With an increasing amount of African literature being sold worldwide, representations of both current and past African culture are becoming further and farther separated within the world view of millions causing sensationalized views of Africans. Portrayals of Africa, both continent and citizens, in literary texts are a concern for any part of the world, though specifically the Western which already suffers from predisposed uninformed notions of Africa. Images of Africans range from war-like superstitious tribes fighting for dominancy, such as those found within Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (1958), to the modern day representations of pregnancy, society, and currency offered within Marguerite Abouet’s Aya:Of Yop City (2008). While both texts discuss African culture at different points in time utilizing completely different styles, formats, and content, examining both gives an inside look as to what it really means to be African for both a man and a woman. Analyzing the texts within their point of time (pre-colonization to post), and analyzing the differences between both male and female characters can hope to shed some light into stopping the generalizations occurring over African literature and show that there is already a movement away from the sensationalizing of Africa, though one still containing African culture and heritage.
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