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African novelists draw their raw materials from different sources, some draw their raw materials from the folktales being told at night, some writes about the village life before the Colonial masters while some transfer the beauty in African tradition into their works. Laye’s The African Child and Achebe’s Things fall Apart are embodiment of African tradition as observed by other criticis. Therefore this research work examines the transfer of traditional aesthetics in The African Child and Things fall Apart. This research work limits it’s analysis to the traditional aesthetics in The African Child and Things fall Apart. In conclusion, through the research findings, it has been discovered that The African Child and Things fall Apart are loaded with the best of traditional aesthetics. The two novelists through the use of traditional aesthetics in their novels have been able to show to the world, the beauty in African tradition.
TABLE OF CONTENT
Title page i
Table of content
1.1 Introduction 1
1.2 Purpose of the Study 5
1.3 Justification of the Study 6
1.4 Scope of the Study 6
1.5 Methodology 7
2.1 Literature review 18
3.1 The Culture of the Igbo people of Nigeria and the Malinke people of Guinea and how Achebe and Laye have perceived it 24
3.2 Synopsis of Things fall Apart and The African Child 28
3.3 The Concept of aesthetics transfer in Things fall
Apart and The African Child 29
3.4 Moral aesthetics in Things Fall Apart and The African Child 37
3.5 Entertaining or ceremonial aesthetics in Things Fall Apart and The African child 41
3.6 Ritual Aesthetics in Things Fall Apart and The African Child 44
3.7 Importance of traditional aesthetics transfer in Things fall Apart and The African Child 45
4.1 Summary and Conclusion 47
Reading through African novels, this research work was triggered by a lot of borrowing from oral traditional aesthetics in to the written form by African novelists. The transfer of traditional aesthetics is a common feature in African novels. According to Bodunde (2001) “…. aesthetic transfer investigates the transformation of different aspects of indigenous heritage….” (p.7)
African traditional setting in general comprises cultural activities that constitute the concept of beauty or aesthetics. These aesthetics are enriched in the belief of or custom handed down from one generation to another. The aesthetics can be found in the people’s early beliefs, religions, customs, festival, myth, legends, laws, folktales, settings, communities, metaphysics and magical ceremonies of the people. African novelists mostly source their raw materials from African traditions. This is why the transferred aesthetics were formally oral.
TRADITIONAL AESTHETIC TRANSFER AND THE AFRICAN NOVELISTS
Many African novelists owe much to traditional aesthetics. There are many examples of African novelists that their works show evidence of traditional aesthetic. Good examples are: Wole Soyinka, Amos Tutuola, Sembene Ousmane and Ngugi wa Thiongo. These writers are African novelists and they are competent in using traditional aesthetics in their works. Amos Tutuola in his novel The Palm wine Drunkard makes use of lots of traditional aesthetics. Amos Tutuola writes about African cosmology, myth, legend, folktales, belief in supernatural powers and the African sociology. The novel is rich in morals, rituals, and entertainment. The novel brings out rich cultural elements Just as Chinua Achebe and Camara Laye had brought about the cultural elements in Things fall Apart and The African Child.
Also in Weep Not Child by Ngugi wa Thiongo. Ngugi wa Thiongo makes use of traditional aesthetics like traditional custom, traditional settings and governance, myth and legend, superstitious belief and folktales. In Weep Not Child, Kimathi is a legendrical figure and the myth about Gikuyu and Mubi. There is also the custom of circumcision. Also is the traditional setting; Ngotho is the head of his family and he built his household huts by himself. Ngotho’s polygamous family is a model, because of Ngotho’s sense of ruling. This view shows that most African novelists transfer the traditional aesthetics in to their works.
The examination of the traditional aesthetics and the African novelists, a study of Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and Laye’s, The African Child, the goal of this research work. The transfer of African traditional aesthetics in the contemporary world such as myths, proverbs, festival, folktales, superstitious belief, cultural celebration are features of most African novels.
SIMILARITIES IN THE SETTINGS OF THINGS FALL APART AND THE AFRICAN CHILD
According to David (1980) who made a comparative analysis of the setting in Things Fall Apart and The African Child. He observed some similarities in, the setting of the Igbo people of Nigeria and Malinke people of Guinea in the respective novels. They both lived in an extended family compounds, both are autonomous and self ruled. They lived in an oral society where learning was done traditional through songs, stories and proverbs. Farming was their predominant profession.
The traditional aesthetics in The African Child and Things Fall Apart are similar in the sense that we received detailed accounts of family, tribal, rituals, customs, ceremonies through the stories the characters tell.
The similarities in the setting of the two novels explain the similarities in the use of traditional aesthetics. It also explains the transfer of traditional aesthetics of African tradition and cultural heritage in relation to the two texts.
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