Novel Discussion On No Surrender Between The Main Characters

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade October 2001

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Since the beginning of time it has always been known for man and woman to coexist, the relationship between the two is very important because the survival of human life depends upon it. The values of life is shared by both man and woman, that is why people fight for their lives but in some cases people do not only fight for the freedom of their lives but for the freedom of someone else's life as well. `No Surrender' is an example of this state of mind, the characters Malenga and Hamish yet both from different backgrounds still have the same value for life.

Malenga is a black voluntary worker that was educated in Britain and had returned to her native home of Angola to support others who weren't as lucky to receive health and education.

Her values for life seem to be great and feelings for the survival of life especially for war-torn African children is overwhelming. Malenga has a strong sense for life which makes herself a strong individual, she is also helped with the her own belief that life will always find its way. Hamish is a white South African war deserter, the reason he abandoned the war is more clearer than the reason he joined the war. Hamish left the war because of the destruction his army was doing to the country and to the people who live in it. So he too has some value for life, throughout the novel Hamish boast himself to Malenga about the many trees and plants that he is able to eat and survive from. Another point is the fact that he joined the army, are you not fighting for a country and the lives of 15 million people? Although its not very noticeable Hamish values his life just as much as Malenga does.

Early in the novel Malenga and Hamish meet accidentally but it seems it was destiny, Hamish isn't aware of the situation when he is taken prisoner due to the unconscious state that he arrived in. However Malenga is hand cuffed to him and almost immediately she starts to nurse his wounds, even tough she completely doesn't know this stranger she pours all her efforts into helping him recover. When Hamish awakes he begins to work out little tactics for a plan to escape, Malenga and Hamish start to bond together having the same interest in ultimately staying alive. Malenga's main concern to begin with was herself but after meeting the only one other person who shares her pain in the same situation, her perspective changes. Malenga and Hamish start to instead of keeping the relationship strictly business they both begin to feel for each other and their feelings grow even stronger when they are separated at the UNITA army base. Malenga starts to make excuses to keep them from being separated, Malenga says "this hand will need a new dressing", to plead that they stay together. This relationship between the two gets stronger during the novel and is sometimes mentioned by the two characters that they love one another. By this time the survival situation becomes harder, Malenga is constantly doing foolish things like deciding not to fir back at troops when getting shot at. Malenga is totally against violence where Hamish believes in using violence against violence, that's what makes their situation more dangerous. Malenga, "I don't want any firing", Hamish, "we got to use the gun". Hamish is a soldier and is naturally always trying to be the hero, in the novel he is lucky to get away with most of the stunts that he pulls off. The novel get you thinking how could a person grow to love someone they have recently met and practically do anything in their power to save that persons life in such a small amount of time.

Tomas, Malenga's little brother saves her from getting shot and rescues her from the army base jail facility. It's reasonable to understand that relationship that he has with Malenga seeing that he is her brother, but for Hamish and Malenga to have such deep feelings, enough to die for is questionable. Had Malenga not have met Hamish she would not have motivated herself enough into standing up to the `Big man' and being brave enough to escape only to get caught again, was that because she wanted to go back and get Hamish? Hamish too, his feelings for Malenga motivated him to turn into the cocky soldier that he is and stand by Malenga as her protector, could the feelings he has for Malenga stop him from escaping himself. It is clear that they both care for each other, they're survival at the end is a success because of the motivation they give one another. They differ in little ways Malenga's love for life especially Hamish and her never say `die' attitude is what mainly motivates her whereas Hamish's sole purpose to survive was based on Malenga's well being. So Malenga's theory that life will find it's way proved to be motivation more than hope.