The complete review 's Review :. The two thousand seasons of the title of Ayi Kwei Armah's novel represent the enormous arc of time of African history covered in it. The book hopes to put it behind: "Soon we shall end this remembrance," Armah writes near the close of the novel, "the sound of it. Armah's novel is a pan-African epic.
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The work demonstrates that the Arabs and the Europeans are responsible for the destruction of the continent and its values. They inflicted physical and mental damage on Africans with the help of their religions. They enslaved the natives and created masters and slaves.
Using violence, the revolutionaries could end slavery and the European exploitation. To some extent, the recreation of African history has allowed Armah to dismantle some Western myths about Africa and Africans. Hence, Armah destroys to construct.
In other words, he tries to make Africans understand themselves and their mission through understanding what exactly happened to them in history by the foreign forces.
These phases have inflicted on Africa loss of dignity, political and economic domination, distortion of African history, denial of African culture and the formation of stereotypical images for the African other. As an outcome, African society has been imprisoned into socio-political hardship, injustice and a sense of inferiority. Like his African committed counterparts, Ayi Kwei Armah, the Ghanaian novelist, produced Two Thousand Seasons to show the atrocities committed by the colonialists and to liberate the race from the shackles of neo-colonialism.
In this paper, it means the foreign forces that invaded Africa. Ngugi implies that African creativity, inspired by history, is a response to the forces that have been at play in the African past. The focus of this historical work, therefore, is an urgent concern for the liberation of the African mind from the disquieting legacy of alien myths and prejudices.
The native is the colonized, the invaded, the oppressed and the victim. The Arabs are introduced as beggars who were given help because it was part of the African people s life to assist guests.
However, the Arabs deceived them. In this case, Africans are seen as welcoming people, but the Arabs are seen as betrayers and exploiters. Europeans are introduced in this way:. The white people asked for lands.
The people told them land was not a thing to be possessed If they wanted shelter they always be welcome as guests At night they brought their ship closer to Enchi and from it sent hot balls of iron flying through the air to destroy their hosts. In relation to this, Armah makes clear the imperialists ends in Africa. Armah highlights that the real motive of the invasion of Africa is economic drive. Boehmer has emphasized that the true objective of colonialism has all the time been economic.
Our way is reciprocity. The way is wholeness. Our way knows no oppression. The way destroys oppression. Our way is hospitable to guests.
The way repels destroyers. Our way produces before it consumes. Our way creates. The way destroys only destruction In this sense, Armah confirms what Chinua Achebe has said about the reclamation of the past and re-creation of history that are fundamental to African literature:.
This theme put quite simply-is that African people did not hear of culture for the first time from Europeans; that their societies were not mindless but frequently had a philosophy of great depth and value and beauty, that they had poetry, and above all, they had dignity. It is this dignity that many African people all but lost during the colonial period and it is this that they must regain. We are not a people of yesterday. Do they ask how many single seasons we have flowed from our beginnings till now?.
We shall point them to the proper beginning of their counting. As a matter of fact, Armah challenges the writings of white historians who denied for Africa culture and participation to world civilization 8. Armah emphasizes the negative image of alien powers by creating scenes and passages where physical and mental evil have been practiced on African people.
This is meant to stimulate the African audience to remember the atrocities of the contact of Africans with foreign forces. Great was the pleasure of these lucky Arab predators as with extended tongue they vied to see who could with the greatest ease scoop out buttered dates stuck cunningly into the genitals of our women lined up for just this their pleasant competition. The Arabs are seen as dehumanizing African women by treating them as an object for their games and pleasure. This shows how the Arabs overturned the social structure of African society.
In old times, there was gender equality. Women used to participate in all social duties as the beginning of the novel testifies. The main idea Armah wants to fix in the mind of the reader is that the oppression of women and the spread of social inequality are splits in African tradition. The colonial texts deprived her of her capacity to articulate and act Armah evokes such stereotypical image of the black woman so as to subvert it.
The mind can also suffer attack, the mind can also fall to conquest. A mind attacked and conquered is guided easily away from the paths of its own soul. Such are zombies. And among us such were the askaris. Our coming here is a high favour unto you, a heaten people.
