Running the Rift

In: English and Literature

Submitted By jennastertzbach
Words 721
Pages 3
Community defines a person and their beliefs. Jean Patrick is a prime example. Naomi Benaron picks apart the society Jean Patrick is faced with but through it all he stays true to his Tutsi name. In Running the Rift, Jean Patrick faces a lot of difficult decisions but will pick the one that helps benefit others of his heritage and not just himself. It started out early in the book when Jean Patrick stood up to his Tutsi name. “Jean Patrick said to his father, ‘Dadi, I am Tutsi.’”(Benaron 13). Jean Patrick grew up being aware of his ethnicity, but didn’t let it slow him down. When his coach wanted to give him a Hutu card, he felt guilty even after Uncle Emmanuel said he should get it. As they were talking he said “How can I? I’d be betraying my ethnie. Turning my back on you.”(Benaron 89). He had wanted his uncle to forbid him from getting the card, even if that meant he couldn’t win the Olympics. He couldn’t deal with the burden of lying about his heritage. “‘How can I suddenly be Hutu when every part of my face says Tutsi?’”(Benaron 90). Jean Patrick doesn’t understand why he should have it since it’s not his heritage. As things start to get bad for the Tutsi heritage again, Jean Patrick still embraces the race he was given. All he could think about was how his name somehow wasn’t on the Tutsi list, even after he got attacked he felt as if he should still be on the list. “He must apologize to Uncle because his own name was not on the list.”(Benaron 99). He felt as if he should have been on there with his family and the rest of his heritage. After Jean Patrick got his Hutu card he came across his brother. He could hardly bare to tell him. Out of everyone, his brother was the one he was the most scared of telling. “He tripped over his tongue to get the words out. ‘I’m sorry.’”(Benaron 110). Even though Roger did not care, Jean Patrick still “felt…...

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