Honeydew – I can just imagine the taste of cold, sweet, Honeydew? In Geoffrey Philp’s latest eBook, Marcus and the Amazons, Honeydew is the drink of choice among the Formicas and the Amazons. The Formicas and the Amazons represent the two main groups in an insect society consisting of Formicidaes and Aphids. Marcus and the Amazons explores the theme of oppression and the effects it has on the oppressed population, who have, in some ways, come to accept it as a way of life. The story focuses on the oppressed Formicas who are ruled by the larger and more numerous Amazons.
The protagonist of the story, Marcus, returns from the forest to save his captured love, Amy, and the lives of his fellow Formicas. However, Marcus is met with violent resistance from the mean Queen Victoria of the Amazons and her cruel crony, Captain Bull O’Grady. The story is universal. There are many examples in history where one group oppresses another. For instance, the captain of the Amazons, Bull O’Grady, brought to mind the openly racist commissioner of Birmingham, Alabama during the 1960s Civil Rights movement, Bull Connor. I also easily connected our hero, Marcus, to past heroes such as the American Civil Rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., former South African President, Nelson Mandela, and the National Jamaican hero, Samuel Sharpe.
Marcus and the Amazons can be fantastic teaching tool for the classroom. The story is an ideal platform for many classroom discussions such as the effects of oppression, war, prejudice, racism, politics, and unity to name a few. For smaller children, it addresses themes such as friendship, loyalty, and kindness. It also raises important questions that are typically overlooked in today’s individualistic and passive society. However, the story also shows that all is not lost, and there is still time to correct the wrongs that exist. The Queen of the Formicas, Queen Amy, asked the most poignant of questions, “…do you have the courage to change?” I believe we do. In fact, let us all come together in peace. We can discuss these important issues of the day, as we sip from a cup of cool, delicious, honeydew. It would be a sweet start.
Photo: Fire Fly at Dusk by S. Bess
About the Author: Geoffrey Philp is the author of the novel, Benjamin, My Son and six poetry collections: Exodus and Other Poems, hurricane center, Florida Bound, xango music, and Twelve Poems and A Story for Christmas. He has also written a book of short stories, Uncle Obadiah and the Alien; a play, Ogun's Last Stand, and a children's book, Grandpa Sydney's Anancy Stories, Who's Your Daddy? and Other Stories in 2009, and Dub Wise. Check out Geoffrey's blog and find out more about his work and other Caribbean writers.
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