There’s assumption of the dignity of his people, descendants of the black Sudanese, their pride in their way of life. There’s rational Mohammedanism thinly . Complete summary of Camara Laye’s The Dark Child. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Dark Child. Analysis and discussion of characters in Camara Laye’s The Dark Child.

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THE DARK CHILD by Camara Laye | Kirkus Reviews

Articles Duffy, Patricia D. Follow us to get updates from Inquiries Journal in your daily feed. Mamadou encourages his nephew to lae, even though Laye finds city life difficult and his schoolwork initially boring and simplistic.

They felt he had idealized village life, presenting Africans as happy, superstitious primitives, and totally ignoring the devastation wreaked on African cultures by the colonial system.

The “balance” she refers to is finding a middle ground of truth considering Laye’s bias and naive age, the Colonialism coloring his experience, and his experience weighed against other African writer’s coming of age chronicles. While these females are cast into the role of servant for the most part, it is interesting to observe the subtle ways in which they resist this societally dictated role for them.

The area featured in the memoir, known as Upper Guinea, lies in the Mande heartland.

Interesting demographic information from the few universities in the country, a good place to begin a comparison between Guinean and American universities. View a FREE sample. However, he knows early in his life that he will not be a laborer. The setting makes Laye’s life interesting because it is unique and simultaneously underscores universal themes of home, family, and growing up.

Implicit Negritude in “The Dark Child” – Inquiries Journal

But the marabouts must have given me all the help they could. He wrote this book when he was in his twenties and studying engineering in France. As Laye matures, he develops more of a dismissal of his mother’s protective instincts over him and while he fears disappointing and hurting her to leave and study school in Conakry and later France, he disregards her concern to pursue the educational opportunity offered him. Did he embellish the truth?

Laye’s autobiographical narrative differs from Arrow of God for example, in that he renders the story from the first person point of view, and we receive only a picture of his experience growing up in Guinea, without an exploration into his immediate and extended family’s perspective on life in Kouroussa.


No where in his autobiography do we see evidence of the camars, dark, “uncivilized” culture of Africa as depicted in classic colonial works like Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, but instead encounter a quiet, solid, emotionally-scaffolded narrative, in the context of sophisticated nonfiction that calmly relays milestones in the late childhood and young adult experience.

Society allowed men to marry more than one wife. One of the more poignant descriptions in the book occurs about midway through the biography, with Laye’s tale of his tribal initiation into manhood by enduring the circumcision ritual during his earlier teen approximately years. For Beti, this was a false Africa, one that ignored the harsh realities of colonialism; Laye failed to meet his ethical responsibility to present his village not as he remembered it, but as it was—full of pain as well as joy.

Since its emergence in the 19th century, fantasy fiction has proliferated throughout the world, from the global craze of Lord daro the Rings to Harry Potter The instrument’s heritage has been associated with the class of professional blacksmiths “numu” in the region of Guinea where Laye grew up, as a son of a numu.

There were several little interesting aspects to this novel, such as the combination of traditional rites within chld Islamic environment. He prepares to kill it, but fortunately does not: Rigid Muslim practice is closely associated with city life. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. Then it gradually expands to the rest of the concession, then to school, the town of Kourassa, then the wider country of Guinea when he goes off to study in the capital Conakry.

All around me only Soussou was spoken. A Reassessment of the African Literary Image. Unfortunately, it played into French stereotypes about the primitive, superstitious African.

The Dark Child

The second thing I realised is that I need to start buying hardbacks — this paperback literally crumbled in my hands as I read it. We see him as a boy in the villages of his father and grandmother. Laborers in Guinea started to marshal support from the population at large—youths as well as women and farmers. Profile of the country, it’s population, people, climate, etc. Some students turn in three drafts, and more advanced writers may turn in one incorporating their memory, description of folklore, and an analysis of it.

This is a paye short and simple autobiographical account of a boy growing up in Guinea in the s and 40s.

The class speculates as to which of these games their parents and grandparents may have played, what age they played these games at, and which are gender-specific He is miserable and homesick, but after a summer vacation at home he is ready to return to school and resume his studies. All these reforms suggested that perhaps France would finally implement a policy that so far it had invoked only as.


However, his time at Tindican is not idle; besides helping the whole village during the December rice harvest, he aids other children of the village in whatever tasks their parents have set them to achieve. Nov 09, Jenna rated it really liked it. I do wish there had been a final chapter about his next trip home after his flight to France or some other final thoughts from his perspective as an adult.

Very easy to use. Among the most hazardous acts a blacksmith performed was circumcision, a rite Laye undergoes in the memoir. While nyamakala could not own land or hold public office in Mande society, political leaders would not make a decision without first consulting a senior blacksmith. This pivotal scene closes with Laye turning to his mother to thank her, who he finds standing quietly behind him, “smiling at [him] sadly” In the school, in a new city for the first time in his experience, Laye encounters difficult language barriers and a hot, humid climate more taxing and oppressive than that in his Koroussa home And if intelligence seemed slower it was because reflection preceded speech and because speech itself was a most serious matter.

That the Malinke see no contradiction between Muslim faith and more traditional practices is proved by the ease with which they combine observances from the two faiths. Tinges of the supernatural balanced with the universal.

His own village had a population of just over 6, so the sheer number of people shocks him. In these chapters, Laye appears to be just another boy in a loving family—a happy Malinke youth, living in the manner of his forefathers. Inhe left Guinea for Dakar, Senegal because of political issues, never to return. While Islam is widespread among the Mande peoples, the Muslim faith never completely displaced the older, animistic religion of the group.

A first revision of the draft takes place, before moving on to the next day’s assignment.