ERIC Number: ED215036
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr
Reference Count: 0
African and Pacific Literature: A Comparative Study.
Martin, Kristine L.
Literary writing in Africa and the Pacific addresses themes that reflect colonial experience and the struggles of newly independent nations to cope with change and conflicts between traditional and modern existence. The novels of Chinua Achebe of Nigeria and Ngugi Wa Thiong'o of Kenya illustrate many dominant themes of African literature. Achebe writes of increasing alienation from traditional rural existence, the breakdown of traditional values, and problems that accompany change. Ngugi's primary themes concern alienation from the land and the economic forces associated with the struggle for independence. Both writers allude to African history and culture in their work. Similar themes run through the literature of the Pacific, an area which also experienced colonization. The poetry of John Kasaipwalova of Papua New Guidea and Konai Helu Thaman of Tonua express emotional reactions to a chanqed world, while the novels of Albert Wendt and Vincent Eri present characters torn between old and new worlds in New Zealand, Samoa, and Papua New Guinea. African and Pacific writings are reactions in part to a threat to a people's existence. The writers from these regions synthesize past and present, and unify the people through a common identity. (Author/MJL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Africa; Pacific Islands
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference on Minority and Ethnic Studies (10th, Santa Clara, CA, April 14-17, 1982).