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Diversity vs. Difference: A Critical Analysis of Hybridity and Cultural Identity Crisis in the Novels of Cheikh Hamidou Kane and Chinua Achebe

Journal: International Journal of English Language and Translation Studies (Vol.02, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 31-44

Keywords : African fiction; Cultural Crisis; Globalization; Hybridity; Identity Crisis;

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Hybridity has been one of the most recurrent themes of the African fiction during and after the colonial period. It is one of the complex issues of postcolonial Africa as it was difficult for many Négritude writers, such as Léopold Sédar Senghor, Aimé Césaire, and Frantz Fanon, to find a common ground on what colonization bequeathed to Africa. Hence, Senghor (1977) came up with the oxymoron of “colonization as a necessary evil”. However, to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of colonization to Africans, in terms of impact, one should go further than expected to approve or dismantle Senghor’s position. The issues of cultural hybridity and identity crisis are still topical in African literature. Also, in the context of globalization, it is relevant to study the post-independence situation of African societies as represented by their early prominent and visionary writers such as Chinua Achebe from Nigeria and Cheikh Hamidou Kane from Senegal. Therefore, hybridity becomes a concern, through which writers address the dilemma of the African. They portray the intellectual who is entrapped in two different cultures and becomes alienated. The corpus of this article showcases this phenomenon through the characters of Obi Okonkwo in No Longer at Ease (1960) and Samba Diallo in Ambiguous Adventure (1962). Through a critical analysis and a post-colonial perspective, the article focuses on identity crisis, alongside the contentious debate over cultural diversity versus cultural difference, which is highly reflected in the novels investigated in the paper.

Last modified: 2014-03-02 13:04:34