African cosmovision of life and death in works by Jorge Amado, Alejo Carpentier and Toni Morrison

Jorge Allen-Dixon, Purdue University


The purpose of this work is to examine the African influence on works written by the Brazilian Jorge Amado, the Cuban Alejo Carpentier and the U.S. writer Toni Morrison. All these works feature elements easily recognized as African in nature; however, this study analyzes these elements from a religious standpoint as a way to argue that there is a spiritual essence present in some literary works throughout the American hemisphere. Considering the primordial natural phenomena of life and death; some essential beliefs from the African belief systems are unveiled, and the reader then is equipped to appreciate within the literary context of these works, the fluidity of fundamental concepts such as reality and time. The intention of this work is not to argue that the African vision of life and death is antagonistic to other culture perspectives also present in the Americas but that instead they all belong to a unit. Nonetheless, the reader is challenged to accept the African perspective as a valid one and not to dismiss it as an artistic artifact randomly used by literary artistic. ^




Paul B. Dixon, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Literature, Comparative|Literature, Latin American|Religion, General|Literature, Caribbean|Literature, American

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