Analysis Of Sembene Ousmane 's God 's Bits Of Wood
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The period of European colonialism in Africa was rife with oppressive, racist, and brutal power systems that acted purely in the interests of the colonizing nations. The people being crushed under these systems engaged in many anti-colonial struggles to improve their conditions and gain liberty, however, these efforts were hindered by selfish people, betraying those around them to work with the colonial powers, for personal gain. Sembene Ousmane’s novel, God’s Bits of Wood, takes place during the period of French colonialism, primarily in the west African country of Senegal, known formally today as the Republic of Senegal, and additionally in what is modern day Mali. Ousmane depicts the lives of railroad workers and their families mainly through the activity in three cities: Bamako, Dakar, and Thies. Bamako is the capital of modern day Mali, Dakar is the largest city in Senegal and also it’s capital, and Thies is a large city in Senegal known primarily as a wooded region.
Similar to the rest of Africa, the colonial system in Senegal was built on a system of oppression and racism. The most blatant example of this system is in Bamako, where the readers are shown the white governor’s residence, and how it compares it to the extremely poor quality houses nearby, where the African people live. The book begins with a description of the city of Bamako, where in the middle of a section of hills, onlookers can see the houses: “At the center of the belt of hills the groups