The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born by Ayi Kwei ArmahA railway freight clerk in Ghana attempts to hold out against the pressures that impel him toward corruption in both his family and his country. The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born is the novel that catapulted Ayi Kwei Armah into the limelight. The novel is generally a satirical attack on the Ghanaian society during Kwame Nkrumah’s regime and the period immediately after independence in the 1960s. It is often claimed to rank with Things Fall Apart as one of the high points of post-colonial African Literature.
A quote from Chapter 6:
And where is my solid ground these days? Let us say just that the cycle from birth to decay has been short. Short, brief. But otherwise not at all unusual. And even in the decline into the end there are things that remind the longing mind of old beginnings and hold out the promise of new ones, things even like your despair itself. I have heard this pain before, only then it was multiplied many, many times, but that may only be because at that time I was not so alone, so far apart. Maybe there are other lonely voices despairing now. I will not be entranced by the voice, even if it should swell as it did in the days of hope. I will not be entranced, since I have seen the destruction of the promises it made. But I shall not resist it either. I will be like a cork. It is so surprising, is it not, how even the worst happenings of the past acquire a sweetness in the memory. Old harsh distresses are now merely pictures and tastes which hurt no more, like itching scars which can only give pleasure now. Strange, because when I can think soberly about it all, with out pushing any later joys into the deepr past, I can remember that things were terrible then. When the war was over the soldiers came back to homes broken in their absence and they themselves brought murder in their hearts and gave it to those nearest them. I saw it, not very clearly, because I had no way of understanding it, but it frightened me. We had gone on marches of victory and I do not think there was anyone mean enough in spirit to ask whether we knew what we were celebrating. Whose victory? Ours? It did not matter. We marched, and only a dishonest fool will look back on his boyhood and say he knew even then that there was no meaning in any of it. It is so funny now, to remember that we all thought we were welcoming victory. Or perhaps there is nothing funny here at all, and it is only that victory itself happens to be the identical twin of defeat.
The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born
The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born
Post a Comment. Across the dirt and chaos that is the city of Accra, we see the man, the central character whose name is obscured throughout the novel. The city, as well as its inhabitants, is presented as irredeemably rotten; not to talk of the cursing nature of the motorists, especially the commercial bus conductors and drivers alike. In short, in the city of Accra, everybody is angry. The man is shown as a man with a job at the Traffic Control Office who is unhappily running off to work that he dreads and loathes. When he gets to work, the normal boring and uneventful jobs he has to do confronts him.
Main characters:. The Matrix intertextuality :. The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born is the writing on the wall that Africa has yet to cure that chronic festering wound, that deep cut, that shock, which independence left in its wake- disillusionment. We gotta change it…shed it… We gotta do it! The novel explains about the events occured in Ghana years after independence. Leaders are corrupted and what they real do is to make sure that their stomach are fuller than their followers. Shame on them….
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A young civil servant struggles with political corruption, family pressures, and disillusionment in postcolonial Ghana. Born in Ghana in , Ayi Kwei Armah participated in the events that took Ghana from British colony to independent country. The work, whose title has an intentional misspelling taken from an inscription on a bus, portrays both the euphoria of independence and the disillusionment that followed in Ghana. It was a sobering period, in which the early promise of freedom gave way to economic malaise, political corruption, and continued financial dependence on Europe. Since Armah has generally lived outside Ghana, and occasionally outside Africa, though remaining a vital figure in African literature. His subsequent novels have continued to address the issues of modern African culture. A vocal proponent of pan-African unity, Armah has proposed the adoption of Swahili as an African lingua franca , championed African literatures past and present, and deplored the continued cultural domination of Europe and the United States.
Login Username: Password: Lost Password? Remember me. Thread Modes. MyElimu System. Posts: Threads: Joined: Feb Reputation: 8. Afterwards, he attended Harvard. Much of his work deals with the problems of post-colonial Ghana.
It was published in by Houghton Mifflin , and then republished in the influential Heinemann African Writers Series in The novel tells the story of a nameless man who struggles to reconcile himself with the reality of post-independence Ghana. The unnamed protagonist, referred to as "the man", works at a railway station and is approached with a bribe; when he refuses, his wife is furious and he can't help feeling guilty despite his innocence. First published in by Houghton Mifflin in the US where the author studied at Columbia University , —70 ,  The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born received critical acclaim, with "generally favorable, and often glowing, reviews", as Jacob Littleton put it: "With this one book, Armah established himself as a writer with a worldwide reputation. This young Ghanian [sic] author has caught the vanishing ends of two worlds in a bitter, acerbic novel of one man's spiritual trials in a new West African nation.