Who is Moana in Call It Courage, and what are Mafatu's feelings towards him?

Quick answer:

Moana is a Sea God, and Mafatu is initially very scared of him as it was Moana who claimed his mother's life in the middle of a fearsome storm. In due course, however, Mafatu will overcome his fears and triumph over the Sea God.

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In Call it Courage, Moana is the great Sea-God of Polynesian mythology. The young Mafatu, who's already garnered the unwelcome reputation among his people of a coward, is absolutely terrified of it.

To be fair to Mafatu, however, he has every reason to be. During a devastating hurricane many years past, the crashing waves of the ocean claimed the life of Mafatu's mother. Mafatu was able to survive, but as one can imagine, he was psychologically scarred by the whole experience.

And yet, over the course of the story, Mafatu shows remarkable courage in dealing with the Sea-God by heading out to sea and embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. Mafatu knows that he must confront Moana and in doing so, he will be conquering his own deepest fears.

With each day that he lives, Mafatu grows more confident, believing that he is cheating Moana out of another victim. By the end of his journey, Mafatu's confidence is such that he feels able to shout out to Moana that he no longer fears him. For good measure, the young man even laughs at the Sea-God, a sign of how much his attitude towards him has changed and how much courage he's developed over the course of his adventures.

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