The Old Drift Quotes

Namwali Serpell
This Study Guide consists of approximately 51 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Old Drift.
This section contains 2,193 words
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Where you sought an origin, you find a vast babble which is also a silence: a chasm of smoke, thundering. Blind mouth!
-- Mosquito Swarm (The Falls)

Importance: This quote uses the shared vocabulary between bodies of water and language to link the shared concepts of colonial exploration and etymology. The mosquito narrators describe Dr. Livingstone’s unsuccessful search for the source of the Nile River which led him to Victoria Falls, thus leading to the colonization of what would become Zambia. Here, the word “source” refers to both the source of the Nile and the source of a particular “ur-word or symbol,” thus making a link between language and colonial discovery (2). The mosquitos go on to describe the resulting discovery as “a vast babble which is also a silence,” a paradoxical statement which shows the confusion and chaos caused by the human search for knowledge. This quote serves to solidify the important role of language...

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This section contains 2,193 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Old Drift Study Guide
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