Song of Lawino: Cultural Duality and Universality Essay Sample

Song of Lawino by Okot p’Bitek centres on the chief storyteller Lawino’s supplication towards her hubby. Ocol. who shuns his old Acholi background for Westernization. Lawino implores Ocol non to abandon his heritage but instead accept both Acholi and Western civilizations ; as noted. cultural dichotomy serves as the premier subject in Song of Lawino. Through the character of Lawino. p’Bitek conveys his message that Acholi and Western civilizations could be fused in the epoch of Westernization. In doing his point. p’Bitek employs techniques. viz. the linguistic communication. enunciation. syntax constructions. imagination. and figures of address. to guarantee that Song of Lawino supports both Acholi and Western features. Furthermore. the reader could use p’Bitek’s thought to any cultural clang and understand that a balanced blending of the civilizations could settle the struggle. Thereby. analyses of the assorted literary techniques in Song of Lawino demonstrate that writer Okot p’Bitek utilizes the particular techniques to propose that both the Acholi and Western civilizations be embraced. finally set uping the importance of incorporating both old and new civilizations when in demand of a declaration.

Okot p’Bitek originally published Song of Lawino in Acholi in 1966 without interlingual rendition head. and the reader should observe that when translated into English. certain lines from the Acholi version lost their significances and effects. The undermentioned lines good prove the aforesaid point: “Listen. my hubby. / You are the boy of a Chief. / The Cucurbita pepo in the old homestead / Must non be uprooted! ” ( 346 – 349 ) . To the Western audience. the significance of the Cucurbita pepo remains as an ill-defined point. Here. p’Bitek in fact makes a comparing that Ocol giving up his Acholi civilization for Westernization is similar to senseless devastation. Pumpkins are considered a luxury nutrient in the Acholi civilization. and traveling to a new homestead does non go an alibi for deracinating such a valuable portion of belongings. Indeed. there are disadvantages to analyzing Song of Lawino in English ; nevertheless. p’Bitek basically trades off the minor disadvantages for a significantly larger audience when he translates the verse form into English. P’Bitek successfully recreates and applies effectual literary techniques in English for the significantly larger audience to grok his message. as seen in analyses of other techniques.

While it remains true that the English version no longer contains the “regular beat and rhyme” of the Acholi version. the fluctuations in enunciation and syntax constructions of the poetries in Song of Lawino highlight p’Bitek’s support for the Acholi civilization. For illustration. p’Bitek carefully topographic points weak and strong words in the undermentioned lines to bring forth coveted accents: “But when you see the beautiful adult female / With whom I portion my hubby / You feel a small commiseration for her! / Her chests are wholly shriveled up. / They are all folded dry teguments. / They have made nests of cotton wool / And she folds the spots of cow-hide / In the nests / And name them chests! ” ( 207 – 215 ) .

In this subdivision. Lawino speaks of Ocol’s new modernized kept woman. Clementine. and of her chests. which Lawino describes to resemble cow-hide. Clementine’s bodily construction aggressively contrasts the traditionally juicy and rich organic structure construction of African adult females. a trait that Lawino appreciates and that Clementine culls. P’Bitek bunchs weak words. such as pronouns. organizing concurrences. and prepositions. into the beginning of the line. but he finishes each line with strong phrases like “beautiful adult female. ” “shriveled up. ” “dry teguments. ” “cotton wool. ” “cow-hide. ” and “breasts. ” Such apposition allows p’Bitek to emphasize the terminal of each line for a lively and bouncy beat. magnifying Lawino’s disturbance. contemptuous tone. Through the enunciation and sentence structure constructions that indicate Lawino’s strong stance against a unsighted response of Westernization. p’Bitek excessively rejects the thought of subjecting to the Western ways at the disbursal of the Acholi civilization.

Imagery and figures of address to boot serve as outstanding literary devices in Song of Lawino. as p’Bitek uses the techniques to demo his protagonism of the Acholi civilization. For illustration. p’Bitek applies positive imagination when he portrays an Acholi adult female in the sphere. ready to dance: “The tattoos on her thorax / Are like palm fruits. / The tattoos on her dorsum / Are like stars on a black dark ; / Her eyes sparkle like the fire beetles / Her chests are mature / Like the full Moon. ” ( 442 – 448 ) . Immediately. the reader notices words and phrases. such as “palm fruits. ” “stars on a black dark. ” “fireflies. ” and “full Moon. ” which all relate to the natural universe. In contrast. p’Bitek nowadayss indecorous imagination to define the environment “dances of the white people” take topographic point in: “Some droppingss are ruddy like ochers / Others are xanthous / Like the ripe Mangifera indica. / Like inside a mature papaya. /

