Call It Courage Questions and Answers
by Armstrong Sperry

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During what season does Mafatu set out on his journey?

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Mafatu is a young man who, due to his fear of the ocean, is a shame to his father, the chief of Hikueru island. His fear springs from having watched his mother drown when he was a young child. Because of this, he has always been possessed by a very abnormal fear that makes him an outcast in a tribe of islanders. Eventually, Mafatu realizes that the only way to conquer his fear is to face it head-on. In the middle of the night, he takes a canoe and sets sail without any direction or destination. He is almost immediately swept away by a storm, because Mafatu has chosen to set out on his journey during the season of storms. Mafatu evidently does this to better face his fear.

Call it Courage is a story that is set in the Pacific Islands in an unspecified ancient time. In the Polynesian region, the tropical storm season lasts during the warmest part of summer, or early January to mid-March. Because of the storm that immediately sweeps Mafatu away, we can deduce with a reasonable degree of certainty that he sets sail at some point during the Polynesian summer, at the height of tropical storm activity.

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