We spoke in class on Monday about the role of names, and being nameless play in the identity of an individual or a representative of a group; an idea. As the reader observes the relationship between the 'boy' as and the 'girl', it becomes more and more difficult to conceive the loving bond between them. There is so much vigorous passionate sex between the two, and the pages a are simply riddled with 'I love you's'. They seem to love each other... in spite of everything about one another. The time between their sex is haunted with silences and scarred by fights.
He loves her, yet he resents her promiscuous past. He wants what he can't have, he expects her to give him something that he wouldn't give her. They have their lust, and their passion, but truth be told and she admits that she has had passion, and she has had sex before. So what does she give him? She loves him, but his distance is awful, his inability to prove his love and in a sickening sense at the scene of the party she wants him to prove his madness for her. When all is said and done, the tests each side lay for the other deteriorate their relationship instead of fostering it.
They break each other instead of breaking the barriers that separate them. They plaster their relationship with 'I love you's' to cover the silence in between their physicality. As far as identity goes, they do not understand one another as people, only as the things they see in one another. She sees race, she sees hatred, singularity, isolation, and a shattered culture and home. she most certainly grows to understand those things, but she does not understand singularity, isolation, his past, his family and most of all his fears. The same goes for him. He steps outside of himself for a time, he grows to understand and interact with white people. he learns to give, he learns to exist outside of his racial identity and presumptions and extend outward into New Zealand society, yet none of it is given to her.
They seek definition and closure form one another. They won't change, but want to be accepted into cultures and lives which they do not fit. The issues between people in a relationship are always real. Who people are define them, where they come from make them who they are and to some degree this falls into out notion of what a homeland is. Without understanding where one comes from, and how they got there how can they understand who they are? Both the boy and girl receive news about their families, about their pasts, and make realizations about who they are even late in the story before and after they split up. they try to give themselves to one another but they don't know enough about what to give.