Since both The Bridegroom (First published by Heinemann in 1958) and Things Fall Apart belong to the category of African literature, the relationship between black and white men in Africa is a subject that the two literary works must deal with. In Things Fall Apart, readers get in contact with first phase of colonialism in lower Niger, and in Bridegroom, readers catch glimpses of the period of apartheid. Writers of The Bridegroom and Things Fall Apart successfully use the description of relationship to stress on the themes, which are racial segregation in The Bridegroom, and social disintegration in Things Fall Apart. The ways of achieving this is through the use of narrative viewpoints, diction, dialogue and conflict.
Both writers use
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Enoch himself was greatly disappointed when he heard this, for he had hoped that a holy war was imminent” This presents a contradiction between thought of white Christians and Enoch. It may be the result of a weak religious base of the relationship as the early converts could not understand Christianity as a whole. True Christians more often, would rather protect themselves than initiate a “holy war”. It is an authentic presentation and brings out the theme of social disintegration, that it would be very hard to bring the black and whites together, forming a well-integrated society because their understanding towards each other is not built on firm ground.
In the two literary works, writers present diction in different ways in order to coincide with the themes. Diction is one of the literary features that is most widely used in depicting the relationship in the two literary works.
Diction is used to frame the quality of relationship. In The Bridegroom, a vivid description of how “he” gives instructions to Piet, his black male servant, and how Piet obeys his call, shows that relationship, “He called, easily and softly, ‘Ou Piet, ek wag.’” “The bony black man with his eyebrows raised like a clown’s”. Readers can detect that although the master and the servant come from different backgrounds and belong to different race, “he” and Piet keep an easy-going relationship