The thing in Confessions of a Mask that was really starting to make me wonder about the narrators sanity is his fascination with death. As we talked about in class we do have to keep in mind that this is the narrator looking back at his life telling the story. So therefore his thoughts about the meaning of things in his childhood are colored by his experiences and thoughts currently in his life. What really concerns me is his obsession with death from a very young age. I think he wasn’t very happy so death seemed like a better option. When he was talking about playing war with his cousins and he was playing dead he said “There was an unspeakable delight in having been shot and being on the point of death. It seemed to me that since it was I, even if actually struck by a bullet, there would surely be no pain…” He doesn’t seem capable of feeling anything. He looks at death as this wonderful thing and doesn’t even seem to think that he would feel any pain, maybe because he feels he isn’t capable of feeling anything. That’s really sad. Knowing the fact that the author killed himself and the fascination that the narrator in this book has with death almost seems like the author was trying to say something about himself through this character. Perhaps the author also was strangely fascinated by death and expressed it the only way he knew how, through a character in one of his books.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
As I began to read A Season of a Migration to the North, I was struck by one passage. It is where the narrator has just arrived home and says, “…I heard the cooing of the turtle-dove, and I looked through the window at the palm tree standing in the courtyard of our house and I knew that all was still well with life.” (4) It was that feeling of coming home and everything was as it had always been. It gave the narrator a sense of security for home to feel the same when he got back as it was when he left. It’s like the feeling whenever you’re away from home, or after you’ve moved away, to come back and see things functioning much as they always have; it can give a sense of security.
I feel like this relates to the overall feeling that I seem to be getting from the novel that colonialism changes something that was wonderful in ways that are not good. It takes away from the greatness that was always there to impose what the people conquering in their ignorance feels is better. This also plays to the conundrum that we touched on in class that yes, there were things that the British brought to the Sudan and other countries that were improvements, but at what price and was it worth what they lost in the process?