The Unexplained Romance Between Life and Death
Humans have always been fascinated with the unexplained, life and death being two of the most popular. Much of the culture of the United States, as well as the cultures of other countries, is devoted to these two themes. Television shows, books, poems and even movies have fueled our romance. In T.S. Eliot’s most famous poem The Wasteland, he says, "I will show you fear in a handful of dust" (l. 30). Our romance with death does not just include the finality of the process, but also the realization of our need to improve our lives, because we finally realize just how precious they are.
It is often said "you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone." In his book No Past, No Present, No Future, Yulisa Amadu Maddy tells of the life and times of three boys, and how they learn this to be true. Early on in his life, each boy has an incident with death, and raises his own questions about each. Joe Bengoh loses his parents, Santige loses his father, and Ade faces the death of a girl named Mary. Their questions come from the hurt of not knowing what is to happen in their future.
Each boy has something to struggle with during these deaths, and must learn how to overcome their difficulties. Santige wonders about the legacy of his father, Joe about his mistakes with Mary, and Ade is cold to the whole situation. Joe wants to die when Mary dies, because he feels responsible for everything, including Santige and Ade.
However responsible each boy feels, they find something new to live for, and rebuild the tatters of their broken past lives. Be it for good or bad, each decides to go their own separate way and make a new life in England. Joe finds he can excel in school and even finds a love that makes him feel secure, even in his past mistakes with Mary and Bola. Santige finds his solace in something a little more menacing. Being too ashamed to go home and face his expectant family because of his failure in school, he decides all of his misfortunes are to be blamed upon the white race. He acts by using white women, much of the same way he has believed himself to be treated. Ade too has been shamed at home, because of Mary. However, he has been cast out of the powerful Bayuan elite` society and vows revenge to climb up the same ladder he was cast down upon.
In the beginning, when Joe is in the Mission because both Santige and Ade have left, he remarks that they now cannot finish what the Brothers Three held most dear. This is a strange prophecy towards the rest of their lives. While in London, they separate for what they think is the best. The brothers three all see that without each other they don't amount to much, realizing that in a different land they have grown apart, too far apart to fix what ever canyon lies within all of their relationships. The Brothers Three see as they get older they have a lot more left to do in their lives, and they must keep moving or be crushed in this strange, new...