Honors English 9 - period 2
Chanda’s Secrets Essay
When people living in sub-Saharan Africa contract a virus such as HIV, it can become three times harder to treat. HIV causes the disease AIDS which damages the body’s immune system making it hard to fight off sickness and infection. An estimated 1.2 million people died from this epidemic in 2010, and a little fewer than two million were infected with HIV. Chanda’s Secrets takes the theme of the individual and society, a story centered on a 16 year old girl living in Africa where many people in the country suffer from AIDS. Allan Stratton sends the message that a person needs to see they’re for who they really are and not by what other people judge them for, in this story’s case Esther and Mrs. Tafa.
Excellent or inferior seems to always be the way to categorize neighbors, but in a sense Mrs. Tafa comes right in between. “Mama’s too kind. Mrs.Tafa doesn’t have a problem: Mrs. Tafa is a problem. She’s so puffed up on herself, I picture her turning into a hot air balloon and sailing into the sunset.”(Stratton 31) In the beginning of the story she first came off as a little-miss-know-it-all, snooping in everyone’s personal business, especially Chanda’s. She always talked about how Esther is setting a horrible influence on Chanda. Mrs. Tafa was always gossiping too, and the main topic usually Esther. “All I know is, Mrs. Tafa would like to run the world. Since she can’t run the world she’s decided to run our neighborhood. Especially me and my family.”(Stratton 29) By the end though Mrs. Tafa became a new person, seeing how Chanda stood up by her mama makes her relate to the time her son was tested positive for AIDS.
Chanda’s family was not the only people she had to worry about. Chanda’s best friend, Esther, had turned to prostitution in a desperate attempt to survive and reunite her own family, even if it meant getting AIDS. What drove Esther to do this was thinking it was...