At the clinic the receptionist speaks to Wham in Lagan, which she does not understand after living in Australia or so many years, because she had forgotten her mother tongue. An example of her thoughts from the text: “l became aware of my vernacular deprivation in ’93, when I was a child. ” (p. 1, line 19-22).
In her conversation with the receptionist, the receptionist switched to English, which Wham understood. When the receptionist realized that they were actually from the same village, Wham did not have to pay for the consultation.This is when Wham has her first flashback from her first day at Namesake Primary School, Kampala, Uganda. Where she also did not respond to the teacher, because she did not understand the language. The teachers were not aware that it was Wham’s first day.
One teacher slapped Wham for not doing her homework, and the teacher thought that, slapping Wham, was the right thing to do in the situation. This is an example of the cultural differences built on ethnocentrism and pre-understood prejudices (p. 7, line 8). Wham’s classmates apologies for not having told the teacher that Warm was new.The downfall is that her classmates accept her.
As mentioned earlier she is also called “bambini” (p. Line 7-11), which is an example of how others saw her; “a girl who does not have both feet on the ground”. Also the teacher called her well mannered, as she was brought up differently than others living in Uganda. In the end of the story, she changes her perspective of life, and they start to accept Wham and her differences, and there is a clear sense, that she feels more at home. Here is an example from the text; “l resolved never to come back to school again.But then, as soon as the teacher ended her class, the children sitting around me started eying sorry and offering me sweets and telling me how I’d get used to the beatings and all. Suddenly, I was making friends.
The children were no longer scared obtaining to me. This began my orientation into my country, Uganda”. (p. 7 line 9 – 13). This is an important part of the text, because she processes her feelings of being more accepted by others. Wham came across many cultural differences in Uganda, and she found Uganda horrible at first.
(p. 7, line 14).She thought about many things that were different from Australia, and she thought that everything was so dated; The walls were dirty, and you could see where the blue paint had been chipped at by enthusiastic kids. There were no cupboards, no teacher’s desk, no carpet, no sleeping corner, no tiles. The room held only children, benches, a cemented floor and a huge, old blackboard positioned at the front. Everything was so dated” (p.
1, line 24 – 28). She even says that she could not understand her new surroundings (p. 2, line 8). She also even asked, “where is the fridge? , because the surroundings were different in Australia. She also encountered many barriers; age barriers, educational barriers, gender arises, but she says that none made her feel as alienated as the language barrier (p. 3, line 8-1 1). She said, “l can ‘t break into certain social circles because of this barrier. Either I’m tying to break into people’s lives, but they shrink from me because they don’t understand me or I’m avoiding people because limp too ashamed to reveal that I don’t understand them” (p.
3, line 1 – 4). The important thing is that she learnt from them, and they learnt from her.She leant e. G. To speak Lagan, and they leant things from another culture (p.
7, line 30-36). The title “Legal Alien” refers to the way that Wham experiences her life. The adjectives for the word “alien”, are defined like this: belonging to another country or people: foreign, strange, not natural. People have also defined an alien as; different, a person who is not included in a group, an outsider, a creature from outer space, a person who is not a citizen, or a subject who owes his allegiance to a foreign country. 1 2 This fits my perspective of what an alien is, as all these definitions fit Wham.