Symbols in "The Whale Rider" Comparison Essay by belauan09

Symbols in "The Whale Rider"
The paper examines the symbols in Witi Ihimaera's book "The Whale Rider" and also in Niki Caro's film "Whale Rider".
# 113044 | 907 words | 0 sources | 2007 | US
Published on Mar 16, 2009 in Anthropology (Cultural) , Literature (World) , Film (Analysis, Criticism, Etc.)

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The paper compares the symbol of the umbilical cord in Witi Ihimaera's book "The Whale Rider" with the symbol of the rope in Niki Caro's film "Whale Rider". The paper shows how these symbols are portrayed differently in each of the works, as well as how they share a similar connection with the characters of Kahu and Pai.

From the Paper:

"Though the symbolisms behind the umbilical cord and the ropes have certain similarities, they also hold many differences. One main factor that differentiates the umbilical cord from the ropes is that the umbilical cord remains as one piece and remains safe underground, whereas the ropes break during both instances that they are used in Whale Rider. It can be inferred from this that Ihimaera is trying to convey that the Maori people's culture is fading and that the umbilical cord is a source of life, a life that will ultimately be brought to the Maori people through Kahu. The location where the umbilical cord was buried also holds a meaning that relates to society today; the girl's umbilical cord was buried in front of the meeting house (23), which can mean that women are moving closer and gaining control of the things that were once strictly for men. Caro conveys the same meaning of life through Kahu but in a different way; the rope serves as a form of weakness that is found in Maori culture because the rope used to save the whale, also signifying Maori life, break (121)."

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Symbols in "The Whale Rider" (2009, March 16) Retrieved September 18, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Symbols in "The Whale Rider"" 16 March 2009. Web. 18 September. 2019. <>