Memories of Childhood- Theme & Title of the Chapter

By | July 16, 2023
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Memories of Childhood

                                                                                 By- Zitkala-Sa and Bama

Theme / Central Idea of the Lesson. Analysis of Memories of Childhood


The lesson ‘Memories of Childhood’ is a portrayal of two autobiographical accounts. One by American Indian woman and the second by a Tamil Dalit writer. Both stories highlight the women’s oppression, class barriers, racialism, discrimination and exploitation that tend to pull them down. Both the stories advocate the statement that seeds of rebellion are sown early in life.

Children may be young and innocent but they cannot tolerate injustice if they are determined.

Theme (2) :

‘Memories of Childhood’ depicts the fact that children are extremely sensitive to their surroundings and they react very strongly. Both the descriptions are about the protest strongly against the discrimination and indignities meted out to them. Zitkala-Sa, representing the Native American woman, condemns the dogma and evil of oppression. On the other hand, Bama criticises the evil of untouchability and caste discrimination.

This has a universal theme which highlights the reaction to the hatred and cruelty against the downtrodden discrimination on the basis of caste, creed and social hierarchy.  

Justify the title of (Memories of Childhood)

The title is well suited as the extract presents autobiographical episodes of two different girls living in distant places. Both the women belong to the marginalized communities, who look back on their childhood and reflect on their relationship with the mainstream culture. Both were victims of prejudice and oppression. They experienced indignation, sadness and outrage and were deeply affected by their unpleasant experiences of childhood. Both were strong women who fought against injustice. However, they both used the power of the pen to fight oppression.

Appropriateness of the Sub-Titles ‘The Cutting of My Long Hair’

 Zitkala-Sa was a Native American. She was taken away from her mother forcibly because the white people wanted the native Indians to adopt their culture. Zitkala revolted the way the Indian girls were forced to wear dresses in an immodest way. She was shocked to know that the school authorities were going to cut her long hair because in her community shingled hair was worn only by cowards. She hid under a bed in a large room. But when she was caught, she resisted by kicking and scratching. But she could do nothing when they pinned her to a chair and cut off her hair. But her spirit could not be suppressed. The women in her community were very particular about their hair. The loss of her hair was the worst indignity that she went through. The title is thus apt.

`We Too Are Humans’

On the other hand, Bama was a low-caste girl. She saw the upper caste people showing discrimination against lower caste people. They could not touch food and other items of the upper caste people. They had to work for them and bow their heads. Her spirit too revolted against this injustice. She felt terribly sad and agitated. She could not understand this inhuman treatment since she strongly believed that all are human beings. She wanted honour for all. Her brother Annan told her that she could do away with these indignities if she worked hard. Bama studied hard and stood first in herclass. Many people became her friends. The title aptly illustrates her journey compelling people to respect her.

Want to Read More Check Below:-

Memories of Childhood- About the Author

Memories of Childhood- Nutshell of the Chapter

Memories of Childhood- Short & Detailed Summary

Memories of Childhood- Main Characters of the Story

Memories of Childhood- Multiple Choice Questions in Quiz

Memories of Childhood- Important Extra Questions Short Answer Type

Memories of Childhood- Important Extra Questions Long Answer Type