Others are black like dirt. / Like the dirt we use / For smearing the floor. / Some droppingss are of assorted colorss! / Vomit and urine flow by” ( 600 – 608 ) . From this subdivision. phrases like “ripe Mangifera indica. ” and “ripe pawpaw” besides pertain to the nature. However. the word picture of the Acholi terpsichorean emits an aura of fecundity and repose. whereas the Western dances are instead foul. This brings up an interesting facet. as p’Bitek works with metaphors and similes associated with the nature in both instances. yet the two cases yield dramatically different effects. The luring figures of address so conveying the two scenes in the limelight ; nevertheless. as opposed to back uping both the Acholi and Western signifiers of dances. p’Bitek paints the two dances contrastively with the imaginations to clear up his place on the topic. P’Bitek skilfully incorporates imaginations and figures of address to pull attending to Acholi and Western dances and upholds the Acholi tradition.

In the debut to Song of Lawino. George A. Heron offers his critical sentiments on the narrative verse form that “through his thorough cognition of an African literary tradition Okot has succeeded in utilizing English as a tool to make a wider audience without borrowing foreign elements that distort his message” . With the message being that both the Acholi and Western civilizations be embraced. p’Bitek so delivers his statement by using literary techniques to Song of Lawino in a compelling mode. However. analyses of enunciation. syntax constructions. imagination. and figures of address therefore far could offer the false feeling that p’Bitek downgrades the Western civilization while endorsing the Acholi civilization. P’Bitek uses enunciation and syntax constructions to set up Lawino’s contempt towards give uping the Acholi civilization. while he uses imagination and figures of address to visually exemplify to the negativeness of Western civilization compared to the Acholi civilization.

It is nonetheless critical to retrieve that p’Bitek expresses his concern for the Western civilization in a major manner by printing the English interlingual rendition of the work. despite the fiddling. inevitable downsides that follow. P’Bitek best represents his message in Lawino’s emotional soliloquy: “I do non understand / The ways of aliens / But I do non contemn their imposts. / Why should you contemn yours? ” ( 342 – 345 ) . Lawino’s lines typify and reflect p’Bitek’s bridal of both the Acholi and Western civilizations but more significantly keep a cosmopolitan quality in add-on to cultural dichotomy. P’Bitek’s ideals notably mirror nineteenth-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s quotation mark. “You have your manner. I have my manner. As for the right manner. the right manner. and the lone manner. it does non be. ” As both p’Bitek and Nietzsche suggest. it is of import to recognize the futility of take a firm standing on prosecuting either the bing or new civilization. Despite the instead simplistic nature of the finding of fact. an person in the center of cultural tensenesss must happen a harmonious. every bit good consensus. an integrating of both civilizations.

Mentions:

[ 1 ] . Serunkuma. Yusuf K. “Song of Lawino ( by Okot P’Bitek ) . ” AfricaBookClub. com. Africa Book Club. 20 June 2011. Web. 14 Oct. 2011. . [ 2 ] . Heron. George. “Introduction. ” Introduction. Song of Lawino & A ; Song of Ocol. By Okot P’Bitek. London: Heinemann. 1984. 1-33. Print. [ 3 ] . P’Bitek. Okot. Song of Lawino & A ; Song of Ocol. London: Heinemann. 1984. Print. [ 4 ] . Heron. George. “Introduction. ” Introduction. Song of Lawino & A ; Song of Ocol. By Okot P’Bitek. London: Heinemann. 1984. 1-33. Print. [ 5 ] . Heron. George. “Introduction. ” Introduction. Song of Lawino & A ; Song of Ocol. By Okot P’Bitek. London: Heinemann. 1984. 1-33. Print. [ 6 ] . P’Bitek. Okot. Song of Lawino & A ; Song of Ocol. London: Heinemann. 1984. Print. [ 7 ] . Serunkuma. Yusuf K. “Song of Lawino ( by Okot P’Bitek ) . ” AfricaBookClub. com. Africa Book Club. 20 June 2011. Web. 14 Oct. 2011. . [ 8 ] . P’Bitek. Okot. Song of Lawino & A ; Song of Ocol. London: Heinemann. 1984. Print. [ 9 ] . P’Bitek. Okot. Song of Lawino & A ; Song of Ocol. London: Heinemann. 1984. Print. [ 10 ] . Heron. George. “Introduction. ” Introduction. Song of Lawino & A ; Song of Ocol. By Okot P’Bitek. London: Heinemann. 1984. 1-33. Print. [ 11 ] . P’Bitek. Okot. Song of Lawino & A ; Song of Ocol. London: Heinemann. 1984. Print. [ 12 ] . Nietzsche. Friedrich. “Friedrich Nietzsche Quotes. ” Thinkexist. com. Thinkexist. com. Web. 10 Oct. 2011. .