English Literature » Notes » Houseboy: Theme of Colonialism

Houseboy: Theme of Colonialism

Ferdinand Oyono crafts the novel Houseboy about the oppression black people go through in the hands of the white colonialist. In West Africa specifically Spanish Guinea, this was under the European rule. The author uses a West African boy to expose the white administration practices that were crude and evil to the Africans. The African boy Toundi, he keeps a diary and events that had occurred in his life in what the author calls an exercise book. Who was better to read the events first hand except the Europeans themselves? A French man on vacation in Spanish guinea finds Toundi seriously injured, however he soon dies. The French man discovers a diary which the Frenchman reads. From this Ferdinand craft a novel of a Frenchman on vacation reading the diary, “exercise book” to himself. The novel is about this man reading Toundi’s recorded events.

The scramble and partion of Africa was the forceful division of the African continent among the European power and a forceful occupation of the same which led to colonialism of the “dark continent. The berlin conference of 1884 was the machinery behind the African continent division. The British, French, Germans, Portuguese, Belgians, Italians and Spanish all acquired pieces of territory in Africa. What followed was a series of exploitations across Africa from east Africa and along the Nile we had the British, to the French West Africa. All Africans were forced into labor land taken away from them as the Europeans took out was economically valuable in Africa. Hargreaves, J. D. (1963).

The author exposes a foreign religion that enticed people especially children into joining Christianity using sugar. Toundi describe himself as a decadent of cannibals which is very inhuman however this is situational irony since the French are the once who show inhuman traits by treating Africans inhumanly.

Get access to this and all exclusive member-only essays with Patreon membership. If you've already joined, please log in here

Patreon $3/month

0 (0 ratings)