Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Alan Bishop


The thesis explores the dominant themes of Armah's novels the despair and social fragmentation that plague post-Independence Africa. These themes are treated in varying degrees 1n all of Armah's five novels: The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Fragments, Why Are We So Blest?, Two Thousand Seasons and The Healers. In each of them, however, the time, setting and focus are different. However, his conviction that Africa's vision has been impaired because she traded her traditional values for unsuitable alien ones, with the resultant tension in family and social relationships, is consistent. Because of length restriction, this thesis focuses on The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born and Fragments, Armah's first two novels. However, an attempt 1S made to generalize the Ghanaian experience in these two novels to embrace the whole of Africa, by making comparisons with and drawing parallels to the rest of his novels as well as novels by other African writers, notably Achebe and Ngugi. The first two chapters deal almost exclusively with Armah's literary treatment of the botched-up political experiment of Independence. The concluding chapter examines the likely political future of Ghana (and Africa) vis-a-vis current political events and the dominant themes of armah's novels, for which he Appendix provides political and historical background.

McMaster University Library

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