The Harder They Come: Getting My Share. An Analysis of Two Worlds

Within the film “The Harder They Come” written and directed by Perry Henzell and Trevor Rhone, the city plays a fundamental role in depicting the intransience of colonialism. Kingston embodies the features of the colonial world cut in two and this is evident if one observes the racial, political and geographical conditions presented in the film. This follows the theory of decolonization put forward by Frantz Fanon who states that the “colonial world is a compartmentalized world.” The issue lies in the strategies deployed by leaders and citizens in “new” postcolonial countries: they adopted a culture of enlightenment, mirroring European government, racial, gendered outlooks, thus, they failed to adequately reconstruct and question the Eurocentric which meant their societies simply refashioned oppression and inequality. These nationalist approaches lead to instances witnessed in the film where there basically exists an invisible boundary with the colonizers’ privileged off springs on one end and the common folk on another, experiencing the city in antithetical ways. It is through this divergent postcolonial landscape that the status quo of the society in the film is maintained.

If the viewer pays attention to the geographic arrangement of the city in “The Harder They Come”, he/she will be able to examine the covert situations which support and preserve a refined form of colonialism. In the opening scenes of the movie, Ivan makes his way out of a rural, and presumed traditional environment, into the modish and vibrant streets of Kingston. The journey takes Ivan into the hub of the city where vehicular and human presence increases. In the beginning scenes, Ivan sees a light blue convertible drive out of an all-white shopping center[1] with a black man and two black females; in this point-of-view shot, the area appears to be clean, spacious and inhabited by a few people. 2.jpgThe parked cars are privately owned and arranged neatly in their designated parking spots. Contrasting this “Uptown” area is the hustle and bustle of “Downtown” Kingston which provides limited space to manoeuvre through. There are more public transport vehicles moving haphazardly, to and fro. The buses are rickety and overcrowded with passengers and luggage. When pedestrians cannot afford to pay the stipulated bus fare, they rely on the hand-cart man instead. There are no Chevrolet cars in these scenes; the typical means of transport for the lower-class citizens are buses, carts, bikes and bicycles. The areas where the British settled and procreated, along with their favoured compatriots, effectively become commercial and upper-class districts. Later, aspiring citizens on the periphery such as Ivan point to these locations with a smile and a wave, hoping to become a propertied bourgeois. c0a7f2895f65021f5065ac9fab424d23.png

The film explores the boundaries within the city even further by juxtaposing the images of the posh suburbs with the ramshackle environment of Shantytown. The uptown areas Ivan walks through have structures that are built differently and are aesthetically pleasing.  The houses are predominantly white with white picket fences complimented by spacious green lawns. The trees and flowers that line the fences are beautifully arranged. Cars are parked in each yard and the roads are paved, smooth and clean. There are no sounds to be heard but the chirping of birds. Individuals can be seen reclining in comfort on their front porch such as the haughty female Ivan approaches for a job. 8.jpgThe woman tells Ivan she does not require a worker and orders Ivan to close the gate behind him, reminding one of the exclusivity that belongs to the rich. Even Mr. Ray is seen relaxing in a hammock in his back yard as Jose frantically discusses the issues of the ganja trade.  Those residing in the pristine areas are usually white or light-skinned individuals. Even the glamorous hotels only cater to the well-off. Ivan’s stroll through the pool area populated by the wealthy lounging on benches, basking in the sun and swimming in the pool.

The “downtown” environment lacks the many commodities that the “uptown” areas enjoy. This sharp contrast is made when the camera cuts to a scene of the Riverton Dump, immediately following the footage of the suburban landscape. The multitude of garbage and flies seem endless as the johncrows (vultures) fly overhead. Like the vulture, the poor people are mere scavengers digging their way through the waste in the hopes of finding some marvelous trash left-over by the more fortunate. Ivan looks on in sadness and realizes there are “many rivers to cross” before he can reach the other side where the grass is always greener. the-harder-they-come-1972-720p-largescreenshot1.jpgThe footage also extends to the derelict houses of shantytown where the structures are built haphazardly and seem less sturdy; there are no steel fences or concrete walls but zinc and board all round. Residences are often marked by zinc enclosures bearing paint that read “don’t piss or urine at this gate, people are living here.” The roofs are the color of rust and rubbish covers the roadside along with carcasses of old cars.  Even the roads are unpaved, stony and dusty. These shots reveal how socio-political abandonment fuels communal abandonment; the respect for property is diminished in such disorganized infrastructures that lack basic amenities. They are the seemingly the “wretched of the earth”, living in “a disreputable place inhabited by disreputable people. [They] are born anywhere, anyhow. [They] die anywhere from anything” (Fanon, 4).

