The Monkey Beach Essay

1425 words - 6 pages

“Trying to merge into mainstream society and cover her brown skin with makeup, of having no sense that she had her right to her own opinion”(Shierly) The journey to finding yourself is approached in many different aspects, which varies from person to person. As a child children we see a blurred image of ourselves not knowing exactly who we are, however as we grow older the blur becomes more apparent to us and eventually a reflection of who we truly are, is revealed. This is evidentially shown in the novel Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson, where Lisamarie discovers her new identity as an empowered and strong woman through the positive motivation from her family, role models to whom she looks up to and her acceptance to her own culture.

Lisa as a young teen begins to manage her special gift to connect with spirits by progressing from the motivation her grandmother gave her to grasp a stronger understanding of what she spiritually obtains. Lisa’s grandmother encourages her to learn about the spirit world and the consequences that follow, to make sure her mistakes don’t mislead her, “Never trust the spirit world too much. They think much differently from the living.”(Robinson, 153). Ma ma oo (Lisa’s grandmother) ensures that Lisa is provided with the knowledge of the supernatural world at her current age so she will be prepared for the future and along with that she wants her to being to learn about herself through these teachings and develop from them. Considering that the bond between Lisamarie and her grandmother is already well established it makes the understanding and communication of the spirit world more interesting for her. Overtime Lisa becomes curious about her gift of connecting with spirits, “What do spirits look like?”(126) This is prominent that Lisa now wants to continue to discover this new aspect of her life and how she is more to what meets the eye. The direct support given from her grandmother further promotes her to extend her search of who she really is and continue to be passionate about what she is capable of. As Lisa goes through this inner sacred quest she not only learns more about these important teachings, however she also develops new characteristics that positively affect her overall personality which is revealed through the ongoing reassurance from her grandmother. From the stages of her growth Lisa finally believes in herself and slowly applies everything that taught from her grandmother, “When you take something, you must give something right?”(152) Lisa understanding about her traditional practices helps her gain confidence in herself, knowing that she has one part of her life that she is in full control of makes her feel more strong and independent. Lisamarie gradually recognizes a lost part of herself that she eventually attains with the continuous motivation from her grandmother, who helped her along her spiritual adventure.

Growing up Lisa was extremely influenced by her Uncle Mick, who was a figurative...

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