The Bride Price Essay

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Bakhtin makes several distinctions between the epic and the novel that are useful to Western readers trying to understand Emecheta's fiction. The epic he associates with the "absolute past" and the power of tradition because it speaks in the monologic voice of unquestioned authority. The novel, on the other hand, "is determined by experience, knowledge and practice (the future)." Its dialogic (competing) voices speak in "unofficial language and unofficial thought." In short, where the epic is a closed genre reflective of what has already occurred, the novel is open—to the present and the future. As such, the novel is almost by definition a progressive genre. Since we in the West believe that Chike and Aku-nna would do no lasting harm to society by falling in love and marrying, at first glance "epic" seems a more suitable term to describe The Bride Price than "novel," as it...

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This section contains 1,679 words
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Buy The Bride Price Study Guide
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The Bride Price from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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