Call It Courage Questions and Answers
by Armstrong Sperry

Start Your Free Trial

Is it true or false that Mafatu's island looks like Hikueru in Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry? Is it true or false that Mafatu's attempt to make fire is a failure?  Is it true or false that Mafatu makes a cloth from the underbark of a mulberry tree? Please answer correctly. After you answer, please explain. Thanks.

Expert Answers info

dymatsuoka eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2007

write3,287 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Math

The first question is false; Mafatu's island does not look like Hikueru.  Hikueru, "the only land that (Mafatu has) ever seen, (is) as flat as his hand".  The island on which he lands, however, has at its center "a great single peak...trees (rise) green and fair, tier upon tier of them, from the shoreline into the foothills of the purple mountain".  Mafatu has come to a volcanic island, far different from his home, Hikueru ("The Sea").

The second question is also false; Mafatu's first effort to make fire on the island is successful.  He finds a firestick, "a piece of hard wood, bone-dry, as large around as his forearm".  He then finds a smaller piece of the same wood, and, moving the stick back and forth upon the hard surface of the smaller piece, he manages to coax a "wisp of smoke" from the wood dust that gathers.  He seizes a few twigs, and cupping his hands, he blows on the spark; Mafatu is rewarded for his strenuous efforts when a flame bursts into life ("The Island").

The third question is true; Mafatu makes a cloth from the underbark of a mulberry tree.  After removing the inner white lining of the bark, he wets the fiber and lays it on a flat stone, beating it with a stick of wood.  As the fiber spreads and grows thinner, Mafatu adds another strip, wets it, and beats it into the first one.  After repeating the process several times, he ends up with about a yard of "cloth" which he will be able to wear as a pareu.  It is soft and white, and before he returns home he plans to decorate it by painting a fine design on it with the dye of ava ("Drums").


check Approved by eNotes Editorial