We bring you whiteness, which is godliness itself Conte and be saved. Come to the church, come into whiteness, come into purity. Throw your names to oblivion. Take white names, and denounce those who would fight against the whiteness of our road. Rebels against whiteness they are rebels against god. White people are civilized; black people are savage.
To some extent, the novel resists all forms of the colonialist distortion of African personality;. We have not found that lying trick to our taste, the trick of making up sure knowledge of things possible to think of, possible to wonder about but impossible to know in any such ultimate way. We are stunted in spirit, we are not Europeans, we are not Christians that we should invent fables a child would laugh at and harden our eyes to preach them daylight and deep night as truth.
We are not so wrapped in soul, we are not Arabs, we are not Muslims to fabricate a desert god chanting madness in wilderness and call our creature creator. That is not our way. The work brings about this issue when it portrays in detail the action of John, the slave dealer:. The tortured man yelled with pain, once smoke rose sharply from the oily flesh, then the iron rod was snatched back. The skin had come off in two pieces each as long as a middle finger and half as broad.
He urges every one of us to keep alive the memory of that most difficult of periods in black history, and the sense of the past Implicitly, the writer sheds light on the contradiction between Christian theories of universal brotherhood and the practice of slavery. In this sense, Two Thousand Seasons may be considered as a condemnation of religious and humanitarian discourses used by the imperialist centre to justify the enslavement and the domination of the periphery or the margin.
Thus, the truth of colonialism is revealed. The novel condemns it and tries to show the way to the liberation of the race. That is to say, it is the destabilization of a relationship that was established between the colonizer and the excolonized after the independence of the colonies.
Behaving as a healer, Armah provides the ingredients of a resolution to have a free continent. Armah implies that this can be done if Africans selectively embrace once again their own social and cultural qualities they lost during colonialism. It is made clear that the past is meaningful in the present and necessary for the future. However, Armah implies that Africans should look at their past from a critical point of view.
For example, his historical account inserts that there was a slight separation in precolonial community, and the Arabs could exploit it to dominate Africans. In Two Thousand Seasons, the revolution is symbolized in the violent group action that freed them from slavery and that was guided by Isanusi, the inspirer of the revolutionaries.
The writer denotes that a revolution needs leaders, sacrifice and the use of violence. He motivates the insurgents and inspires them.
He teaches the revolutionaries in the history of the black race to motivate them; he instructs them that power is something to work for the community, not against it. It is symbolized in his death when king Koranche sent an assassin to kill him. Isanusi exposed himself to death to respect his belief in the revolution and to be true to himself. In addition, Armah advocates violence in his book, and the preoccupation with it is a response to the disastrous violence, with which the African psyche was tortured.
Not only is this kind of violence an effective means to get Africa rid of exploitation and oppression of the coloniser, but it is also a way to restore the African values.
We do not utter the praise of arms Finally, Armah incorporates a pan-African vision in his rebuilding of a new Africa. They include critics like Irele, writers like Soyinka and martyrs in the fight for freedom like Kimati. Armah invites all artists and intellectuals to participate in the construction of a free and strong continent. He urges Africans to share brotherhood and be unified.
The work demonstrates that alien forces are responsible for the destruction of the continent and its values. Using violence, the revolutionaries could end slavery and European exploitation. In other words, he tries to make Africans understand themselves and their mission through understanding what exactly happened to them in history by foreign forces.
In fact, Armah behaves as an educator and a healer.
The novel was first published in and subsequently published a number of times, including in the influential Heinemann African Writers Series. It is an epic historical novel, attempting to depict the last "two thousand seasons" of African history in one narrative arc following a Pan-African approach. The novel focuses on the complicitness of African people to the enslavement of their people to intruders, first represented as Arabs than as European whites. Criticism of the novel is mixed. Chinua Achebe , in a interview, described Two Thousand Seasons as "unacceptable on the basis of fact, and on the basis of art. The work is ponderous and heavy and wooden, almost embarrassing in its heaviness. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Two Thousand Seasons
The work demonstrates that the Arabs and the Europeans are responsible for the destruction of the continent and its values. They inflicted physical and mental damage on Africans with the help of their religions. They enslaved the natives and created masters and slaves. Using violence, the revolutionaries could end slavery and the European exploitation. To some extent, the recreation of African history has allowed Armah to dismantle some Western myths about Africa and Africans. Hence, Armah destroys to construct.