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3 Themes In The African Child by Camara Laye

Photo is from goodreads.com

About The Author

Camara Laye through this autobiographical novel paints a picture of what it is to grow up in a traditional African setting. Camara Laye (1928 - 1980) is a novelist from Guinea. He was born in Kouroussa on the 1st of January, 1928 but died in Dakar, Senegal on the 4th of February, 1980.

About The Themes

Let's examine three (3) vital themes in the novel "The African Child" by Camara Late.

  • Theme of Culture

Culture here emphasizes African origin in its pure nature. Relationships, ideologies, rituals, festivities, harvests, religions, etc. It is such culture that shapes the actions of the characters in the novel. Laye's father wards off evil forces with his pot of charm while holding firm to his believe in the snake as link between him and his ancestors.

  • Theme of Motherhood

Motherhood is cherished a lot in Africa. Besides the fact that becoming a mother is every lady's dream, motherhood in Africa is a broad subject which Camara Laye only chip the iceberg in the novel "The African Child".
She must be able to shoulder the responsibilities of motherhood such as caring for wards and husband, maintaining the home in her own feminine way, etc. In the novel, she helped with a lot of social problems such as rebuking the witches in the community.

  • Theme of Supernatural

There are many instances of supernatural in the novel "The African Child" by Camara Laye; all to depict African believe system. In terms of snake, charms, bestial lion and so on which are spiritual symbols to show that Africans believe in ancestors and deities as support to the living mortals.
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Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)
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