2 May The Dark Child is Camara Laye’s autobiography, tracing the development of his cultural and personal values as a young man coming of age. Complete summary of Camara Laye’s The Dark Child. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Dark Child. Analysis and discussion of characters in Camara Laye’s The Dark Child.

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Writing a tale, or tall tale based on the Colonization of Africa. The farmer nobles csmara obligated to provide for the nyamakala—recompense for the goods they crafted and the services they furnished. Why it is on the books to read list is a mystery to me – I thought that was meant to be a list of novels but this is clearly a childhood memoir.

I identified so much with Camara Laye because of my own firsthand experience of leaving my childhood home post-Katrina, during the time of the New Orleans diaspora.

However, his time at Tindican is not idle; besides helping the whole village during the December rice harvest, he aids other children of the village in whatever tasks their parents have set them to achieve.

The Dark Child by Camara Laye

Laye’s father arms him with a map of city transportation of the Paris Metro in France. The Dark Child’s motive is not so ominous as it chronicles the “ancient ritualistic society of the Malinke,” in an attempt to keep this history alive and portray its role in giving shape to the consciousness of its sons Laye, back cover. Retrieved October 18, from Encyclopedia. I’ve adapted this to fit more of the Colonial experience, in Africa specifically. He took a job at the Simca auto factory and with the French railroad, pursuing his studies in night classes.

Camara Laye later worked for the government of newly independent Guinea, but went into voluntary exile over political issues. As late as only about 6 percent of the school-age population in French West Africa attended European-style centers of learning.

Creating the Master Game List Students share their group lists out loud, lqye the class develops a master list of games on the board. A brief history and map of where and how Islam established its roots in West Africa. Alfred Ernest Jones Translator. A student’s reflections on The Dark Child.


This book, which I read in one sitting, will always be close to my heart. Create names darrk the charactersperhaps humorous ones “linking an item from the person’s life with a common suffix” The narrations shouldn’t be in the student’s normal speaking voice, but instead act as a “fictitious persona, a garrulous talker who won’t let the listener get in a word edgewise.

For example, in the same passage as above his father has to be in a state of ritual purity when he works gold, but luckily when a customer turns up unexpectedly he will be in such a state having been warned in a dream. Essay on the concept of time as it’s changed through artist’s treatment of it in their literature.

The Dark Child Characters –

Village schools were sparse, and secondary education was limited. It would also be a good piece to weigh against Laye’s autobiography after it has been read as a class, to create discussion around where the “balance” does lie.

Not in the memoir, but important for understanding its backdrop, is the fact that the post- World War II years, when Laye attends technical school in Conakry, saw the rise of vigorous nationalism in French West Africa.

Camara Laye has a foot in chilr worlds. View a FREE sample. After three years in which he flourishes as a scholar, he places first on the final proficiency exam and is told by the headmaster that he has been offered a scholarship in France.

There seems to be some disagreement about whether The Dark Child is a memoir or an autobiographical novel; my library shelves it as nonfiction, though given the abundant dialogue, the author clearly took some creative license.

While Islam is widespread among the Mande peoples, the Muslim faith never completely displaced the older, animistic religion of the group. May 27, Molly rated it really liked it Shelves: Now turning to the blurbs we have this from the BBC: Other than this feeling of loss or perhaps because of itLaye portrays himself as happy and content.

Given that the movement, initiated by workers, was still in its infancy at the close of his memoir, it may have not yet reached students like Laye or his uncle, an executive in a French firm in Conakry. Highlights some of the more popular musical composers and performers from Guinea, and includes sample lyrics and music reviews.


I have always heard of Camara Laye, but never really got to read any of his writing till now. An interpretation by a university literature student of Laye’s strategy in constructing this novel and speculation as to the author’s views of God and African culture.

He must certainly have developed a very retentive memory stored with facts handed down to him by his predecessors, for this is the basis of all our oral traditions. This is a Mandinka name ; the family name is Camara and precedes the given names.

Camara Laye

I would recommend this book highly as I found his detailed account of the ‘ceremony of the lions’ which prepares boys for circumcision extremely worthwhile and a very interesting read.

Retrieved from ” https: To do so would be to court the ridiculous in the eyes of European readers. On top of that, the majority speak a language Susa he does not understand, and the climate is oppressively humid compared to that of his inland home. Laye wrote The Dark Child at age nineteen as a student in Paris, homesick for his mother and his homeland. To avoid this, he insistently returns to the point of view he had as a boy. The perspective Laye uses to track the story behind growing up in rural and later urban Guinea, is similar to I, Rigoberta Menchu where the Guatemalan woman tells her coming of age story in a similar way, though the motives for constructing each novel are vastly different.

The Dark Child Summary

At any rate, no Malinke sees a contradiction between the two types of spirituality. In fact, a debate rages today about the status of the nyamakala in general. Edgar, Christopher and Padgett, Ron.