In Kingston, the division of labour also reflects a taking up of what the colonizers left off since the black majority work for the wealthy, Eurocentric minority who often exploit them. The poor citizens often occupy the informal market space and are also engaged in manual-labour occupations and industrial work. This is exemplified in the film where black men seeking employment form a long line outside a construction site. A light-skinned overseer decides whether to employ or reject the men desiring work. Even in the hotel scene one witnesses how the black workers cater to the affluent, proudly guarding the white doors[2]. As mentioned by Aggrey Brown in Color, Class, and Politics in Jamaica, a black man, with supervisory authority often “abuses his unaccustomed power in dealing with his own and toadies to the white boss” (1). Additionally, within the movie the dispossessed no longer cut sugar canes but sell ganja which becomes the postcolonial crop of the village. The plant is cultivated by the lower-class population yet the bulk of the profit still finds its way to the bourgeoisie. It can be likened to a modern-day plantation with the owner on one side (Mr. Ray) and Jose along with the other traders on the next side as paradoxical free slaves. Within the film, not much has changed in the postcolonial city where one’s job description is dependent on colour, background and money.

The poorer half of the society, as expressed in previous paragraphs, is largely populated by darker hued individuals who, like Ivan, dream of crossing over one day. It is interesting to note how the positions of power held in the film are by “brown” men such as Mr. Hilton, Mr. Ray, the radio spokesperson and various drivers of expensive Chevrolet cars. the-harder-they-come.jpgAs noted by Fanon, “looking at the immediacies of the colonial context, it is clear what divides this world is first and foremost what species, what race one belongs to.” The colonial world espouses a love for “whitedom” and an ambivalence and often rejection of “blackdom”; the white or brown/ light-skinned people are considered civilized and by default, able to access more resources than their “crude” “black” counterparts. The border dividing the upper classes from the lower classes consists of the police, soldiers and political representatives. These individuals monitor and control the common folk in order to prevent an insurgence, similar to the plantation overseer in the colonial period. They maintain the invisible walls through the use of their rifle butts, intervening between the maltreated and the exploiter. Communication between the two worlds in the film seem futile, one group is always excluded from the world of the other; as expressed by Fanon, “the colonist’s feet can never be glimpsed, except perhaps in the sea, and then you can never get close enough.” This is evident when we see how the brown elite drops the roof of his car when Ivan runs up begging some money at the hotel entrance. The same can be said of Mr. Hilton who is always being chased by those hoping for a bridge across the social gap. Ivan, like the other men with big dreams, call out to Mr. Hilton from behind a latticed fence. This is symbolic of the tangible and intangible barriers which separate the prosperous from the needy; a world that excludes yet invites you in and otherizes you if you dare reject it. Fanon contends that the human reality is that “you are rich because you are white; you are white because you are rich.” This inequity leads many underprivileged citizens to perceive the ruling class and their allies as “Babylon”, “the oppressors” that they will overthrow by any means necessary. This explains why the traders would not provide the location of Rhygin even after Mr. Ray brings the ganja trade to a standstill.

In the city of Kingston, the gap between the two worlds are also widened by the coping mechanisms employed by the lower classes. Whereas the postcolonial upper classes laze around in the sun at their fancy resorts, the black population, unable to copy British culture or conduct, nestle themselves in the dancehall, at the bar, at the movies or on the street corner playing dominoes. 4.jpgThe latter often partake in these activities to quell their frustration and reservations. These behaviors date back to the colonial period where the slaves (usually at harvest time) would assemble and dance/sing in tune with African drums while the plantation owners hosted soirées. The entertainment centers within Kingston likely offer what Fanon states about the phenomena of dance: a “muscular orgy during which the most brutal aggressiveness and impulsive violence are channeled, transformed and spirited away” (19, 20). An additional boundary marker between the two worlds in “The Harder They Come” is the church. 2311997470_aaafc230ed_o.jpgThe film pays special attention to the presence of this social institution for while the colonizers and their descendants have the land, the slaves are mainly left with the Bible. The church is an epicenter which not only consoles the colony but acts as a mediator between the subjugated and the authorities. The disenfranchised are taught patience, forgiveness, obedience and tolerance. In “The Harder They Come”, one does not see the elite attending church, perhaps because they are rich and do not need God for comfort?  The church, as articulated in Marxist philosophy, is the opium of the people; it often represses rebellion and promotes acceptance of one’s exploitation. Fanon asserts that “it does not call the colonized to the ways of God… [but] to the ways of the oppressor.” For instance, in the film, the choir sings “Jesus hear my plea” and the preacher tells the congregation that “whereas God so clothed the grass of the fields…shall he not so much more clothe you? Oh yea of little faith!” The poor folk are essentially told to be patient and wait for the “pie up in the sky”. Hence, religion in the film fails to encourage critical thinking about the real realities of the people along with the possible solutions that might decrease inequality and poverty.

