Symbolism In The Moerangi

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In the Moerangi section of the novel, each character’s psychological symptoms of an emotionally scarred past begin to surface in dreams, and a call for healing breaks into the narrative. Simon is in contact with a mysterious ‘little brown man with blue lines across his face who seems to sleep in the floor’ (176) and who ‘smiles sadly at him’ (251). And Kerewin tells Joe of her strange dream after finding an ancient Maori pendant by the reef; a great non human voice told her to dig when it cried out ‘Keria! Keria!’ and although Joe reminds Kerewin that this is ‘the call of peace, the ancient one’ (254), she is at a loss to interpret the dream. It is Simon’s ‘groggy kind of dream’ (203), however that becomes the symbolic story of the Moerangi…show more content…
His music is like a wave ‘of sound and light and quick joy’ lifting the darkness of the hole to let them recuperate: ‘it steadies, stays, before the motion of descent can begin’ (203). Kerewin and Joe watch him and happily turn towards each other, ‘but when they look back, their faces waver and change, and the wave begins to move, faster and faster, and the light is turning to night’(203). Voices echo over his silent screaming and Simon is sent down into a flood of blackness. The dream seems to be both a recollection of the past and a foreshadowing of the future. It recalls the mystery of Simon’s past when a haunting voice would murmur endearments all the while the hands skilfully and cruelly hurt him’(5), a pattern curiously repeated in Kerewin’s ironic words and equivocal phrases accompanied by a caring pat on the shoulder or Joe’s loving words before or after giving Simon a hiding. Simon tries to breathe life into the relationship between Kerewin and Joe, but the result is ambiguous. Simon’s dream also foretells coming events and predicts that the tense alliance among the three of them must be…show more content…
To the old man, the Kaumatua (a Maori elder), Joe is the fulfilment of a prophecy. All his life he has been waiting for ‘the stranger, digger and broken man’ of his grandmother’s prediction, to whom he is to pass on guardianship of an ancestral canoe, a sacred stone, and the little god who ‘broods over the mauriora( talisman or symbol of that secret and mysterious principle protecting the mana(power)of people, birds, land, forests,whatever) ’(363):’the heart of this country’(364). The little god is narrative linked with and possibly identical to the ‘little brown man’ that Simon saw at Moerangi and the Kaumatua holds the clue to a part of Simon’s mysterious past. Through the broken man, Joe’s stories about his son, the stranger and his woman friend with her peculiar dream that told her to dig, the Kaumauta knows that ‘ the bone people’ have been found. Joe becomes the new keeper or watcher and rediscovers his Maoritanga, even if, as the Kaumatua acknowledges, ‘ it must seem very strange to you, a young man from the world outside, that someone has been waiting for you from before the time when you were

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