Term Paper: Sandra Street by Michael

Pages: 6 (2512 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Teaching  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] It is after this incident with the teacher that Steve wakes up to the loveliness around him. He now sees the fruits on the mango trees, the blossoms having turned into fruits over the summer, he sees the fowls as being free, the women as being sociable to each other, and the rain as being full of hope for the future. Mr. Blades has another conversation with Steve now and when he asks him about the bananas that Steve had hidden among the immortelle roots on the other side of the riverbank, Steve invites his teacher to come with him to retrieve these fruits. The teacher accepts and they go along to get the ripened fruits. It is now that there is a lot of pleasing imagery in the story. The author describes the bright sunshine pushing away the rain clouds, leaving behind some evidence of rain in the small puddles along the roadside. The cocoa leaves glisten with the moisture from the rains and the hills are as if enchanted. The cyp among the mango trees is described as being the color of blood, a life giving material.

When the bananas are finally uncovered by Steve, he is bitterly disappointed that his teacher, instead of praising him, berates him that bananas are all that he sees, and not the other important and lovely things around him. It is here that we understand the author's viewpoint that there is always more than what you actually see in everything around you. Careful observation and attention to the surroundings will give a person insight into a great many more things than what he receives at present. Most people, the author feels, also want more than what they have, instead of being content with, or even trying to enjoy what they have already. Steve, the student is taught this important lesson by his beloved teacher, but he does not actually understand it till the end of the story. Some autobiographical elements are definitely present in this story.

Many feel that Michael Anthony is writing about his own experiences in this story; the story itself may be about the seaside village that he grew up in, Mayaro, on the southeastern coast of Trinidad. A symbol of an ideal living for the author, he bases most of his stories on his life experiences during the time when he was living there as a young boy. His admiration and immeasurable love for the place is readily evident in any reading of his stories. The story, 'Sandra Street' is full of imagery wherein the author virtually makes the reader experience the place as if they were actually present there. The imagery of the rain clouds, the mango blossoms, the sunshine on the hills all paint a beautiful picture that makes the reader participate in the feelings of the boy, Steve, and feel empathy for him when the teacher berates him, since we are also in a similar position wherein we fail to appreciate what we have and crave for what we don't have.

Steve is painted as a real human being; one of us, who goes through life in a state of conflict and defense for all things that belong to him. The conflict between boys of Sandra Street and boys from the other side of town that had been created inadvertently by the teacher is successful in making Steve realize that his place is, in fact, the most beautiful among all other places. Steve exhibits human tendencies of anger, fright, pride, confusion, and love for his home; these are all basic human qualities and help the reader identify with Steve in his trials and tribulations in his class with his teacher, Mr. Blades. He is, in fact, a very real person.

The author, Michael Anthony, succeeds in alerting people to what they must appreciate and what they must denounce. The author wants to stress the fact that a person should never forget his roots, the place where he came from. They should exhibit pride of place. They should also be happy with what they have and not crave for things that may be out of reach in every way. There should be no comparisons made between what is in hand with what is not in hand, or rather, with what other people have that they don't. The author also stresses the importance of paying attention to what is happening around them.

Observation' and 'paying attention' is what he advises the young Steve to do, if he wanted to stay happy and satisfied with what he had. (All the beauty of the mango trees, the bright sunshine upon the river, the small puddles of water and the steam arising from them, the sun dappled trees of the forest, etc.) People, in the same way, must observe what is around them that will make them happy, instead of looking at what others have and therefore not only degrading what they have for themselves, but also depriving themselves of the pleasure that would be found if they could appreciate all that they had. The boy, Steve, learns all this towards the end of the story, but not fully. He still has to learn to appreciate Sandra Street and be happy with all that he has in his small town where he happens to be living.

Michael Anthony writes simple stories about life in Trinidad where he lived as a young boy. Perhaps this is why he writes almost all his tales with the view point of a young child, as seen by the child who has a great many things to learn in his life before his experiences replace the thirst or quest for knowledge. The author talks about the things that would ultimately matter to a human being in his life's journey and this he does by beautiful imagery and wonderful words.


Anthony, Michael. "A Giant among Us." Retrieved at http://www.nalis.gov.tt/Biography/bio_MichaelAnthony_author-historian.htm. Accessed on 03/22/2004 [END OF PREVIEW]

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Sandra Street by Michael.  (2004, March 23).  Retrieved May 23, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/sandra-street-michael/5582664

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"Sandra Street by Michael."  Essaytown.com.  March 23, 2004.  Accessed May 23, 2019.