Chanda's Secrets vs. Blood Diamond
(Compare and Contrast)
Chanda's Secrets and Blood Diamond are both centered around the lives of those living in developing parts of Africa. Chanda's Secrets and Blood Diamond emphasize slightly different issues, but they both reveal the negative effects of globalization. Chanda's Secrets and Blood Diamond dig deeper into how globalization has further increased the gap between the rich and the poor and has created more negative issues than positive.
The main issue that Chanda's Secrets covers is the high rates of AIDs in developing parts of Africa. The main character, Chanda has to go through the numerous deaths of her family members (usually caused by AIDs) . However, Chanda cannot talk about these issues outloud. People around her in the neighbourhood believe that AIDs is a dirty and shameful disease. These steryotypical ideas cause Chanda to be secretive and always keeping her opinions and ideas of AIDs to herself. Not only does Chanda worry about her family's economic situation, but she also worries for her friend, Esther. Esther stands around, waiting for her usual "customers". Chanda knows what Esther does with the tourists who come to her, but cannot stop her. Chanda is always put into situations where she would have to take care of everyone when she is still a teenager herself. Chanda's Secrets helps the readers understand that many children in developing parts of Africa are put into situation as Chanda's.
In the movie, Blood Diamond, another issue that you would see in developing parts of Africa is emphasized. The labour for diamonds. Blood Diamond traces how a diamond from the grounds of Africa come to places such as North America or Europe. It talks of a specific family and how diamonds has effected their lives. Solomon, the main character in the movie has a good relationship with his son. Solomon always tells his son of how he will be a great doctor someday and talks of the great life that they will have in the future. However, everything is ruined when a group of soldiers (a savage group) raids their village. They kill without any exceptions and kill for no reason. Most of these soldiers are not grown men, but child soldiers. These children with guns shoot to kill, and slowly, signs of life begin to fade in the village. Luckily, Solomon's family survive but the family is divided up. Solomon is taken to a mining camp to search for diamonds and his son is taken to join the army to become a child soldier. Solomon's wife and daughters are able to run away and they end up in the second largest camp in Africa. Everything changes when Solomon finds a large, clear diamond. A diamond smuggler, Danny Archer wants the diamond and promises to help Solomon find his son in return. With the involvement of a female reporter, they find Solomon's son.
Chanda's Secrets and Blood Diamond emphasize slightly different issues but they show the same side of globalization. The con side. Both stories take place in developing parts of Africa and they show how the people of the Western society had negative impacts on the lives of the Africans. One of the thing that Chanda's Secrets and Blood Diamond share in common is, they both show how many people died from labour. Chanda's dad and brothers died in a diamond mine when there was a caving accident. They worked but had little income and when they died, the family received little money as a replacement of their loss. The same thing was happening in Blood Diamond. Able men were taken to a mining camp and were forced to work all day and all they got was food. These things are very common in Africa and Chanda's Secrets and Blood Diamond showed that. Another example of the similarity between Chanda's Secrets and Blood Diamond is, the number of prostitutes on the streets. In Chanda's Secrets, Chanda's best friend, Esther was a prostitute. Chanda tried her best to convince Esther out of it, but it didn't work and Esther ended up having AIDs. In the movie Blood Diamonds, there was a scene when prostitutes were trying to convince the diamond smuggler. The sentence that they kept repeating was, "I am AIDs negative" or "I am clear of AIDs". That really showed me how common AIDs was in developing parts of Africa.
However, not only were there similarities between Chanda's Secrets and Blood Diamonds, but they had differences as well. An example would be the difference between Solomon's son and Chanda. Although Chanda is a few years older than Solomon's son, it seems that she had responsibilities that he didn't. Solomon is always looking out for his son and always caring for him. The way I saw it, was that Solomon's son was spoiled. Of course if you compare him to the children in the Western world, he is nothing like a spoiled child, but the children in situations as he was, you would think that he would take more initiative in helping out his parents. I thought the story of Chanda was more realistic because it gives me a better representation of what a life of a child is actually like in developing parts of Africa. Another difference between the two was where the two families ended up. Solomon's family was lucky and with the large diamond, they were able to go to America. However, Chanda's family was not as fortunate. The economic level of Chanda's family did not rise and they were as poor at the end as they were in the beginning of the story. The story did not end as 'happily ever after' but was more realistic. Chanda's mom died of AIDs and so the family had to learn to keep living on without her.
Overall, I thought both stories were wonderfully told and had a great impact on the people who read or watched it. I think they were the light that people needed to realize that these are not mere stories but a representation of what is actually happening in other parts of the world. I think it brought a new light on the people to realize that some of the diamonds in the market are blood diamonds and lives were lost for these shining stones. I think people realized that anywhere in this gigantic world, in any country , in any village, people live on the same thing. Love. I think the people who read Chanda's Secrets, the people who watched Blood Diamond realized that love is really the main thing that keeps everyone going. I think that was the biggest similarity between Chanda's Secrets and Blood Diamond, that both families had people they loved and had people who loved them. I truely believe that without love, the world would not live to be what it is now. I think that was the biggest message that both Chanda's Secrets and Blood Diamond wanted to send out, and the biggest similarity between the two.