THE AFRICAN WRITER AND THE AFRICAN ELITE; AN EXAMINATION OF THE IMAGE OF THE ELITE IN SEMBENE OUSMANE’S NOVELS

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THE AFRICAN WRITER AND THE AFRICAN ELITE; AN EXAMINATION OF THE IMAGE OF THE ELITE IN SEMBENE OUSMANE’S NOVELS

Abstract:

This thesis explores the image of the African elite in the novels of the Senegalese writer Sembene Ousmane. In Ousmane’s handling of the various phases of the growth of the elite, he traces the history of the Senegalese society from pre-colonial to “Independent and neo-colonial Africa. The thesis also considers how Sembene Ousmane, in his novels, demonstrates the role and the place of the masses and the centrality of “struggle” in the political process. The thesis studies Ousmane’s novels from a broad sociological framework for a profound understanding of the complex stages within which the elite and the Africans interact. The image of the African elite that emerges in Ousmane’s novels as cheats, greedy people and rapacious, class of exploiters who support their luxurious life style at the expense of the masses. The four novels studied are; God’s Bits of Wood, (1970); White Genesis with Money-Order. (1972); Xala, (1976) and The Last of The Empire (1983). References are also made to some of his films such as ‘Ceddo’, ‘Boron’, ‘Serret’ and ‘Saitone’. Chapter one comprises the introduction, which provides a historical, theoretical and social background to Ousmane’s novels. In the Literature review, it is examined why it is necessary to study the image of the elite in Ousmane’s novels from all aspects of the elite. In Chapter Two, the embroyonic stage of the elite from pre-colonial to early cclonial period is examined with illustrations from God’s Bits of Wood and “The White Genesis”. Chapter Three explores the ascendance of the elite, their coming into prominence, the display of their loct and glory and of course the genesis of their fall with illustrations from “The Money-Order” and Xala. Chapter Four examines the gradual decay of the edifice of the elite, the increasing repression and their survival tactics. The revolutionary of Sembene Ousmane is examined with illustrations from The Last of The Empire. Finally, Chapter Five draws a conclusion, provides concise summary of our findings on Ousmane’s profound insight into the nature of the elite in Senegal and the complex processes they are involved in

THE AFRICAN WRITER AND THE AFRICAN ELITE; AN EXAMINATION OF THE IMAGE OF THE ELITE IN SEMBENE OUSMANE’S NOVELS

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