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Lecture 10

ENG 1120 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Schadenfreude, Samosa, Deeper Understanding

Course Code
ENG 1120
Breid Mc Ilkenny

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In the Quiet of a Sunday Afternoon
February 23, 2016
M. G. Vassanji, b.1950
Born in Kenya, raised in Tanzania (East African Indian)
Moved to Canada in 1978
PhD. in physics
Wanderlust and self-discovery are reoccurring themes
His work explores:
The effects of diaspora on ethnic identity
Settings include Africa, Asia, and NA
Claims Africa as his homeland
Many Indians were brought to Tanzania to build railways during the German occupation
In the Quiet of a Sunday Afternoon
- Anthology of short stories set in Dar es Salaam over a period of 30 years
- The characters and their relationships reflect the history of Dar es Salaam
- Stories explore political and social change in the city
- The people are steeped in Indian cultures and customs
Live apart from other Africans
- The story is non-linear (present-past-present)
- Use of symbolism as a means of depicting characters
- The depiction of the social hierarchy
- First person narration – questioning of perspective
- Use of diaspora within the story
- Significance of colonial history
- Sense of restfulness, calm and laidback
- “Little India” within Dar es Salaam
- The ball is sliced in half, similar to the narrator feelings of being divided between his
ancestral land in India, and Dar es Salaam where he has lived his whole life
Hussain (the narrator’s father-in-law) is a curmudgeonly, crotchety man, a sense
of schadenfreude
Short tempered, insults the children after they lose their ball
- Underlying cynicism and bitterness about the protagonist
- Everyone has a nickname
Self- imposed/covert hierarchy
Baby is spoiled
- The narrator has regrets about his marriage to Baby
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