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Culture, Literature

Ama Ata Aidoo, Kofi Awoonor, Ayi Kwei Armah, Oral literature, societal values

Oral literature, in the form of story telling, has traditionally been the most popular indigenous way of transmitting societal values. In village gathering places, stories of the spider Ananse were told both to entertain and educate. In the 1950s and 1960s, many of these stories were written down to serve as reading material for school children. Commonly recurring themes in modern Ghanaian literature have been opposition to colonial rule, political corruption, and the clash between tradition and modernization in Ghana. Some of the best known Ghanaian writers in the English language are Efua Sutherland, a colonial-era female playwright; Ama Ata Aidoo, a writer whose plays, novels, and poetry examine the traditional roles assigned to African women; Ayi Kwei Armah, an author of insightful critiques of contemporary political conditions and historical fiction; and Kofi Awoonor, a writer whose poems and novels dissect the interaction of traditional and Western ideas in Africa.

Article key phrases:

Ama Ata Aidoo, Kofi Awoonor, Ayi Kwei Armah, Oral literature, societal values, political corruption, historical fiction, colonial rule, poems, clash, traditional roles, recurring themes, novels, African women, poetry, opposition, modernization, reading material, English language, village, school children, stories, plays, places


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