Not Logged in.
Book Jacket

The Shadow King


An unforgettable epic shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize, and named a best ...
Summary and Reviews
Excerpt
Reading Guide
Author Biography

Why do you think Hirut returns forty years later to give Ettore the letters?

Created: 09/16/20

Replies: 5

Posted Sep. 16, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2619

Why do you think Hirut returns forty years later to give Ettore the letters?

Why do you think Hirut returns forty years later to give Ettore the letters?


Posted Sep. 19, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jenbrinkley

Join Date: 04/05/16

Posts: 11

RE: Why do you think Hirut returns forty years later to give Ettore the letters?

I believe Hirut was ready to let go of some of her anger from experiences in the war. It may have freed her to move forward personally. She may have had some amount of empathy with Ettore even though they were enemies.


Posted Sep. 19, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 344

RE: Why do you think Hirut returns forty years later to give Ettore the letters?

They were on opposite sides of the war. Ettore had used her photos for propaganda purposes. Yet, when she saw him bury the box, there was a connection between them. Hirut keeping the box held her a prisoner to the past. Yet, she almost didn't give him his father's letter. I think it brought her. closure and him peace.


Posted Sep. 23, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bookfabulous's Gravatar
bookfabulous

Join Date: 08/01/19

Posts: 19

RE: Why do you think Hirut returns forty years later to give Ettore the letters?

I agree with Marcia that it was Hirut's way of making peace with the past. As an older woman, Hirut may now see how important it is letting go of the grievances associated with that box and returning it back to Ettore is releasing her from the toxicity that arises from clinging on to revenge and anger. But again Hirut has always realised that the secrets contained in that box were never hers to keep in the first place and therefore rightfully belonged with Ettore and it was her way of repaying him back for keeping her secret intact as well on that fateful night when Kidane and his men raided the Italian camp.


Posted Sep. 26, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 293

RE: Why do you think Hirut returns forty years later to give Ettore the letters?

Based on the interaction between Ettore and Hirut in the bus station, I don't think Hirut returned the letters for him especially. Even Ettore is aware of the fury she still feels when Hirut salutes him in the station. Once she has given him his things, Hirut orders Ettore to leave her country for good. By agreeing to meet Ettore with the box of photos, Hirut is acknowledging and then mourning those who died in the war, including a part of herself.

While waiting in the station, Hirut tries to close the box and not look at what is there. She experienced so much trauma in her life, even before the country went to war and she became a prisoner. Ultimately she does not-refusing a "quiet grave". She acknowledges the horror she lived and also feels pride in her role of guarding the Shadow King. When Hirut leaves the bus station, she is not the same person she was when she entered. She was reminded of her strength.

I think the timing was also important. Ethiopia was on the brink of a revolution. This time though, Ethiopians were choosing for themselves.


Posted Sep. 30, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
windellh

Join Date: 11/05/17

Posts: 59

RE: Why do you think Hirut returns forty years later to give Ettore the letters?

I think Hirut returns the photographs and letter to free herself from the demons of the past and the brutality of war. This was her way of coping with her own ptsd.


Reply

Please login to post a response.