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Tradition Refashion the Present
Abani’s Orientation published as part of the novel known as The Face: Cartography of Void (2013), follows the development of the protagonist Abani who grew in Afikpo, Nigeria, and moved to Lagos during his adolescence. By reflecting on a mix of two races, two cultures, and two lineages, Abani ‘s description demonstrates a cultural subject (Abani 8). In other words, the depiction of Abani is based on his description of events, places, memories, and histories. His cultural identity is grounded on historical contingent processes embedded in different sociocultural contexts. The text is structured to describe a mix of Celt and Anglo-Saxons (Abani 8). These places’ connection helps the reader see, feel, hear, and think about what is being said. In cultural communities, tradition plays a vital role in the production and reproduction of subjects. For instance, the Afikpo demonstrate striking moments which inform Abani ‘s physical face. In particular, his maternal grandmother’s lineage, which predates the Norman Conquest, contains some images that the reader could imagine to display some characteristics of precolonial Africa (Abani 8). Hunting, which came from Shropshire, also predates the Normal Conquest on his maternal grandfather’s side. All this forms a mental picture where readers can experience Abani ‘s story. All through the memoir, Abani’s use of imagery creates a graphic and vibrant presentation of scenes, which aids the reader’s imagination of Igbo tradition as subject to adapt to continuous change and contemporary circumstances.
The use of imagery helps the readers to envision the characters and scenes in the memoir. Abani uses figurative language to represent ideas, places, and events that Abani experiences. Usually, imagery uses words to create a visual representation of ideas in mind; for instance, Abani ‘s story portrays critical moments of his biological face. To begin with, Abani talks about the face that forms his identity “biologically my face is a mix of two races, of two cultures, of two lineages” (Abani 8). Essentially, the true meaning of this text lies in the total effect that it has upon the readers. Abani continues to assert that his family was strong and displayed some traits in some way “physical, mental, even the way they dress as in dressing for strength, which might have included armor in the past or style in the present” (Abani 8). These are some of the ideas that produce visual imagery and meanings about Abani ‘s experiences. Abani addresses different discourses to demonstrate a connection of lineage and the noble people that form his identity. His experiences use figurative and metaphorical language, something that improves the reader’s experience through senses. At the same time, the use of positive connotations surrounding Abani ‘s background is an understanding of why individuals orient themselves to their sense of cultural identity. The connection between cultural origins and the current circumstances creates an impression of cultural oneness based on the stable, continuous, and unchanging frames of reference and meaning. By reflecting on the cultural activities, Abani gets a deep sense of belonging to the Igbo community. This makes the reader notice different classification that determines ideas, impressions, and belief systems and often forges them into truths. The text makes it clear that truthfulness and authority impose themselves as reliable frames of cultural orientation.
Abani, Chris. The Face: Cartography of the Void. Restless Books, 2013.