What is the purpose of chapter 10 in Beka Lamb?

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Chapter 10 of Beka Lamb reveals Beka sitting with her mother, Lilla and Granny Ivy as Greatgran Straker's funeral takes place. Greatgran Straker, Beka's mother's grandmother was Beka's confidante, always encouraging her to be herself and to create a place for herself in the world. Chapter 10 gives the reader an insight into "the old people that remember things from the time before." The whole community either observes or participates as it is customary to understand details of the person who has died and his or her family. A funeral draws the community together more than most other occurrences.  

The reader is exposed to Granny Ivy's political opinions as Aunt Tamara, she feels, does not dress appropriately and is far too Spanish for her liking, having been working in Honduras. There is further tension between Emilio's mother; Emilio being Beka's best friend Toycie's, boyfriend; and Toycie's guardian and the difficulties surrounding their relationship. Toycie's pregnancy will result in tragic circumstances which Beka struggles to cope with. 

Chapter 10 thus highlights the growing differences between old and new beliefs and customs and the difficulties between meeting cultural requirements and becoming one's own person. 

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