Type a new keyword(s) and press Enter to search

Ha Penny

             “Ha’penny, a short story written by Alan Paton, is about a young orphan who wants to be taken in by a family. Ha’penny is a believable character and is characterized directly by his background and indirectly by his actions and motivation.
             Ha’penny is a mosuto, which is a member of the Black South African people. He comes from Bloemfontan and twelve years old. He is naughty and uncontrollable but also clever. He lives in a reformatory with six hundred other boys. He is believed to have a “mother [who works] in a white persons house and he [has] two brothers and two sisters”, however, he was “with no relatives at all” (411). Although, he told others he had a family, he had made it all up. “Taken from on home to another,” he was really never taken in and never had a steady life (411). He always had different changes and experiences. Having been raised without the support of a family or discipline from a parental figure indicated that he was in a way driven to be an uncontrollable and naughty kid.
             Ha’penny is ashamed of being without a family with his indirect action he reveals his life as something it is not. “I thought you said Dickies, I said, I said Tickies, he said” (412). Ha’penny is a little nervous because he is afraid his mentor will figure him out. “No one might discover that he was fatherless and motherless”; moreover emphasizing that he is self conscious of what people will think of him, “no one in the world cared whether he was alive or dead” (412). Ha’penny who is very discouraged by this has the mentality that if you do not have a family you are not cared for or loved. His mentor who realizes all of this gets involved more and more and wants to be there for Ha’penny by making an extra effort to help him.
             Throughout the story it is revealed to the reader that Ha’penny is in need and desires a family; however, the family he desires to become a part of wants absolutely nothing to do with him.