Graceland Paper

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Daniel Toombs
Professor O’mara
ALS/History 104
Critique of Graceland
April 24th 2012

The novel Graceland by Chris Abani is a very intriguing story that takes place in the African country of Nigeria. This novel gives the reader a good idea of how tough life was in this country during this time. The bulk of this story takes place during the later years of colonialism. The main character Elvis not only explains both the difficulties dealing with colonialism but as well as their society. Throughout his year young life he met many close friends, but he also had a lot of disappointing moments. Him and his father didn’t have a very close relationship. For instance, Elvis tried to tell his father that his uncle raped Efua, but his dad became very outraged with this statement and said “if you ever repeat that statement I will blow your brains out” (p. 144). This is a very harsh thing to say to a young child, especially your own son. This was only one of the many problems in this novel. Many other problems with arise such as problems with the colonel and his troops and unethical and very upsetting events that at the time.

Music was a very important part of many African Americans lives. Elvis really loved music, especially Elvis Presley and Bob Marley. When Elvis was a young child he used to make money by doing Elvis Presley imitations for many American tourists. He loved both of these musicians and really became educated about them. Throughout this novel Elvis is reading on and off and he seems very educated. Even though he was born and raised in this country, he seems like an outcast. Whenever he is talking he is always speaking very fluent English where as everyone else is talking with a slang. At the end of the novel when his good friend Redemption gives him his passport to go to America he was very skeptical. Even though his aunt lives in America, he was nervous to leave all of his friends and what he was accustomed to. He thinks about it...
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