Identity In Sozaboy

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Ken Saro-Wiwa’s novel Sozaboy shows the Nigerian Civil war from July 6th 1967 to January 13th 1970, from the ignorant viewpoint of a disadvantaged young man named Mene. The novel not only touches on this anti-war point, but it also imperative issues of identity, which often heavily effect people involved in political turmoil. These issues of identity seem to focus on how war can change and develop a person’s identity; it is also shown how a place can be part of an identity. Mene is pulled into the life of a young soldier, unaware of situations outside his understanding, which stems from his lack of educational opportunities; these lack of educational opportunities are intimately connected to how his personality and emotions are shaped, and thus is a significant factor in shaping his identity. On Mene’s level, the reason for him becoming a soldier was to impress his new wife and show other men that he was not a little boy. Yet this need to impress is not simply about Mene’s desire for importance; it is about wanting to change his identity from a boy to that of a soldier. Alongside this identity as a soldier, Mene desires to have the respect that is fostered alongside the identity of ‘soldier’. In Coconut, Ofilwe and Fikile, must construct their identities by manipulating their appearances in order to conform to Eurocentric or Westernized standards of beauty. The following essay will explain furthermore how these characters negotiate their identity in societies that they

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