The film, “The Harder They Come”, clearly demonstrates that Jamaican society is divided in matters of labour, infrastructure, leisure, travel and worship. The colour and race of individuals often determine how easily they can access the nations’ resources. In order to eradicate the mental and literal boundaries colonialism erects, Jamaican society, like most postcolonial landscapes, must confront its antinomy. Questions must be asked: How best can a country and its government spread its resources/opportunities evenly so that crime does not become a logical alternative, so that capital moves beyond the “brown” or “uptown”? In what way can the country re-imagine its people to be more than British imitators in speech and action, bearing in mind that Caribbean people are hybrids, neither fully African nor fully European? These answers, along with others, will impact the lives of literal Ivans who often must choose between drawing on their talent or drawing weapons.

[1] Known today as Manor Park Plaza, an area frequented by middle – upper class individuals, typically of lighter hue.

[2] Note how “white” colors symbolize the desire to be legitimate, that is, to do as white colonizers did: own white houses with white fences, gates, and well-tended gardens.

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Analysis of Half of a Yellow Sun and The Interrogation of The Postcolonial

 

The novel, Half of a Yellow sun, written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie can be found in your local library under the heading of postcolonial text. This is so because the literature addresses European-Western colonialism and domination and its aftermath (which is commonly referred to as the post-colonial era).  However, this classification of time has been deemed linguistically inadequate by many critics who suggest the term makes history seem fissured – as if theHalf-of-A-Yellow-Sun_Nigeria.jpg independent generation has completely freed itself from the after-effects of colonialism. It is evident that the societies termed as post-colonial are “still subject in one way or another to overt or subtle forms of neo-colonial domination, and independence has not solved this problem” (Ashcroft, 2). As opposed to visualizing the human race in a state of postcoloniality[1], post-colonial literatures, such as Half of a Yellow Sun, become “the discourse of oppositionality which colonialism brings into being” (Appiah, 117). Adichie’s novel investigates the African country, Nigeria, in part, during the Biafran war, and highlights the issues inherent in the concept of a “post-colonial” society or a society after independence. The story is told through the lives of four characters: Odenigbo, Olanna, Ugwu and Richard against the backdrop of a Nigerian society infiltrated, both literally and psychologically, by the British empire. Adichie additionally focuses on the civil war of 1967-70 which was instigated by the growing internal divisions amid a hundred or more ethnic and cultural groups under the influence of formal colonial powers. The political vision of a unified state therefore eluded Nigerian realities; instead, the nation witnessed the “development of new elites…often buttressed by neo-colonial institutions…[ethnic], racial linguistic or religious discriminations [and] the continuing unequal treatment of ‘indigenous’[2] peoples in settler/invader societies” (Ashcroft, 4). Adichie investigates this volatile period in Nigerian history through the polyvocal, interwoven discourses of characters and the third person omniscient, re-cognizing the Euro-based, essentialist, dichotomous concept of the post-colonial.

