Friday, 30 December 2011

Excerpt from "The Poisonwood Bible"

"When I go with them [family visiting America from Africa] to the grocery, they are boggled and frightened and secretly scornful, I think. Of course they are. I remember how it was at first: dazzling warehouses, buzzing with light, where entire shelves boast nothing but hair spray, tooth-whitening cream, and foot powders...
"What is that, Aunt Adah? And that?" their [son] Pascal asks in his wide-eyed way, pointing through the aisles: pink jar of cream for removing hair, a can of fragrance to spray on the carpet, stacks of lidded containers the same size as the jars we throw away each day.
"They're things a person doesn't really need."
"But, Aunt Adah, how can there be so many kinds of things a person doesn't really need?"
I can think of no honorable answer. Why must some of us deliberate between brands of toothpaste, while others deliberate between damp dirt and bone dust to quiet the fire of an empty stomach lining?

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