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The novel is structured like an epic adventure with an introductory preface to each chapter. Although it is like high adventure its style is a conscious deflation. The sequence is that of natural growth as a hero grows to an understanding of himself. The novelist therefore maintained a satiric position. The hero’s language is consciously exaggerated because the novelist is mocking at him. Mongo Beti continues in the French tradition of engaged writing. He shows that French civilization has been futile and has led to a rigid indoctrination.
In this novel, there is ironic reversal. Jean goes to the village apparently educated but the conclusion is the reverse. The novelist therefore shows that it is Jean that, in fact, needs education. The assimilated people lacked natural grace of the villagers. He had inhibitions about nakedness and had difficulty in seducing a woman. At the end of the journey he had to change his values and learns not to fear his father.
one of the most captivating and humorous novels