It is not enough to blame colonial forces for the Biafran war, however, one cannot ignore how British decolonization strategies, which included political supervision and dividing Nigeria into three regions, enlarged the differences among the Nigerian ethnic groups. Moreover, the British provided a kind of colonial culture which morphed with pre-colonial Nigerian cultures, developing new and divergent political, caste/class, racial, gendered, ethnic ideologies and actions.  Adichie interrogates this through the main narrative and ‘The Book’ which provides a “de-personalised, global point of view [and back-story]” which “rehistoricises the postcolonial” through a reliable journalistic account lacking in the world outside Nigeria (Akpome, 32). Within the novel, three predominant ethnic groups are mentioned: Igbo (forming the Southeast), the Hausa-Fulani (of the North) and Yoruba (in the Southwest) who have varying cultures, religions and languages. Their system of governance is also disparate, with the Igbos exercising more democratic systems, demonstrated by the general assembly one notes in Half of a Yellow Sun with the elders gathered under the Udala tree (623). The rift between the groups widen when the North becomes the preferred British site for indirect political rule after independence; of the three regions, the North holds the majority. This disproportion dominates the ensuing Nigerian political system which not only fuels the Hausa public’s sense of entitlement against “western dressed” African ‘infidels’ but inspires the coup d’etat which later provokes a counter-coup. Prior to this event, the 1960 independence marked an increase in Christian households and the much sought after western education; many Igbos (the wealthy in particular) sent their children to British universities which is the case for the majority of the professionals and professors in the novel (along with Olanna and Kainene). Other regions are also said to be “competing so fiercely” for “white salaries” and a white way of life (HYS, 510). However, the Muslim Hausas do not wholly absorb European cultural imperialism in the same way the Igbos and the Yorubas do. The Northerners, therefore, become the less literate and socio-economically thriving group in the Nigerian population. This fuels the resentment between ethnicities which is exemplified when a man on the plane, next to Olanna, expresses how the bothersome Igbos “own all the shops; they control the civil service, even the police” (HYS, 738). Similarly, many Nigerians inadvertently adopt the skepticism and stereotypes that the Europeans cast on their ethnic groups. The North is therefore regarded as a site for the authoritarian, self-righteous posse of Hausas, the Igbos are considered to be the “money-loving” clan and the Yoruba are seen as fawning subordinates to their long time British contacts (HYS, 184). Thus, the desire for all things Eurocentric along with the colonial seeds of mistrust, intolerance and political inequity matured in the ‘free’ state.

The notion of the postcolonial typically speaks to the fascination with novelty in modern/modernizing society; subjects therefore cling to a politics of fulfillment and view themselves as free from old (colonial, traditional) ties. Adichie, counters this misguided presentism in the text and reveals how Eurocentric powers remain in the “new” Nigerian economic and social space. White expatriates remain behind in Nsukka for instance, present at major social events; they rub shoulders with black Nigerians who maintain a mutual relationship with them of give and gain, get and gain. They exert influence and maintain the hegemonic bonds of imperial Britain. They may have left their government posts but they still own many resources and slide easily into the master-servant relationship from the master-slave relationship. However, black men and women can take the role of the dominant or oppressor as well. To illustrate, the white female, Susan, expresses stereotypical racist views, however, she dulls in comparison to Olanna’s parents. Chief Ozobia and his wife are certainly haughty and exhibit their material possessions to give the population something to “covet” as Kainene mockingly puts it. They do not “acknowledge the humanity” of their servants and Art herself severely chastises a worker for simply stealing some rice to feed his family.  Olanna realizes how “[her] father and his politician friends steal money with their contracts, but nobody makes them kneel to beg for forgiveness…they build houses with their stolen money and rent them out to people like [the] man [who steals the rice] and charge inflated rents that make it impossible to buy food” (HYS, 226).  Their actions indicate that it is not enough to blame the “white man” in a binary of we the blacks versus whites. As Trinh Minh-ha states, “ if we try to find the centre of the empire, we will never find it, even in Piccadilly or Buckingham Palace, because this structural notion omits the institutions and process by which power is disseminated and maintained. Clearly that process is one set in train by the imperial project and continues throughout the colonial world. This is why ‘postcolonial’ can [and should] apply to white settler/invader colonies as much as to the indigenous people” (213). Although Odenigbo and Olanna are kind to Ugwu, his position as the Master and hers as Madam reflects how black faces can imperceptibly reinforce the failed colonial logic of inferior versus superior lifestyle or tastes.

The idea of a unified Nigeria with no ethnic boundaries becomes a political vision for moving forward from colonialism. However, the adoption of modern enlightenment (an intellectual, philosophical European movement that stresses the development of a state in the present) leads many political leaders and their followers in the text to assume that tribal and ethnic differences have to be cast-off.  Moreover, the colonial imposition of European culture carries the idea that ethnic is heathen, “Other” or not fully civilized, thus, difference becomes the enemy. Although “oneness” emphasizes the mutual movement of a people from colonial backgrounds towards a better future, this line of reasoning still has its faults. In particular, it proves difficult to develop a nation-politics which works towards unity by suppressing difference and identities instead of employing them in a constructive way. This generalizing symptom of the postcolonial has partly led to the Biafran war as the nation does not fully subvert English language and culture to decolonize meanings. The characters are all ethnically positioned in some sense but it is crucial to have a sense of self. As Stuart Hall declares, this does not have to be an ethnicity “doomed to survive, as Englishness was, only by marginalizing, dispossessing, displacing and forgetting other ethnicities” (227).  The character Richard rightly states in his letter to an overseas newspaper that “the tribes of the North and the South have long had contact, at least as far back as the ninth century” without engaging in hostile retaliations and killings as seen in the war. Pre-colonial Africa with all its “ancient tribal” struggles had a more “humanistic ethical-orientated”[3] approach to governance and community than the British “informal divide and rule policies” (567).

