot, doctor, accountant or teacher. However, no one asked Bob this and the way the question was posed had a lot to do with the one asking it and a lot to tell about the culture of the people living there. This tells us that Indians started doing business from back then.
We are then told that Bob was walking down the Bay street at three in the morning and looks up just in time to see a flock of Indians fly into the side of a building. This is artistic use of symbolism and imagery in one sentence. Of course Indians are not birds and no known human has the power to fly into the skies. However, the writer depicts Indians as birds to symbolize their migratory nature. Birds, unlike humans are more mobile and can move from place to place as they wish without much hustle. Indians share a similar characteristic as birds in search of business and trade partners; they move from place to place. They have no real attachments to places and their sole motivation is business. Just like birds, an Indian would be ready to move to a completely new environment leaving everything behind to utilize a business opportunity.
Symbolism has also been used to depict the successful nature of Indians when it comes to business. Indians are self-motivated and success oriented in their business ventures. For this reason, they are likened to birds which know no limits. They use their feathers to fly high and achieve heights that cannot be achieved by flightless creatures. To Indians, business is their feathers and they use business to achieve great heights of success. This story also tells us about the hardworking nature of Indians. From their history, Indians have always been dedicated to their business and invest a lot of time, money and resources just to see it work. Bob was walking down the street at three in the morning yet saw a flock of Indians all about their business. When it comes to business, the Indians have no concept of time and anytime is business time to them. At such time of the day, most of the people are asleep yet Indians are out in the streets looking for money.
The writer uses symbolism to describe the history of Indians. Imagery is also used to depict their lifestyle which persisted through distance and time to present day. Indians in Canada were businessmen and they were so diligent in their business that they could be likened to birds which soar to great heights.
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