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Charlene Su P1, Broken April Chapter 1

3. Comment on the way in which Gjorg carried out the shooting of Zef. What do you find interesting about the process?

Gjorgs shooting of Zef is ultimately the turning point in Gjorgs life - although not for the better. The action in itself sets off an unwanted yet unavoidable conclusion, Gjorgs death by the hands of one in the Kryeqyqe family, continuing the Kanuns revenge cycle. The shooting of Zef puts him in a vulnerable position and exposes him to his inescapable fate; the fact that he knows whats in store after he shoots Zef makes the process extremely different from the usual picture of a killer lying in wait for a victim. This is usually intense and suspenseful, since in a modern context, the result and consequences of a killing is typically not known. However, in Gjorgs case, he knows exactly what the consequence is, which is death, and by shooting Zef, he is resigning to his fate. This makes the process exceptionally noteworthy. Gjorg recognises the power of the Kanun and what he is subjecting his family as well as himself to if he does not follow the custom, and therefore forces himself to do the deed, however not without some self-evaluation.

Gjorgs self evaluation came in different forms - firstly the pathetic fallacy going on between the external environment and the the internal sentiments Gjorg had. The weather at this moment in time was described as cold and each time he moved his numbed legs a little he heard the desolate grating of pebbles under his shoes, and his parallels with the next remark, But the sense of desolation was really inside him. Another example would be that daylight was fading, followed by the line fearful or simply troubled, seemingly reflecting his state of mind, dark and somber. This is a mirroring of the external landscape within an internal setting to express the internal turmoil and state Gjorg is in, the contradiction between his personal desire to live through his life fully without being subjected to accept his fate, which is ultimately death and the Kanuns ruling that he was to be killed. Secondly, his own selfevaluation was being imposed onto inanimate objects - the pomegranates which were scattered through the brush-covered space on both sides of the road. This inflicting of the ability to judge onto inanimate pomegranates, that they, being motionless witnesses as well as scattered witnesses, seemed to have been waiting since midday to see what he would do, is displaying his self-conscience and his idea that his every move is being watched. This is reflective of Gjorgs fear of being judged by the society around him, especially if he did not

Charlene Su P1, Broken April Chapter 1 follow the Kanuns ruling; this is the force empowering the Kanun, that no one seems to dare to go against the ruling. Through this we can assume that the society is extremely oppressive and claustrophobic, trapped within the boundaries of the Kanuns ruling, therefore entrapping Gjorg within this endless cycle of death and revenge.

Also through the description of the environment, one can assume that Gjorgs physical numbness in his legs is due to the cold, however Kadare could also be hinting to the reader that the numbness Gjorg felt may not be solely physical, but also internal - that in addition to being physically numb, he is numbed within himself to believe the Kanuns system is right and should be followed, numbed within himself to this custom and therefore finding no reason to go against it no matter how reluctant or guilty he feels killing another person. Surprisingly, little emphasis was placed on the shooting itself, simply stating that he fired. In fact, the physical and mental preparations Gjorg had to go through to bring himself to do the shooting was more prominent, reiterating the fact that the shooting itself may not be of foremost importance to him due to the frequency of this custom; but instead the after-effect of this killing, which is the fact that he would be next in line to be killed. Even before he shot Zef, while he took the pre-emptive measure to crouch behind the ridge waiting for his target, Gjorg seemed extremely unsettled and troubled - all he wanted to do was run away from this accursed ambush. This contrasts with his final action, showing that he eventually succumbs to the pressure of the custom over his individual desire.

Imposed in a modern context, the process of Gjorgs shooting of Zef was idiosyncratic in a sense that he knew beforehand the shooting would be the turning point of his life, beginning a spiral downwards leading to his death and although hesitative and reluctant, he felt impelled to accept his fate through obeying the Kanuns customs over his personal inclinations.

Word Count: 800 words