The expressive theory of art and autbiography in literary criticism: Re-reading Francis Selormey’s The Narrow Path and Camara Laye’s The African Child

  • Kalu Obasi Kalu


The Expressive Theory is the anchor and leverage point of autobiography, a non-fictional presentation of the author by himself. This paper examines the autobiography of Camara Laye‟s The African Child and Francis Selormey‟s The Narrow Path. Each of them represents the experiences of the author as a growing child. It is the picture of the author as a growing child written by the author himself. It is the capturing of the memories of the growing child vividly remembered and chronicled as a work of art. While Laye presents romanticized experiences of his childhood, having grown up in an all-loving environment, surrounded by beauty and care with little or no hardship, except the torture experienced in school as a pupil in the primary school, Kofi presents a somewhat realistic picture of a harsh and struggling home where peace and comfort are the products of self indulgence and diligence, skill and favour, industry and self reliance and dependence. Childhood nuances and juvenile delinquency of pilfering, gambling and stubbornness are included. The language of literature, its milieu and domain in general are also examined in this study.


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eISSN: 1813-2227