Through the actions and lifestyle of the characters, the reader observes the ways in which occidental culture acts as “a source of transformative (or modernizing) possibilities” for the ‘encountered’ nation [4] (40). However, as formerly indicated, the movement towards “progress” in Half of a Yellow Sun becomes, ironically at times, a regressive move. Take, for instance, the civility of an individual which is not often determined by his/her disposition or actions but by his/her proximity to Europeans, ability to access Euro-based products and mimic European attitudes. This outlook also fuels the assumption in the novel that the city typically represents a domain where progress (Euro-consumerism) is centered while the rural landscape, like African cultural traditions[5], is said to support a retrograde way of living. This is communicated within the affluent world of Nsukka when the reader witnesses Ugwu’s growth from unschooled houseboy to learnt boy with modern sensibilities.  Ugwu lived in a small village and on becoming a houseboy, his life of household appliances, “real meals” and “butter” becomes more desirable than what he had known. Thus, the meals that are eaten become symbols of the “innovative” which explains why Harrison (Richard’s cook) only wishes to make western foods, regarding Nigerian foods and herbs as either outdated or “devilish”.  When Ugwu and his guardian Odenigbo are forced to flee Nsukku and end up in Umuahia, Ugwu notes how the “ugly” “unpainted” compound is “unworthy of Master” (HYS, 645). Adichie deconstructs these assumptions of forwardness and backwardness through “a specific spatialisation of narrative action…swinging between the village and the city” (Akpome, 10), revealing what each location lacks along with the symbiotic relevance of both spheres. She does so in particular with Olanna who reveals an underlying snobbishness in Umuahia when she becomes concerned with who were the “right kind” of people to hang around her child, Baby. She also notes how her aunt’s home is squalid and small compared to the ten rooms of her parent’s home. Yet, the long hallways could not remedy the artificiality of her parents’ relationship, hinting at how literal space or what I call postcolonial architecture can often suppress intimate, familial and communal space. Olanna and Odenigbo fail to fully recognize the usefulness of their culture, they do not consider that the present does not have to mean a rejection of the past. As Jay Ciaffa aptly declares, African beliefs characterized as ‘superstitious’ (witch) are “no more incompatible with scientific development, for instance, than religious beliefs (Saints) that were widely held in the West” at the onset of the modernized age (131). Olanna eventually senses this when she is forced to recognize the appeal of African cosmology, that is, the belief in reincarnation and signs when Kainene goes missing. Thus, Adichie launches Olanna from the periphery into the belly of the war so that the reader is able to learn the significance of the interconnected community and Nigerian convention. If the war had taken place in an impersonal city setting with houses “not so close” as in Umuahia, there probably would be no character like Mrs. Muokela to guide Olanna or Okoromadu’s mother whose orality enables her son to recognize Olanna and give her dried egg yolks to save Baby’s life.

Excepting location, education and language become indicators of progress in the post-colonial society. The languages of the ethnic groups are displaced in the name of almighty English which is the standard against all other “tainted” languages. English, with its typifying tendencies, becomes a carrier of imperialist culture. Within the novel, characters who are able to speak English are met with better treatment, service, recognition and respect. As noted by Braj B. Kachru, “the alchemy of English (present and future), then, does not only provide social status, it also gives access to attitudinally and materially desirable domains of power and knowledge. It provides a powerful linguistic tool for manipulation and control” (295). Notice the way that Odenigbo constantly says “my good man” or “ignoramus” – how ironic that an anti-colonialist utilizes Edwardian language. Before his article is submitted to the Daily Times, Olanna has to “edit it and tone down his rhetoric, so that his argument…was clearer” (434). This speaks to what Chinweizu Madubuike expresses in his article “Towards the Decolonization of African Literature”: some African intellectuals do feel the need to place “sophisticated” works in the postcolonial space, yet, this “syntactic jugglery” of language denies the validity of the Nigerian culture and also causes Odenigbo to lead his readers into a “wilderness of insipidity” (2). His encrypted ideas should be easily accessible to the public in order to provoke extensive critical thinking. There is also the case of Odanna’s flat versus Ugwu’s “small bush”, the case of the firewood versus the kerosene stove. Ugwu’s home is debased, not so much by Olanna’s tone but by the words which have suggestive in them, the underdevelopment of a people.  Ngugi Thiong’O rightly states that “language carries culture, and culture carries, particularly through orature and literature, the entire body of values by which we come to perceive ourselves and our place in the world.” (290). It is important that Nigerians use English to empower themselves instead of becoming human bridges that convey race and class discrimination into the present.

