Dark Child

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Identity

Western Ideology-Countries whose history is strongly marked by western European immigration or settlement, such as the Americans, and the Australians, and is not restricted to Western Europe (Wikidpedia.org). Many countries around the world have been influenced by the western ideology. Western Ideology includes components such as literary, education, political and philosophical views, and most of all, religion. In the autobiography, “The Dark Child”, Camara Laye, is a person who faces these types of challenges. He becomes stuck between his own traditional and the western ideologies.

In the Dark Child, Camara Laye’s youth and development of his cultural and personal values as a young man is explained. He is part of the Malinke tribe in the village of Koroussa in Upper Guinea and is eldest out of many brothers and sisters. In the beginning, he learns about many of the traditions and customs his people. He is told about Totemism-the fact that everybody has a spiritual animal that is chosen by the person’s character. While learning about his people, he has attends a Koran school and then a French school in another part of town. Later in the book, he learns about Konden Diara- a ceremony that is a ritual used to conquer a boy’s fear before the initiation of circumcision. He undergoes the ritual and circumcision-represents a rite of passage –a boy is now a man. After graduating from his school, Laye leaves at 15 years of age to attend a technical college in Guinea's capital city of Conakry. Like any mother, Laye's warns him to "be careful with strangers" and sends him off on a train to live with his Uncles Sekou and Mamadou in Conakry where he comes across many cultural changes. In the school, in a new city for the first time in his experience, Laye encounters difficult language barriers and a hot, humid climate more taxing and oppressive than that in his Koroussa home. He also seeks changes during the day where people at their work are...
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