Art as a Relfection of Life: A Discussion of Peter Godwin's "Mukiwa"

Essay by 007kikiUniversity, Bachelor's April 2006

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The relationship between art and life is very distinct; art reflects life as seen by the artist. It is a product of the creator's thoughts, emotions and experiences. As an author, Peter Godwin uses a precise choice of words to illustrate the main importance of his memories. He adds nothing to exaggerate his feelings or the situations to which he was exposed. Mukiwa is a literary work of art created by Godwin to carefully portray an accurate account of his history and gives only exact details to show his true inner reactions.

As a child, Godwin has many different experiences and emotions which he explores with a great curious innocence. The way he describes the events that occur shows what he specifically recalls being of importance at the time. For example, before oom Piet is murdered, his wife takes a picture of him with Godwin's father. This is the last image of oom Piet alive.

However, in Peter's final account of the picture he states, "(he) could see (himself) in the bottom left-hand corner of the photo, peeping out the car window" (5.) Rather than recalling the life that was lost shortly after the picture was taken, Peter focuses only on finding himself in the picture. Like most children, he did not have much regard for others when he could focus only on himself instead. If he would have been an adult and noted that his most prominent memory of the photo was finding himself in the corner, people would label him as selfish and heartless. However, by describing his thoughts so precisely, Godwin succeeds in showing the simple innocence of a young boy. He wants the audience to completely understand what he feels towards the situation. Even if his thoughts and actions are generally viewed as selfish and unacceptable,