1. What are some of the narrative techniques that Roger Mais uses in the novel Brother Man?
Some of the Narrative techniques used in the novel Brother Man are:
Point of View
Roger Mais strategically uses this narrative technique. He consistently changes the persona in each chapter thus, giving different perspectives and views of the events of the story. He often writes from an omniscient perspective so as to express every character involved in the book's thoughts and feelings in the first person.
There are several themes displayed in the book due to the fact that Roger Mais takes the time to involve everyone to express their views. The fact that as the chapter changes a new persona is introduced is a leading factor to the variety of themes.
2. How does Roger Mais develop characterization?
Roger Mais develops the characterization element of the novel by cleverly depicting the different personalities of the different characters by using the point of view narrative technique. He writes the novel from an omniscient perspective (as explained above) giving everyone's incite on the different events or situations and therefore giving every character the chance to have their individual characteristics portrayed. Also, he includes a section of the novel called 'Chorus of the People in the lane' this gives the reader an inside view into the life of the community of Kingston, Jamaica.
3. Where is the setting?
The setting Brother Man of takes place in the slums of Orange Lane, Kingston, Jamaica in the 50's presumably. The book was published in the 50's so it is accurate to presume that the novel itself was based in that similar time frame.
4. What are some of the themes?
Some of the themes used in the novel Brother Man include:
5. Discuss the different plots that are in the book.
First, it is evident at the beginning of the novel that Brother Man and Brother Ambo have a rivalry of sorts and are already some conflict is displayed. Bra' Ambo being the community's obeah man was known to have some items within his household which weren't exactly legal at the time. Knowing that the police were going to search his house he decided to go to Brother Man in the hopes of him storing the items in his house for a while. However, Brother Man refuses to hold any unholy items in his household and turns Bra' Ambo away. Thus, making Bra' Ambo very angry.
Papacita is a young man who apparently doesn't like hard work and is a well-known 'Cassonova' to most girls in the village. He is involved in a counterfeit scheme - A scandal where both he and a man named Fellows make and use counterfeit cash. When the police (Corporal Jennings) seem to be catching on, Fellows flees the scene immediately.
Girlie and Papacita seem to have a dysfunctional relationship. They are constantly bickering with each other. This is because of Papacita's constant flirting and infidelity. Papacita leaves Girlie and decides to live elsewhere with the thought of Minnette in his mind. Girlie of course being distraught and emotionally unstable about this decision follows him and ends up committing murder.
Cordelia, in the beginning, is very ill. Brother Man heals her and she is very grateful. However, a few days later her child is sick. Cordelia calls Brother Man to heal her baby boy, but this time, his prayer's are unanswered. He gives her money and tells her to take the baby to the hospital. However, after going to the hospital only once, she decides to get involved with obeah and goes to Bra' Ambo. In the end, she is driven to insanity and she ends up suffocating her child and then killing herself.
Brother Man is a very religious but when a murder takes place and the murderer was said to have long hair and a beard like Brother Man, Persons begin to ostracize bearded men with long hair classifying them as murderers. In the end, Brother Man is stoned by several persons who believe the theory that all bearded men with long hair are murderers and Minnette saves him .
Jesmina returns home only to find that someone has broken into her house asking for the whereabouts of her husband, Shine and the weed. Jesmina quickly maneuvers out the window before the man could cause any bodily harm to her and stays with Brother Man and Minnette for a while.
6. How is foreshadowing displayed in the book?
The tension between Brother Man and Brother Ambo in the beginning shows that there will be some kind of conflict towards the end of the novel. Papacita and Girlie's dysfunctional relationship leads the reader to believe that the end result would probably be murder.
7. List some examples of Flashback.
Brother Man tells Minnette of his past
Minnette tells Brother Man of her past
8. How does religion play a huge part of the book?
Religion evidently plays a huge part in the novel because Brother Man is constantly being portrayed as Jesus. On the cover of the novel, we see the crown of thorns placed on his head and the shining light behind him represents a Messiah or a Deity of sorts. The star behind him represents the Rastafarian religion and can also represent the Star of David. In the book, Brother Man does not seem to commit any sin and often heals the sick. When he was being stoned unjustly by the very people whom he had healed and prayed for it also made some reference or was symbolically representative of the crucifixion of Jesus-Christ. Sources verify that Minette was like Mary Magdalen. Furthermore, when a woman begged if she could wash Brother Man's feet was very significant because as in The Holy Bible, a woman off the street, a sinner, washed Jesus' feet with her tears.