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Ngugi's On the Abolition of the English Department

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Introduction

Abel Girma IB English Mr. Lucky November 2012 Ngugi's ?On the Abolition of the English Department? 1. This essay is a response to what? What assumption is Ngugi challenging? What is he rejecting? This essay is a response by Ngugi to the paper presented by the Head of the English Department at the University of Nairobi on the 20th of September 1968. Ngugi is challenging the assumption that the English language is the most important field of study in the university and in other African universities. He's rejecting the fact that English language, literature and culture are given a fundamental role in African universities. 1. What specifically is Ngugi proposing? Does this mean rejecting other language and culture streams? ...read more.

Middle

Soon, French became omnipresent in African literature and culture. Ngugi is thus referring to the importance of French in African literature by stating that it's ?nonsense to talk of modern African literature without French.? However, things have definitely changed since then. Colonialism is no longer extant and the French no longer have control over African literature. Nevertheless, many West African countries continue to use French as their mother-tongue and French remains a popular language in African literature. It can also be added that currently, English has become more and more influential in African literature and culture; not due to colonialism but to the USA's and England's cultural appeal to Africans. 1. Why does Ngugi argue for the inclusion of oral literature in the department? ...read more.

Conclusion

Why or why not? An interesting quote from his conclusion is that ?education is a means of knowledge about ourselves.? I agree with this statement because it makes sense that one finds out more about his or her roots and personality through learning more As for the ?literary excellence?, Ngugi raises an excellent point about perspective. Literature isn't ?excellent? simply because it's written in a certain way but the audience also matters because the audience is the ultimate judge. One cannot simply ?fight against Bad English? or bad literature as Orwell suggests because perspective matters. Ngugi also believes that African literature must be seen from an African perspective, which makes sense to a certain extent but approaching any work of literature from a very limited perspective isn't good. In today's world, things must be seen from international perspective not only from an African perspective. ...read more.

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