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Roots Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 125 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Roots.
This section contains 589 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
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Themes

Assimilation and Separatism

Kunta Kinte1 s story illustrates an enduring theme of African-American life: the conflict between assimilation and separatism. In Africa, Kunta would never have been confronted with this issue, but in the American colonies he is subject to the powerful pressures of assimilation.

Kunta tries to hold onto his African identity, which has always defined him. Yet he is forced to accept a new name. As a slave, his entire social context has been redefined. Kunta cannot fully express himself because he is not free; he has lost his autonomy, which had so defined him as a young man in Africa

Moreover, Kunta is very lonely away from his home, family, and culture. In order to assuage his loneliness, he reaches out to the other blacks. Eventually Kunta realizes that he prefers life on the plantation to certain death, which he risks if he attempts to escape...

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This section contains 589 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Roots Study Guide
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Roots from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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