Once were warriors

Posted: September 3rd, 2013

Once were warriors











Once were warriors

  1. Race and class role

The Heke Family is from a race, which is characterized by traditional beliefs. It is an indigenous group from New Zealand. This is why they do not care about learning or embracing modernity. However, Jake and Beth were initially alcoholics but Beth changed. She considered changing for the better because of her traditional beliefs of Maori. Jake continued to be a alcoholic and careless man. This family was forced to live a low social status life because Jake did not work. He preferred to be an alcoholic at the expense of his family’s welfare. Their class had great influence on their children (Duff, 1995).

Grace admired the rich neighbors and was amazed by the difference in their lifestyle and that of their neighbors. Toot was also a drug addict and was chased from home. Her friend must be from a low class family too. This depicts low social class determines friends and other factors. The other two siblings ended up with miserable lives and one son is imprisoned. Low class makes Jake to makes with ill-mannered friends. One of his acquaintances raped her thirteen-year-old daughter. Grace felt miserable because she came from an inferior race and low social class. Her family was also devastated and she did not get the care she needed. All these reason lead her to committing suicide after she is raped (Duff, 1995).

  1. Gender ideology

Both male and female characters show different ways of dealing with pain. Jakes is alcoholic since that is how he chose to overcome his frustrations. He did not work so he could not provide for his family. He liked parties and wasting time with friends at the pubs. He is also brutal when he was drunk and one instance he attacked Beth. After he learnt his friend raped his daughter, he beat him up. This is a sign of relieving psychological pain but in the wrong way (Duff, 1995). Beth did not like her lifestyle of alcoholism and she resolved to stop. She decided to save the money and help her family to reform. This did not last for long because she went back to alcoholism. Mark was bitter about his life and sought comfort in a gang. He thought he would get love and care, which he lacked from his family. He was unfortunate because none of his needs was met. His brother sought refuge in petty crime and ended up in a youth prison.

Grace was optimistic and is the only one who attempted to be different from her siblings. To forget her worries and pain, she drew pictures and yearned to get education. She also seeks comfort from her best friend who is a drug addict. Toot was from a poor family and dealt with his pains by using drugs. Grace finally dealt with her pain by committing suicide. After she was raped, the pain became unbearable and she opted to end her life. There are differences and similarities of how male and females deal with their pain. Females attempt positive resolutions but men do not. In fact, they make the situation worse. It would be expected that Jake and Beth’s Children should try to get as better life. Grace tries to acquire education and she has interest in art. She is also concerned about the gap between the rich and poor and it might have been an inspiration to her (Duff, 1995).


Duff, A. (1995). Once were warriors. New York: Vintage International.



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