Date of Award
University or Center
Atlanta University (AU)
Dr. David F. Dorsey, Jr.
The conflicts of cultures are one of the most conspicuous elements that dominate the African novel of 1950 and 1960.
In Chapter I, Chinua Achebe (of Nigeria) is represented by his early three novels only, Things Fall Apart, No Longer at East and Arrow of God. In these three books, the conflicts are basically cultural. For Achebe’s main concern is to defend and correct the African cultural image which has been stained and misunderstood as a result of a foreign occupation.
In addition, Achebe has dealt with other minor conflicts, such as religion, politics, education, individual and collective conflicts, war, and tribal conflicts. All these elements are carefully handled through characterizations, themes and language.
Chapter II deals with Cheikh Hamidou Kane's (of Senegal) only novel, L'Aventure Ambigue. Here the conflicts of cultures are primarily based upon the Islamic teaching that desperately conflicts with the rational and materialistic French system of education. Unlike Achebe, Kane has handled the cultural clashes through a philosophical medium.
Chapter III is devoted to the Cameroonian novelist, Ferdinand Oyono. In his novels, Une Vie de Boy, Le Vieux Négre et La Médaille and Chemin d’Europe, the conflicts of cultures are focused on the hypocrisy of the Christian church and its missionaries, the French officers, and especially the French policy of assimilation.
Unlike both Achebe and Kane, Oyono has chosen laughter and satire as a medium for his writing.
Despite all of their differences, Achebe, Kane and Oyono have written successful novels out of the conflicts of cultures.
Saber, Ahmed, "The conflicts of cultures in the African novels of Chinua Achebe, Cheikh Hamidou Kane and Ferdinand Oyono" (1976). ETD Collection for AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library. 2152.