November 3, 2014
Graceland – Chris Abani
The novel, Graceland, tells a coming of age story about a young boy named Elvis Oke, who has big dreams to make something of himself in America, the land of the free. Through out this novel, major cultural and life changes come about. Generational differences from the elders to the youngest living generation are unmistakably present through out the whole story, especially after Elvis’s mother dies and him and his father move to Lagos. The corruption aspect of the governments in Africa changes as the story progresses as well. The occupations that Elvis has throughout the years of his story also change drastically after he takes the bold move to come to America. Elvis’s story shows us how African culture changes throughout the period of time in which this book was written to present day. There are many cultural aspects of the African culture that still remain strong and permanent but all societies make adjustments as the years go on merely because things change and if adjustments are not made then the people of the society may not be satisfied. After Elvis’s mother dies from breast cancer, Sunday (Elvis’s father) moves them into Lagos. In Lagos they lived in the slums. The slums were dangerous and not stable places to find work, food, or a sense of safeness. Everyday was a struggle for Elvis because his father had resorted to drinking away all his problems. Elvis had to leave his other family members including; his grandmother, Aunt Felicia and Efua, his cousin, behind when his father and him made the move to Lagos. The original plan was to find better job prospects in Lagos, but unfortunately Elvis became the provider for the family his father then acquired in Lagos. The woman his father soon started seeing after moving to Lagos had three children of her own. Without a formal education fro a school Elvis works on the beach singing and dancing as an Elvis Presley...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document