Publications Scientifiques

[ Article ] PUBERTY RITES FOR GIRLS AND BOYS IN SELECTED AFRICAN NOVELS

Date de soumission: 16-02-2021
Année de Publication: 2020
Entité/Laboratoire Laboratoire GRAD
Document type : Article
Discipline(s) : Langues & lingustique
Titre PUBERTY RITES FOR GIRLS AND BOYS IN SELECTED AFRICAN NOVELS
Auteurs HOUNDJO THÉOPHILE [2], ALLAGBE. Akinola Monday [3],
Journal: Addaiyan Journal of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Catégorie Journal: Internationale
Impact factor: 0
Volume Journal: 21
DOI:
Resume Puberty rites are indispensable in African social and organizational life. They serve as channels through which African children are exposed and taught how to cope/behave to be considered as dignified sons and daughters of their parents and societies. But the influences of Western education, modernization, and Christian missionary counter-teachings in Africa have put an obstacle to such traditional practices which serve as suckle of good mores among African children. Today, the African children are left without benchmarks and this has led them to social vices observed in African societies. Since writers, among others, serve as custodians of events in societies according to time and space, girls’ and boys’ puberty rites have been reproduced in the fictional writings of African writers like Ngugi’s The River Between (1965), Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (1958) and Nyantakyi’s Ancestral Sacrifice (1998). This article has examined how the above African writers have reproduced the puberty rites for girls and boys in their novels through the concept of rites of passage. As findings, the African writers have proved via their major characters that puberty rites for boys and girls are more or less one of the strong African traditions where the young adults are taught socio-cultural expectations of their society and how to meet up with future challenges ahead. Indeed, the girls’ and boys’ puberty rites are built on formal teaching in initiation ceremonies and on informal teaching through watching and imitating. So, the puberty rites for boys and girls start from informal teachings at home and before being societal formal teaching. On the one hand, right from home, parents associate the boys and girls who have reached the puberty stage around them to teach them things that are socially accepted in their community. Parents spend and make their boys and girls their friends. In this period, boys are encouraged to sit with their fathers and girls with their mothers to learn from them. On the other hand, it is societal when the boys and girls take part in the puberty ceremonies established for boys and girls in their community. But the conflicts of religious ideology between the whites and Africans have served as a bottleneck to the order of things in the novels. In short, the African writers have painted a vivid picture of these rites in their works so that it could not easily disappear because of globalization which is seducing most Africans to copy and paste the foreign ways of doing things. Remarkably, it seems the writers attempt to say to contemporary Africans to examine all things but retain what is good by allowing some of their radical main characters to die and by permitting the temperate ones to live to juxtapose good things in the Christian ways and both in African traditional ways.
Mots clés Puberty rite, boys, girls, African tradition
Pages 13 - 34
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