The title of the story is The Rain Came by Grace Ogot. The author of the story is Grace Ogot or also known as Grace Emily Akinyi. She was born on 15 May 1930, near Kisumu, central Nyanza Region in Kenya. In achievement, she became the first African woman writer in English who published fiction by the East African Publishing House. Her stories such as Land Without Thunder (1968), The Other Woman (1976), and The Island of Tears (1980) provides the traditional Luo life.
Most of her fiction stories are according with the customs, history and traditions of the Luo tribe in Kenya, which has the second largest ethnic group. The Luo tribe lived for most part near Lake Victoria. Her formal writing reflects the addition of her formal learning with the traditions in her life. All her collections of writings reflect her personal love towards the stories of her culture. Grace Ogot passed away in April 2010.
The main character or the primary character is Oganda which means “beans” due to her very fair skin. She is the chief’s only daughter around at the tender age to married and also the protagonist in this story. She is a very traditional and great woman where she willing to sacrificed herself so that the Luo will have rain.
She also loves to imagine her future where she imagined which man should be the best man to married. Oganda is very disappointed on her people which they willing to give her up to sacrifice. Lastly, she also a person who easily to give up where she never fight for her life to run away or hide herself but choose to accept the fact that she is the chosen one and ready to be sacrifice.
The supporting character would be Labong’O. He is the chief of Luo. He has 5 wives and 20 children, among all Oganda is his daughter. He is the bravest man and a great leader of the village. He always holds his promise to the village where he promised would sacrifice himself or his family for the sake of the tribe. Other than that, he is also a loving father and loves his daughter very much but he could not bear the risk to safe Oganda.
Another minor character would be Minya which is the chief’s fifth wife and Oganda mother. She is a loving mother where she is not willing to sacrifice her only daughter. Grandmother has a characteristic of a protective grandmother where she protect Oganda by not allow her to leave her hut and listen to the truth that she have to be the sacrifice.
Furthermore, Oganda lover which is Osinda, he is a very brave man and would will to do anything to save her lover. In the story, Osinda went into the sacred land to save Oganda and take care of her until she wakes up from the faint. Kech is son of a neighboring clan elder. He is a very handsome guy with sweet meek eyes and roaring laugh but he is too short for Oganda. Dimo, a tall young man which is brave and a great wrestler but he is too cruel where always quarreling and ready to fight.
The selfish one would be the villager, friends and relatives where they are so happy that the chief’s daughter have to sacrifice to have rain. They are also very naïve, traditional and believes in animism where they believes sacrifice would bring them torrent of rain. Another supporting character is the little child which is very naïve. The little child broke the silent and gives the earring to Oganda before she enters the sacred land. Lastly, Ndithi, the witch man and Podho is the ancestor of Luo.
Setting (Place, Time, Atmosphere, Social Condition)
The setting of place is in Kenya, near the Lake of Victoria. The time is drought season, where everyone in the village is anxiously waiting to hear when it will rain. Besides that, all their cattle are dying in the fields as there is no water. The atmosphere of the story is very anxious, tensed and confused. In paragraph 2, ‘ the atmosphere in the village was tense and confused’. The social condition is people believing in tribal law where they believe in their ancestors as gods.
The chief of tribe believes whatever the ancestors of Luo told him and sacrifices of his daughter is a must to the lake monster in order to have rain. In paragraph 7, ‘Let her offer herself a sacrifice to the lake monster! On that day, the rain will come down in torrents. Let everyone stay at home on that day, lest he be carried away by the floods.’ In paragraph 9, ‘but he continued, ‘the ancestors have chosen her as a sacrifice to the lake monster in order to that we may have rain’
The plot applied the Freytag pyramid where in the exposition start when the chief come back from the witch man house and was told that his only daughter will be the sacrifice where his heart is totally doomed but no any other choices but sacrifice her daughter to the lake monster. Rising action is when Labong’O declared that Oganda will be the sacrifice. Oganda feels very sad and the villager prepared a big feast for her before she went on the journey to the Victoria Lake.
The climax of story is when Oganda goes to the lake and she is very terrified as she thinks that she has been followed by the Lake Monster and run, finally fainted. In the falling action, Osinda appears and comes to save Oganda and the resolution is the thunder come and the rain came. Theme
People generally are very selfish
The theme of the story is sacrifice for the benefits of others. Oganda is selected to die for the villager’s benefit in which they will have rain. When one person is being sacrifice to the lake monsters, everyone in the village will have rain and they will survive form drought. The cattle will also not die.
Another theme is the family ties. In the story, the Chief, his wife and their daughter has the strong bonding of love and care for each other. Labong’o loves his daughter so much that he weeps as he knows that she is going to be sacrificed to the lake monster for the villagers. His wife also faints when hears the news of their daughter being sacrificed.
Moreover, the belief in customs, traditions of the tribe is also one of the themes. In this story, the villagers of Kenya believe their ancestor as their gods and will pray for the ancestors for help. They believe that when a person, Oganda is to be sacrificed to the lake monster, rain will come.
Point of view
It is a third person omniscient point of view. When something happened to the character, the readers can actually feel and sense the feeling and emotion of each character because they have been told in detail while they are needed through the story. The readers know what the character thinks and feel. In the story, the reader can feels the sad and depressed emotion of Minya, Labong’o, Oganda and her grandmother. Besides that, we can feel the happiness of villagers when they dance joyfully after knowing that Oganda will be a sacrifice for the lake monster and they will have rain soon.
In paragraph 16, ‘they have been like three cooking stones’ which represents the relationship between the parents and daughter. In paragraph 7, ‘a young woman who has not known a man’ represents a virgin. Conclusion
The story ends in a good ending in which Oganda is not being sacrificed and can run away together with her love ones, Osinda. Besides that, the rain came in the end. The story affects us in the responsibility and the strong beliefs in customs and traditions. In the story, although the chief has dearly loved his only daughter very much but he takes his responsibility as the head of the Luo tribe to obey their ancestors and sacrifice the daughter to the lake monster for rain.
I have learnt to be a responsible person and be strong like the chief in all obstacles in life. He takes his responsibility as a chief to bring benefits to his villagers. He has undergone a huge pain in which he has to offer up her daughter as sacrifices for the whole village’s needs, which is the rain. He puts his tribe as priority before everything else as a leader and representative. We should have personality like the chief which is responsible as a leader and head. It brings you as a liable and trustworthy person. Besides that, we can see the strength of the villagers in following their customs and traditions.
The Luo (a tribe in Northern Kenya and Uganda) believes in their ancestor as gods. It is even stronger when they turn to their ancestors for help when in time of great needs. In paragraph 2, ‘The chief had prayed daily to the almighty through the ancestors to deliver them from their distresses. The highest priority in their life is to obey and pleasing the gods (lake monster) and ancestors.
It strikes us that the villages are following their customs and unlike most of the society nowadays that they do not follow their traditions and have neglected it. The family ties are very strong in this story. We can see it from the love and care of the three family members, who are Oganda ( the daughter), Labong’o ( the father) and Minya ( the mother).
Three of them love each other in which the father and mother are very depressed and sad when they know that their daughter’s life is at stake. In paragraph 4, ‘ Labong’o did not care anymore. He assumed the position of a simple father and wept bitterly’. In paragraph 16, ‘for a long time the three souls who loved on another dearly sat in darkness. It was not good speaking. In the past, they had been like three cooking stones, sharing their burdens.’ This shows that they are as one in spirit and their bonding is very strong. From this, we learn the importance of family love and being as one.