African literature can be divided into three distinct categories: precolonial, colonial and postcolonial. Precolonial literature often takes the form of oral narratives that are sometimes accompanied by music and center around the trickster figure. Colonial literature examines the horrors of slavery and the slave trade, revolting against colonialism and drawing inspiration from Africa's past. Postcolonial literature focuses on the clash between indigenous and colonial cultures, expressing hope for Africa's future.Know More
Within these categories is a subset of African women writers who focus on the ordeals that women face in a patriarchal and colonialist country. Their work often contains sub-themes of women finding strength in each other's company when abandoned or dismissed by their husbands and fathers, who are, in turn, subjugated by the English. The narratives depict the struggles of women trying to hold together their families and preserve their cultures, but they often find themselves overruled by men.
As more African literature began to be written and published in European languages, some scholars have criticized its place in the African academic community. Others see the contradiction as a symbol of the eternal conflict between African and English identities. However, some writers argue that Africa cannot return to its past and that it is important to acknowledge and understand how the country has been changed by a foreign presence.Learn more about Literature
African literature is as diverse as the continent itself, but several characteristics and themes prevail throughout much of the written works emerging from Africa. For instance, there is often a great emphasis on the history, culture and customs of a group of people when telling their stories.Full Answer >
Atmosphere is a term used in literature to describe the mood of a piece of writing, which is usually created by how the author describes the setting and background, as well as the characters and events within the story. The author creates his or her atmosphere in order to give the reader subconscious impressions about the narrative.Full Answer >
Colonial literature is the body of creative work produced by the early American colonists. These works include the personal, emotional poetry of Anne Bradstreet, the jeremiads produced by preachers like Increase Mather and Jonathan Edwards, and the popular Indian captivity narratives.Full Answer >
The major themes in "Antigone," the play written by Sophocles in or before 441 B.C., include natural law, pride, gender, blindness vs. sight, civil disobedience, family loyalty, and free will vs. fate. It also broaches the conflict between the individual and the state, as well as the differences between moral and divine law.Full Answer >