Culture Adoption in Wole Soyinka’s and Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Novels

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Colonialism versus Origin Within Wole Soyinka’s and Tsitsi Dangarembga’s intricately weaved novels, both pieces of literature successfully intertwine to portray the estrangement and hardships dealt with through the main characters in settling within a separate environment apart from their origins; culture and adopting the colonial mentality which is imposed upon them. There is a negative portrayal of the colonial mentality that manifests onto the African society. There are three major categories within these two texts displaying the characters that forget that they play these roles within society as puppets of colonialism, those who rebel against the invading culture that seems to threaten their sense of identity and lastly those who choose these roles and carry them out. These categories bring emphasis upon the very distinctions and gaps that are created because of colonialism and the immense impact that two cultures can bring upon individuals. The main characters within both novels compose of Nyasha, Tambudza, Maiguru, Babamukuru, Olunde, Elesin, Joseph and Amusa. Nervous Conditions and Death and the King’s Horseman brilliantly convey the immense differences between the English and the African culture and the negative impact that adopting these differences can have on the human conscious. This assimilation towards colonialism can also consume the characters and drive them to the brinks of insanity, as they cannot escape this tragic fate when they are aware of their circumstances and their surroundings. The intensity of the agitation felt from the characters to the readers ascends to a point where the inner and outer conflicts of the characters struggles are made clear. Both these writer’s works are complimentary to one another as they cleverly articulate and demolish the idealism that was created that the colonialists were good for the country and there are other perspectives presented through the protagonists. It is critical for some of these characters to cling onto their culture as a means to get in touch with their past and a sense of fixed identity that they can call their own. It is easy to forget the circumstances of a situation when an individual’s life revolves and becomes assimilated into a new lifestyle and adopts a new culture. These are the tragic characters that have fallen deep into the colonial mentality that is constantly imposed upon ... ... middle of paper ... ... are able to combine the two cultures together in order to receive these benefits despite extraneous factors. Within Wole Soyinka’s and Tsitsi Dangarembga’s intricately weaved novels, both pieces of literature successfully intertwine to portray the estrangement and hardships dealt with through the main characters in settling within a separate environment apart from their origins; culture and adopting the colonial mentality which is imposed upon them. An important theme in Nervous conditions and Death of a King’s horseman is of remembering and forgetting ones own identity. There are three major categories within these two texts displaying the characters that forget that they play these roles within society as puppets of colonialism, those who rebel against the invading culture that seems to threaten their sense of identity and lastly those who choose these roles and carry them out. It is like tradition versus modernism whereas the English society is modern and the African society is portrayed as rural and past traditions. The split within the mental states of these individuals portray the immense impact that colonialism and origin can create within the mind state of an individual.

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