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Social Realism in the African Novel: The South African and East African Cases

Julia Udofia


Although the African novel arose from Europe, the African has used it to explore a different world view; a world where gods and men hold a place together in the affairs of men. But more importantly, the African novel has followed the peculiar history of colonization and decolonization. While the earlier novels depicted the genesis of the colonial encounter in Africa, the later ones explored the reality of bad self-rule in the continent. Peter Abraham’s The Wild Conquest and Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s Petals of Blood which are examined in this paper as representing the South and East African cases respectively, reflect this pattern of the changing African society and politics. While Abraham’s The Wild Conquest treats the genesis of the colonial encounter in Africa, Ngugi’s Petals of Blood explores the reality of bad governance and affirm the hope that the dearly won independence of Kenya need not be betrayed. These two novels reflect the realities of their respective societies at their particular times of writing.

LWATI: A Journal of Contemporary Research, 9(3), 136-144, 2012

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eISSN: 1813-2227