Analysis Of Yaa Gyasi's Homegoing

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In Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing, discovering and exploring, the obvious and hidden, traumas and their subsequent effects on each generation is one of the most compelling parts of her highly acclaimed first novel. Set on Ghana’s Gold Coast in the 1700s, two sisters, who have never met, create generations of descendants who experience traumas continuously. Some generations experience the first hand the effects of slavery and the African slave trade, while others deal with the repercussions of belonging to a tribe of Africans that sold humans into slavery. Because the experience of trauma is continuous, the descendants of both sister, Esi and Effia, are never fully able to heal. Instead, the consequences of war, rape, kidnapping, violence and death are explored in the three hundred years since birth of the sisters. Past and current traumas shape the identities of each generation. Gysai’s narrative tells and retells the violent histories of both families in an attempt to help heal trauma that still remains imbedded in many Africans, and African Americas. Homegoing has been described by Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times as “wildly ambitious” which is an understatement for a novel that attempts to cover three hundred plus years of atrocities against African and African Americans in three hundred page. The novel’s structure includes fourteen vignettes that allow readers to enter each character’s life at a traumatic moment, but fails to develop any one character completely.
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