The Values of an Author “All values are important” (Powell ‘Persons Quotes’). Values influenced by different aspects play an important part in an author’s novel. In Eric Walters’ novel, Walking Home many values are evident. Eric Walters novel, Walking Home, is set in Kenya during the 2007-08 Kenyan Crisis as two orphans are traveling across the country to find a new home after riots take the lives of their family. It is clear that Eric Walters incorporates several aspects of culture, social and political influences into his novel Walking Home, which become evident through the exploration of Walters’ values of courage, selfless service and ethnicity. Eric Walters’ particular aspect of a cultural influence in his novel, Walking Home has become apparent through his value of courage which can be depicted through Eric Walters journey and the main protagonists in the novel. Eric Walters has the ability to obtain courage in the same way as the protagonists by walking along the same path that Muchoki and Jata, the main protagonists. Walters portrays courage through Muchoki and Jata as well. Walters explains this journey by stating, “In the summer of 2011…we walked the route traveled by my characters Muchoki and Jata” (Walters Author’s Note). In other words, Eric Walters has the opportunity of experiencing exactly what the main characters are. Walters acquires the ability to walk miles in their shoes to better comprehend his characters, in which he develops courage as he faces many situations that require bravery. Consequently, the author is able to transfer his value of courage that was obtained throughout the journey to his main character, Muchoki. As Muchoki is struggling with mental troubles, he declares, “But I couldn’t show the fear” (Walters 109). Throughout the journey, thirteen-year-old Muchoki is acting as both mother and father to Jata, his younger sister, who had to face many obstacles in order to find a new home. Muchoki is burdened with many fears, which at times it is seemed impossible to complete the journey. However, Walters has given Muchoki a value of courage, which is obtained through Walters experiential observations to the very same expedition. Muchoki is able to undergo and face danger and pain, in which his value of courage is portrayed. Furthermore, Eric Walters value of courage is portrayed through his youngest protagonist, Jata as well. As the journey to find their new home is ending , Muchoki states, “She was as brave as I was pretending to be” (Walters 235). Muchoki is referring to Jata, as she was the most courageous throughout this particular journey. Throughout many situations, Muchoki is “pretending” he knows what he is doing and is strong in order for Jata to believe they are alright. However, as a young child without parents, Jata never complains or argues with her brother, her only parent. She is able to face and endure pain and danger just as well as her older brother. Thus, Eric Walters aspect of cultural influence of his value of courage has become apparent through his characters and his ability to experience what his characters are; however, Eric Walters values of selfless service and ethnicity influence this novel. Selfless service has a huge social influence on Erics Walters’ particular value of selfless service in his novel Walking Home which can be depicted through Eric Walters organization and his characters that obtain the same value. Firstly, Walters has created a charity that assists orphans and vulnerable children in Kenya. Eric Walters and his “..wife Anita find themselves running the Creation of Hope orphanage, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the front line work, thanks to the 30 hours of labour they put into the effort every week” (Thomas ‘Brampton Guardian’). Walters works incredibly hard to assist these children and through this charity, in which his selflessness can be depicted. Next, Walters portrays this value of selfless service through his character’s actions. As the main character, Muchoki, saw a man having trouble he declared, “He was leading a donkey and trying to pull a big cart laden with oranges up the hill” (Walters 192). Without thinking, Muchoki instantly helps the man with the cart as an act of selfless service. Even though Muchoki is consistently pressured of time, he does not think about himself as he helps the man. Finally, Eric Walters incorporates many situations in which his characters respond with selfless services. As Muchoki and a man are troubled by criminals, Muchoki declares, “‘I will not run and I will not leave you'” (Walters 200). In this specific state, Muchoki is at risk of his own life and his younger sister; however, Muchoki had acted selflessly. Muchoki puts his life at risk to save and protect a friend regardless of the consequences that can occur due to his actions. Many situations like this occur throughout the novel and Walters portrays his value of selfless service through his characters. Eric Walters particular aspect of a social influence in his novel, Walking Home, becomes apparent through his value of selfless service which is depicted through his organization and his characters; nevertheless, Walters particular aspect of ethnicity influences the author. Political violence, tensions and ethnic groups has an immense political influence on ethnicity in which Eric Walters depicts ethnic groupings and the impact of this specific issue on a nation through the portrayal of his value of ethnicity. Firstly, Walters’ paints a picture of the results that took place during the 2007 Kenyan post-election violence and tensions. Esther Lisanza, Winston Salem State University Ph.D., writes in an article, “Unfortunately, the…particularly in the view of the political and ethnic tensions that Kenya has experienced” (Lisanza, Walking Home). Walters’ shapes this novel to portray the ethnic issues occuring in Kenya due to the elections in which Kenya faces many hardships throughout this time period that troubles many ethnic groupings within the country. This results in violence between the different ethnic groups. Furthermore, Walters’ illustrates ethnic grouping tensions and political violence as the main protagonists travel across Kenya. A Kenyan soldier in the novel declares, “‘The politicians who should unite us as Kenyans divided us as tribes'” (Walters 63). This soldier is referring to the connection between political and ethnic associations. In other words, “These ethnic associations typically have political associations, meaning that political rivalries within the government become ethnic rivalries within the state as a whole”, as stated by Eric Walters. The politicians influence impacted the different ethnic groups within Kenya to act upon the ethnic groups that were not the same as theirs. As each politician belongs to a different ethnic group, many Kenyans are influenced by their respected leader that other ethnicities were not as superior as theirs. Lastly, political violence based upon ethnicity can be depicted through the acts of individuals belonging to different ethnic groups. To illustrate, a Kenyan had stated, “‘There are always criminals…but now there are many who are using this election as an excuse for more crime and more violence. What does stealing have to do with a political decision?'” (Walters 202). Many individuals use this political state as an excuse to act upon others in violent ways. Violence is committed by various ethnic groups towards other ethnic groups. Throughout the novel, Walters portrays this crime by making the main protagonists face situations that are based upon this political state such as violence due to their ethnic group. Eric Walters uses his value of ethnicity to illustrate how ethnic groups were affected by political violence/tensions. In closing, Eric Walters obtains many crucial values; however, the values of courage, selfless service and ethnicity are apparent in his novel, Walking Home. The main protagonists walk across Kenya, as does Eric Walters, in which this allows these individuals to obtain the value of courage through many experiences. These experiences have lead to the creation of Walters charity, ‘The Creation of Hope’, depicting his value of selfless service. Through his journey in Kenya, political influences of the value ethnicity become apparent. All in all, Walters uses his cultural, social and political influences to illustrate his values of courage, selfless service and ethnicity. Each and everyone has his or her own values, but what are the influences that one may have towards those values known?