Under African Skies
Under African Skies, a collection of African short stories brought together by Charles Larson, presents writers from sixteen different African countries. A few of the more well-known authors are as follows:
- Ben Okri
- Chinua Achebe
- Ken Saro-Wiwa
The stories reveal a variety of themes; however, two stories in particular present the theme of oppression. "Innocent Terror" by Tijan M. Sallah (Gambia) depicts both the cruelty of the corrupt and the innocent ignorance of the oppressed. In this short story about the willful murder of a poor cook by a wealthy Lebanese youth, money and power prove indomitable foes for the innocent. Gold is god-like and "it can make inadequates into gods" writes Sallah. Thus the author's opinion is clear: gold in the hands of the corrupt and morally unformed gives them opportunities to be treacherous and get away with it. This is as much a part of Africa's history as many other third world countries.
The son of the murdered man, young Tambedou, has a clear-cut and righteous lawsuit against the killer and his family, the Aziz family. Nevertheless, the power of wealth can influence the truly powerful to turn blind eyes toward law and morality. The Aziz family has the judge in its pocket, thus allowing the judge to acquit the murderer. What is painfully clear is that responsibility takes a back seat to the power of gold.The corrupt system, fueled with plenty of money and bribes, can chew up the innocent victims in this story. On a larger plane, Africa itself has been chewed up by hundreds of years of imperialism by wealthier countries. The macrocosm of Africa is revealed in part through the microcosm of this short story. Finally, the victim's son ostensibly has very little on his side in the corrupt system of justice and retribution. He is clearly the loser in the courts. The author, however, interjects a subtle glimmer of hope that right indeed could one day supercede might. The corrupt judge acknowledges the good behavior of the murderer defendant, as if his outward manners speak louder than his murderous actions. This clear hypocrisy is contrasted with the simple goodness of young Tambedou who, though his case against Aziz was lost, leaves the courtroom with a natural grace and optimism that could only come from his inner character, and not something put on for show. One could say that the meek, in this short story, will inherit the earth-though just when that might happen is not clear from the story. The parody of the title of "Innocent Terror" reveals the another truth behind the contentious harmony in African society: justice is a paradox in a country where might is right and perhaps what the meek inherit is not the earth, but the dirt.
Related Research Paper Topic Suggestions
Ahdaf Soueifs 1964 - In her short story "1964," novelist and political commentator Ahdaf Soueif recounts the journey of Aisha, an Egyptian teen, during her relocation from Egypt to London.
A Problem By Anton Chekhov - A Problem by Anton Chekhov essays summarize the short story by Russian author Anton Chekhov.
Araby James Joyce - Research papers on Araby by James Joyce discuss the world literature work by James Joyce telling the story of North Richmond Street boys, whose imaginative play belies their drab surroundings.
Barn Burning - Barn Burning book reports delve into a short story by William Faulkner which reflects the social conditions of the U.S. during the depression.
Barn Burning Summary - A summary on Barn Burning goes into one of William Faulkner's works about a fictional town in Jefferson Mississippi.
Blue Hotel - Blue Hotel research papers examine one of Stephan Crane's most disturbing short stories.
Cathedral - Cathedral research papers examine Raymond Carver's short story about a blind man helping another man see.
Herman Melville Bartleby The Scrivener - Herman Melville Bartleby the Scrivener research papers look into the various meanings found in the short story written by Herman Melville.
John Gardner - Research papers on John Gardner discuss the American author most known for his novels and short stories.
Junot Diaz - Junot Diaz Research Papers delve into a collection of short strories that provide a look into the culture of Dominicans in New York City.
Nobody ever dies - Nobody Ever Dies research papers examine the short story by Ernest Hemingway.
Short Stories - Short Stories essays discuss the form of literature that generally encapsulates a single episode or self-contained incident with a smaller cast of characters.
Short Story of Shiloh - Short Story of Shiloh Research Papers look at an example of topics that one can write on when doing research on Shiloh by Bobbie Ann Mason.
Snows of Kilimanjaro - The Snows of Kilimanjaro essays are custom written on Hemingway's short story. Study the interior monoluge or the characters within the novel to understand one of Hemingway's most well-known stories.
Soy La Avon Lady and Other Short Stories - Soy LA Avon Lady and Other Short Stories Research Papers discuss short stories that deal with race, gender, and sexuality issues.
The Bet By Anton Chekhov - The Bet by Anton Chekhov essays examine a short story written by Russian author Anton Chekhov in 1889.
The Blue Hotel Summary - A summary on The Blue Hotel discuss the short story by Stephen Crane about a young man who gets in trouble during a stay at the Palace Hotel.
The Cask of Amontillado - The Cask of Amontillado research papers analyze Edgar Allen Poe's short story about revenge. Paper Masters is a research paper service like none other.
Tolstoy Short Stories - Essays on Tolstoy's short stories discuss the author examines the human condition in his short stories and major works.
Valley of Dead Air - The Valley of Dead Air Research Papers discuss the short story by Gary Pak about a native Hawaiian man dies, and a smell that lingers over the valley.