African Identities Analytical Essay by amandah

African Identities
Offers an analysis of characters and the issue of identity in literature by African writers including "Houseboy" (F. Oyono), "Mission to Kala" (Mongo Beti), "Song of Lawino" (Okot p?Bitek) and "Nervous Conditions" (Tsitsi Dangarembga).
# 27562 | 1,153 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2001 | US
Published on Jun 10, 2003 in History (African) , Literature (World) , English (Analysis) , Literature (Comparative Literature)

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The paper shows that in Tsitsi Dangarembga?s "Nervous Conditions", both Nyasha and Tambu experience confusion about their own identity after enduring substantial influence from the English. Unlike Tambu?s veiled self-delusions, Nyasha?s confusion about her identity is painfully obvious. The paper shows that Toundi, in the novel "Houseboy" by Ferdinand Oyono, asks questions which reveal that his feelings mirror those confused feelings of Nyasha. The character Medza, from Mongo Beti's "Mission to Kala", can be seen as a binding example of identity-confusion for all of the previously mentioned characters. The paper looks at the opposite side of the spectrum, with the character Lawino from Okot p'Bitek's "Song of Lawino". In each of the stories discussed in the paper, a sense of identity plays a substantial role in the characterization of those affected by the European colonization.

From the Paper:

"The character Medza, from Mission to Kala, can be seen as a binding example of identity-confusion for all of the previously mentioned characters. His struggle is not so much between being African and being a Frenchman, as they are between what his family wants him to become and what he wants to accomplish. When his uncle asks him the definition of blood, Medza replies with a literal definition. His uncle laughs at him stating, "I was thinking of it in a different way, a way that comes naturally to folk like our selves, who haven't been to school" (Beti 88). In this passage, Medza's uncle clearly draws a line between those who are educated and those who are not. His uncle meant blood as a term for kinship but Medza's education has changed his outlook on his relationship with his family, so his natural instinct provided a scientific response."

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APA Format

African Identities (2003, June 10) Retrieved August 17, 2017, from

MLA Format

"African Identities" 10 June 2003. Web. 17 August. 2017. <>