Camara Laye

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Camara Laye

Thesis Statement

The aim of the paper is to discuss the novel dark Child' by Camara Laye. The book discusses the incarcanation of the African child. It is a serious religious novel.


This is clearly a classic of African literature and the reflection of an era. The foregoing independence, since L'Enfant noir, the Guinean writer Camara Laye, was released in 1953, five years before the referendum which Guinea emancipation from colonial France. The late Camara Laye (1924-1981), a leading French-language novelist, was perhaps exceptional in being devoid of nationalist aspirations. He was born into the Malinke tribe of French Guinea. It was an area remote from the centres of French colonialism, but with a veneer of Islam. In spite of this, it is noticeable that there is hardly a single reference to the Muslim religion in all his writings. Camara Laye went on to gain a French education and to become a motor mechanic. He was sent to France to study automobile and aeronautical engineering, and he remained there, working in car factories and in public transport companies, until 1956. This autobiography ofCamara Laye's childhood is pastorale of great beauty, recreating an authentic vision of the world of African tradition. However, it is far from being a work of mere romanticism or nostalgia. On the contrary, it is a deeply religious book, the reinstatement of the author's inner world represented by his childhood. He evinces a powerful religious longing for this coherent universe of African village life (Belcher 2007, 65).

Dark Child

Camara Laye's (1928-1980) autobiographical novel The Dark Child was published in France in 1953 to great acclaim. Camara Laye's 1954 novel The Dark Child is comprised of the recollections of an African student similarly suffering the loneliness of French exile. Didier's teenage years in France were cold, lonely, and largely friendless, and the sense of socio-cultural dislocation is strong, with football providing some solace. Awarded in 1954 Charles Veillon Prize, The child is one of those Black African works that escaped the theme of colonization seen as acculturation (voluntary or forced) by many authors. The writer, Camara Laye, gives us just the life of an African child, somewhat against his will, gradually moving away values, centuries-old traditions of the people it belongs with.

In this novel, Camara Laye makes simple no frills unnecessary the reality of a changing world. He realizes, as a child, it will not be a blacksmith like his father, that he has other goals for him and hopes that her eldest son to seize the opportunity that he has not had to receive school education. Camara, a sensitive child, feel through his daily life that is not the same. He feels he can not fit into the thread of his family history, that some of the secrets that men of a family are passed on from generation to generation, some of the mysteries he observed with the eyes of children, will always remain to him the secrets, mysteries it has not pierced; Camara therefore, leaves behind him, going ...
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