The tale “The Man Who Sent Rain Clouds” depicts two cultural aspects involving Father Paul and the Native American protagonists. Only God will cause rain in the Christian world, but in the Pueblo world, it is every man’s responsibility to connect with the cloud people and start rain (Silko 2004). The characters in this short story depict the fight for dominance between the white society of Christians and the Pueblo people. There is a struggle between the two cultures’ unification. The core subject of this story is death and funeral rituals. Native American death rites vary from those seen in the Christian world. When his grandchildren find him dead, they prepare him for death as per their culture by tying a feather on his long white hair and doing some painting on his face, then wraps him in a blanket for burial. One of this man’s wives, Louise believes that the priest should come and sprinkle holy water on the blanket before they bury him so that he might not feel thirst in his journey. It is clear that though they haven’t accepted the Catholic burial rights, they still value the holy water to convince them that the old man will send them rain. Priest Paul, on the other hand, gets disappointed when he learns that he has not participated in the ritual of the burial but still agrees to go and sprinkle the holy water on the blanket wrapping the dead old man (Silko 2005). There is a cultural diversity demonstrated between Leon and Father Paul’s conversation it is so ironical that though in the Christianity world rain comes from God, Father Paul is also an agent of innovation in this Pueblo community, though he does not understand the significance of his actions in this burial. The people are happy that he has come and they are now sure that the old man will cause rain.
Multiculturalism is evident in the “Half and Half” story by Amy Tan, elements of two cultures are apparent. All the instances comprise of characters experiencing two halves almost in everything. The marriage of Ted and Rose was part American and part Chinese (Amy 2017). None of them fits in either culture or this cause a lot of struggle to have their marriage work. Ted’s mother is displeased that Rose is not an American while Rose’s mother is happy that the boy is at least not a Chinese. There is an evidence of a cultural difference between the families and how multiculturalism is all over in America. The marriage ends up later when the two cannot cope with each other due to these differences. She considers this to be fate shaped by half expectation and half inattention. Rose then loses faith in Ted’s love and starts evaluating whether life all about religion or luck. She remembers well that her mother too lost her faith in God and dumped her Bible under the table when their young brother drowned into the sea (Amy 2019). In this episode, a lot of mixed cultures is evident in the activities of Roses mother regarding her sons drowning. Rose recalls that after this tragedy, the next day with her mother they went back to the beach to find Bing, the younger brother. She had her Bible in hand, and she prayed to God that he might return Bing to her and threw her mother’s blue sapphire into the ocean to act as a sacrifice, though finally she was despaired and seemed to accept her son’s death. Rose had held a particular belief that children are predisposed to specific dangers at a certain age and especially Chinese despite her faith in god (Amy 2020). She appeases the ancestors for her to see her son and pours tea with sugar into the sea and Bing appears. The Hsu’s family believe that faith and luck had been on their side, but then their tragedies drift them to think that all was fate and not religion, an illusion but no luck.
The “Seven” story by Edwidge demonstrates a reunion of a couple who have been apart for seven years. The wife is to arrive from Port-au-Prince to NYC. Her husband has two jobs, a day janitor at Kings’ County Hospital and a night janitor at Medgar Evers College. The man is preparing his house to meet his wife and other men in the house have to get robes to cover themselves for the sake of his wife (Danticat 2084). They two have their secrets that they are hiding from each other, but they choose to honor each other’s privacy. He is so excited, but then he remembers that he has been having night outs with other women but warns the other men in the house that his wife should not know this but only about his two jobs. The story creates a picture of characters who are trying to cope up with their past lives and mistakes they did. The husband says that the contacts of women he has had for the past five years now do not matter to him since his wife is now with him (Danticat 2086). It is clear that he almost went polygamy yet he asserts they married before God and priest which is against polygamy. The wife opens for a man in their house after closing herself inside for three days, who happens to spend the night next to her and tells that is love. The two don’t want to open up the affairs they have had outside marriage, and this makes them live a life of cover-ups in order not to trespass in each other’s secrets.
The three short stories sum up the fact that multiculturalism has grown in America. The two critical issues here are the Christianity culture and rules regarding issues such as death rituals, marriage, and faith. The Native American want to hold on their cultural beliefs but still want to integrate some of the Christianity rituals to add to their confidence in their views.
Danticat, Edwidge. The dew breaker. Vintage, (2007): 2084-2091.
Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. Paris, France, Éditions Charleston, (2016): 2017-2026.
Silko, Leslie Marmon. “The man to send rain clouds.” An Introduction to Literature (1969): 2004-2007.