See No Evil Write No Evil: Sexual Deviance In African Literature During Colonialism

Wazha Lopang


This paper argues that writers of African literature during colonialism differed in their portrayal of sexuality, particularly that which was considered deviant by nature, because of their need to build an ‘upright’ African image, no matter how artificial this was. The paper looks at how the political environment dictated sexual expression amongst characters and that the urban setting was more candid in its narrative style. There was also a total blackout on homosexuality between characters and where this took place, it was presented as something that was alien to the African culture in general and to the personality in particular. Writers who depicted pre-colonial settings limited sexuality to procreation and as a comment to the African’s link with the ancestors. There is also a correlation between the geographic location of texts and the degree of sexual expression that the writer engages in. As such the paper argues that sexual deviance is depicted as a matter of geography over and above thematic concerns.

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International Journal of Comparative Literature and Translation Studies

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