Prayer to the Masks Discussion Questions

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Discuss how Senghor depicts the past, present, and future in his poem. How does the present relate to the traditional African past? What role will the tradition play in the future of Africa?

Senghor's poem draws strongly on a patriarchal myth that evokes his father's name and the masculine totemic animal of the lion, while excluding women from this sacred "ground" protected by the lion-mask. Yet he also uses feminine imagery of the "dying princess" of traditional Africa and the umbilical cord attaching Africa to the colonial "mother" of Europe. How does "Prayer to the Masks" relate gender to his vision of the Africa of the past, present, and future? How do you think the poem might have differed if it had been written by an African woman?

Senghor was a central participant in the "Negritude" movement, a literary and cultural movement...

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This section contains 546 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Prayer to the Masks Study Guide
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