Mongo Beti's Narrative in 'The Poor Christ of Bomba' is the Nativity of Postcolonialism

Essay by GloriamaUniversity, Master'sA, June 2007

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Postcolonialism is a term that ranges from artistic actions, political theories, cultural theories, and social ideologies which have created a new genre of African writers in the mid to late twentieth century that theorize this term. The fallout, drawbacks, and social emergences that have come out of colonialism appear to have taken the definition of postcolonialism up to a certain point because according to some theorists of postcolonialism, the definition still remains subjective. At this point, what remains is still the level of understanding toward the colonized and remaining questions as to the motives of the colonizers to colonize. Postcolonialism relegates the colonizers intent to just personal financial gains over the colonized, whereas the colonized and its following generations still are dealing with the results of such humiliations and dominations impacted by colonialism. Perhaps to understand some of the effects of postcolonialism a reader should have a textual analysis of colonialism itself.

In the book, The Poor Christ of Bomba, the author, Mongo Beti uses narration to tell a story that takes the reader inside the mind of a fourteen year old who finds himself in a situation beyond his control. The characterization of the narrate personify an age that draws the line between innocence and awareness. The condition as it were in the book takes a satirical approach on how the circumstances under colonialism rule may have been. Beti’s clever play on words, situations, and storylines open up the mind of the reader to take in some of the implications attribute to colonialism that make the term postcolonialism so arbitrary (Chrisman 8-11).

Postcolonialism is referred to what actually happens after colonialism, its predecessor. The area controlled by is territorial occupier gains its independence and appropriates its own establishment. Politically it may appear that this area is now completely...