In conclusion, Half of a Yellow Sun, as an historical text, provides the reader with a valuable critique of the concept of the postcolonial. Through the mouthpiece of multiple characters, the author reveals how easy it is to repeat the mistakes of the past. Adichie has effectively shown the reader that Nigeria has colourful people with potential and heart. The character Richard, the assumed white outsider, nonetheless, raises the question of who should be responsible to write for the Other[6] as he actually expresses more love for Nigerian culture and food. Ultimately, the text communicates that the signs of progress and success need to be restructured so what Adichie calls the “rich African world” may thrive. West Africans then, must evade linguistic traps and the western ornamental (without vilifying them) and think critically about what works best for their individual/communal selves[7], with location and time period(s) in mind.

 

Take what is needed and run – P. Marshall.

 

 

 

Works Cited

Adichie, Chimamanda. Half of a Yellow Sun. New York: Anchor, 2007.

Adichie, Chimamanda. “African “Authenticity” and the Biafran Experience.” Transition, No. 99 (2008), pp. 42-53. Indiana University Press: W.E.B. Du Bois Institute. Web 6 Sept 2011.

<http://www.jstor.org/stable/20204260&gt;

Akpome, Aghogho. “Focalisation and Polyvocality in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s  Half of a Yellow Sun.” English Studies in Africa. Routledge, 2013.

Appiah, Kwame. “The Postcolonial and The Postmodern.”  Eds. Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, Helen Tiffin. The Post-Colonial Studies Reader. Routledge, 2005.

Ciaffa, Jay. “Tradition and Modernity in Postcolonial African Philosophy.” Humanitas Volume XXI (2008): 121-144. Gonzaga University. Web. 6 March  2015.

Ashcroft, Bill; Griffiths, Gareth; Tiffin, Helen. The Post-Colonial Studies Reader. Routledge, 2005.

Hall, Stuart. “New Ethnicities.” Eds. Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, Helen Tiffin. The Post-Colonial Studies Reader. Routledge, 2005.

Kachru, B. Braj, “The Alchemy of English.” Eds. Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, Helen Tiffin. The Post-Colonial Studies Reader. Routledge, 2005.

Korang, Kwaku. “Where is Africa? When Is the West’s Other?: Literary Postcoloniality in a

Comparative Anthropology.” Diacritics 34.2: 38–61 (2004). Project Muse.

Madubuike, Chinweizu. “Towards the Decolonization of African Literature.” Transition. Duke University Press, 2007.

Minh-ha, Trinh. “No Master Territories.” Eds. Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, Helen Tiffin. The Post-Colonial Studies Reader. Routledge, 2005.

Sollors, Werner. “Who is ethnic?” Eds. Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, Helen Tiffin. The Post-Colonial Studies Reader. Routledge, 2005.

“The Nigerian Civil War, Causes, Strategies, And Lessons Learnt.” Web. 5 March 2015.

<http://www.africamasterweb.com/BiafranWarCauses.html&gt;

Thiong’O, Ngugi. “The Language of African Literature.” Eds. Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, Helen Tiffin. The Post-Colonial Studies Reader. Routledge, 2005.

 

[1] A state of being that is uncontaminated by colonialism.

[2] Problematic term as Nigeria no longer has a pure, native society untainted by colonialism.

[3] Qtd from “Tradition and Modernity” by Jay Ciaffa, p.  127

[4] Non-European/non-Western colonized world

[5] Odenigbo, Olanna and Harrison label African cosmology, folklore and bad medicine as “rubbish” and demonic.

[6] Nigerians (like Ugwu) should be the ones who value their culture enough to write the story of their people.

[7] Note Mrs. Ozobia’s excessive jewelry and Olanna’s desire for “real flowers” at her wedding.