The character in the story, “A Sunrise on the Veld” is a boy aged 15 years. He is full of life and energetic. As he goes about feeling good for being alive, he comes to the realization that death and an end to every living being is inevitable. This is a realization that was elicited by the death of the duck which was quickly consumed by the ants. The skeleton of the duck revealed that it also had a broken leg meaning that it was already injured before being killed by the ants. The theme of the story is death and uncontrollable events like fate.
The death of the duck is an example of how everything has an end. He also came to the realization that the duck did not have control over its fate of being killed and eaten by ants after being injured. This was a sign for the boy that some situations in life do not have a way out, like death for the duck. ‘I can’t stop it. There is nothing I can do.’ He also realized that the duck was a quite a harmless creature but its nature could not prevent it from being killed by ants which also did it innocently.
The boy came to the realization that he would not have control over his life as he thought he did. The duck died while he watched and he could not help in any way. This made him realize that good will is not enough to survive in the world. His careless happiness was going to end at some point. ‘He was clean crazy, yelling mad with the joy of living and a superfluity of youth.’ He realised this when he encountered the duck while he ran and he was suddenly sad about its death yet moments earlier he felt invincible to the world. ‘I contain the world. I can make of it what I want.’ He even though that the world would adjust to his desires, he quickly learned that was not the case.
To conclude, the theme of death and living things being alive temporarily is well written. Using a young boy full of energy helps connect to the audience. The high energy at the beginning of the story raises the spirit of the reader and the death of the duck brings it down. This is because the reader feels the sadness engulfing the boy as the story develops. Death in human beings is inevitable.
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