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What lesson does President Obama learn by "going home" at the end of the book?

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chapulin | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 18, 2009 at 2:21 AM via web

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What lesson does President Obama learn by "going home" at the end of the book?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 18, 2009 at 2:56 AM (Answer #1)

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As President Obama goes back to Kenya at the end of the work, he begins to understand the implications of his background and his heritage.  In seeing life in Kenya, he grasps the difficulty of life and also the challenges that his father had to endure in his own life.  For a son who never knew his father, this moment where he stands at his grave and begins to conceptualize both the difficulty of his father's voyage, it is a pivotal moment as it reconfigures the view of his own past.  At the same time, the son understands his own purpose of being and realizes that the unsettling emotions and experiences that might have been present in his life is something that can animate him as he seeks to fulfill the legacy of his heritage and background.  It is a moment in going back home that allows the then- legislator to be President that offers epiphany and motivation, realization and understanding.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 18, 2009 at 2:52 AM (Answer #2)

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Barack Obama's book "Dreams From My Father" is largely about his struggle to deal with his multi-racial background and the African father he hardly knew.

Because Obama's father left the family when Obama was 2, and because Obama was raised by his white mother but looked "black" he had a hard time figuring out for himself who he was, so to speak.

By going to Kenya at the end of the book, Obama comes to terms with the black side of his heritage.  He comes to understand it more deeply and he comes to realize that he is truly connected to his African father and family.

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parama9000 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted March 31, 2014 at 1:10 PM (Answer #3)

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He understands how his father had came so far and the difficulties his father had faced when he did not have the opportunity of meeting his father.

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