Implying Theme Through Characterization: An Analysis of Ousmane's Intent in Tribal Scars
In today’s society, tribal scars are a major part of the African cultures and traditions. These scars are viewed as a sign of beauty. In “Tribal Scars”, the thematic focus that Sembene Ousmane is implying-as evidenced by his characterization of Amoo-that one's can love protect others from harm. The first indication, is Amoo's over-protection of his daughter Iome. Secondly, Ousmane shows how Amoo will do anything in order to ensure the safety of his daughter.
Amoo makes sure that his eyes are always on Iome. For example, in this part of the story, Amoo finishes his desperate search for his daughter Iome. Amoo and Iome are walking with Momutu and his troops, while Amoo is looking for a place to rest. While Iome is resting, Momutu comes to Amoo saying, “She's a strong girl.” Then says, “We'll have a rest and wait here for them. They're bound to come this way.” Ousmane has Amoo more cautious than before about Momutu. He describes Amoo's actions by saying, “He nodded, but kept his eyes on Iome in between working at the piece of wood” (110). Ousmane shows how much Amoo really loves and cares for Iome. The qualities shown by Amoo's actions are love and care. Ousmane seems to be implying, one's affection guards from attack. Amoo can not take his eyes off Iome for one second. Another example, takes places when Amoo and Iome returns to their village, escaping from Momutu and his troops. The villagers continue on with their work with no apprehension. At the same time, they stay prepared and always on alert. Ousmane then says, “Amoo shared his hut with Iome and always slept with a weapon” (113). Ousmane shows how Amoo loves and protects Iome. The qualities being shown are love and caring. Ousmane is implying, one will defend what is cherished. Amoo makes sure that no harm comes to Iome. He assures her safety by sleeping with a weapon, so no one can get the chance to capture...
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