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Water Earth Fire Air English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1113 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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My grandmother used to tell me stories about the old days. A time of peace, when the Avatar kept peace between the Water Tribes, Earth Kingdom, Fire Nation, and Air Nomads, but that all changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, only he could stop the ruthless firebenders, but when the world needed him most, he vanished.

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A hundred years have passed and the Fire Nation is nearing victory in the war. Two years ago, my father and the men of my tribe journeyed to the Earth Kingdom to help fight against the Fire Nation, leaving me and my brother to look after my tribe. Some people believe that the Avatar was never reborn into the Air Nomads and that the cycle is broken, but I haven’t lost hope. I still believe that somehow, the Avatar will return to save the world…

He was three the first time he bended. His mother had been trying to get him to go to bed when all he wanted to do was stay up and listen to more of his father’s tales of warriors, tiger-seal hunts, sailing on the ocean, and visiting far-off lands he had never even heard of. The boy started throwing a tantrum, yelling and pounding his fists and kicking his feet, trying in vain to make his parents keep him up. His mother shook her head and tried to pick the boy up, which caused him to beat the ground harder, where tiny cracks formed beneath the furs of the igloo. One last pound later, he found himself drenched, shock reflected in his wide blue eyes as well as in the faces of his parents.

It didn’t take long for Hakoda and Kya to realize that their eldest, Sokka, was a waterbender, the first born into the tribe since the raids on the South Pole stole away the rest of them. Sokka didn’t understand, at first. All he knew was that water tended to do interesting things whenever he was upset or exited. He didn’t know the danger he was in, the danger his entire family was in, especially since a year later, his baby sister Katara had gotten so upset with him over him taking her favorite doll that she caused a wave of water to erupt from the jug at the back of the igloo and drench them both. All he understood was that he and his sister were special, since neither of them saw anyone that could do anything like bend water.

He and his sister tended to play together instead, often getting into water fights that resulted in the both of them getting soaked from head to toe and trying to explain to an exasperated Kya that they had instead fallen into a pool of water. Katara was of course a natural, and seemed to effortlessly bend water to her will with a few gestures. Sokka however was more apt to cause accidents, and often lost in his fights with his sister with odd steps that seemed to make him trip up constantly.

Katara often tried to show her older brother the finer gestures that would help him control the water better, but often those missteps would cause him to mess up constantly. Katara joked that he didn’t need to add extra flair to his movements. Sokka grumbled that he was controlling the water, Sokka-style.

“Maybe you’re too excited, Sokka,” Katara suggested one day. Both of them were helping out the women hang strips of meat to dry. Sokka scowled at the idea of not being with the men of the tribe, but he decided that since they needed a strong pair of hands, it was fine that he was stuck here instead of off hunting with the men.

“I’m not exited, Katara. I’m just not as good a bender as you.” Sokka hung a strip on the line. “Besides, maybe it was a mistake.”

He turned and realized that his seven-year-old sister was glaring at him. Geez, what did he do now? “The spirits don’t make mistakes, Sokka. Gran-Gran said so herself.” Oh, that again.

“Well, maybe they did in my case. How else do you explain the fact that I can’t even get any of the basic forms down?” Sokka heaved a sigh. “Besides, I’m not even sure I even wanna bend anymore.”

The air around him suddenly turned frosty and Katara snorted. She threw up her hands in disgust and stormed off. Sokka tried to go after her, but ended up falling backward when his feet wouldn’t budge. Somehow, in her annoyance, Katara had managed to freeze his lower legs into the ice.

Sokka tried to pull his legs free, and when that didn’t work, he then attempted to bend the ice off of them. That was met with mixed results as his legs were freed from the ice, but not his feet. “Aw, come on! Katara!” He looked over at the other women, most of who were snickering behind their hands. Grumbling, he tried multiple times to bend the ice off his feet, and when they were freed, he stormed off. “Stupid magic water stuff…” he mumbled.

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For the next several weeks, Sokka avoided Katara whenever she would try and practice waterbending. It wasn’t that he was mad at her; it was just that he was madder at himself. It didn’t help that Katara still tried to drag him off to practice as well. It finally came to a head when he yelled at her to leave him alone, that he’d practice on his own.

This was not missed by their parents, however. Hakoda watched the two of them bicker over bending and sighed. He knew that it wasn’t right that Sokka was ignoring the one thing that he was born with, but he also knew that Sokka had a point. The boy was never going to be able to train as a waterbender as long as there were no masters around, and it hurt him to see both of his children essentially growing angrier with the other over the entire problem.

Kya was also watching and getting frustrated with the seeming hostility toward each other. They were family, and part of being Water Tribe was a close connection to family. Her mother-in-law had stated as such, and like it or not, the two of them had to resolve their differences or risk tearing the family apart.

However, it was when Kanna, their grandmother, had stepped between the two in their fight that they were finally able to resolve the problem. When both waterbenders had gotten into their most recent fight over the issue, the older woman snatched both of them by the ear and dragged them into their hut. “What is the matter with the both of you? I’ve seen tiger-seals with less hostility during mating season than what the two of you seem to exhibit toward each other.”

“He won’t waterbend!” Katara exclaimed, pointing one pudgy finger in Sokka’s direction.


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