In a community where social status is everything and culture is a binding factor that defines every individual’s lives, it is often hard to define oneself. There are rules and norms to follow; there are considerations to give attention to, and there are hopes that simply cannot be realized. The story of Aquilinus Odong identifies well with the fact that surrounds community culture and how it affects one’s life and vision of himself.
When an Elephant Cries, the story shows how specifically important self-identity is about and how it can be controlled, sometimes even capped by the surrounding factors that affect the way a person sees his value. An individual becomes largely invested in himself when he knows that he is worth something; however, if from the beginning of his life, he was already given an idea that he is worth nothing, hoping for something better could be a source of frustration.
Coming from a remote village in Amuru and being born to parents who looked at his value differently because of the culture they live by, Aquilinus writes the story of a life he never thought could have come true. Considering where he came from, the things he has gone through, and the situations that he has been subjected to, Aquilinus have created a personal writeup of his story that he hopes would inspire others who may have big dreams and yet are doubtful of the possibilities by which their goals could ever come true.
The turn of events in Aquilinus’ life had certainly affected where he came to be at the point when he was already writing down the interesting adventures he has been in within his lifetime.
Even though he seemed to have been tossed and turned around by fate, Aquilinus knew that making the best out of every turn is what made it possible for him to finally realize the meaning and value of every situation that he had to go through as he was growing up.
The 1986 war waged by Musevini is what pushed him to move forward and get out of his comfort zone. As he went to Europe to seek refuge, he was given a chance to finally realize the accomplishment of his dream. In his first days of getting out of his comfort zone, he realizes the possibility of finally finding his worth and perhaps even the reality of his gal of getting into numerous adventures that will define his lifetime.
In his work, Aquilinus establishes the fact that when an elephant cries, it may not be immediately heard, but it will surely be valuable because elephants are gentle giants whose value never depreciates. Likening himself to an elephant who is crying identifies with the fact that he was able to realize the accomplishment of his dreams after having to endure a lot of discomfort and disbelief on himself for a long time. Nonetheless, as he followed through the turn of time, he gets to the point of going to an adventure that he has always dreamt of.
This inspiring read gives every dreamer a chance to be hopeful again and realize that at the end of it all, the struggles now would pay great in the end.