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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Williams article- Russ W.

Williams writes that, “In this play, Yorinka manages to capture the power and glory of the ancient Yoruba state in its dying moment.” He argues that this play contributes to the political consciousness of people who share a concern for those repressed due to colonization of African countries. Yorinka is able to expose the “cultural chauvinism” of Western society through his various depictions in the play. Williams writes that the Western conception of ritual is often considered primitive, and it is thus characterized in a negative way. Yorinka is able to validate these cultural traditions by illustrating the complex cultural motives they carry, and florid language with which he describes them.

However, the depiction of the ‘clash of cultures ‘ is not a typical one. For example, something that would be considered an imposition of Western ideals (such as the inclusion of a marketplace) It is not attributed to Western society but to the Yoruba culture. Similarly, Yorinka doesn’t paint the picture of a peaceful tribe and the evil English as a simple, reductive tale of oppositional political forces. Neither is purely admonished or absolved for their actions in the play, and it is this level of complexity and truth that strikes the public so hard. This work served as a zeitgeist for the political consciousness of the African people and became pivotal for stimulating political action and as a self-reflexive ideal.

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