Death And The Kings Horsemen

When fully understanding the significance of the ritual that would be sealing Elesin’s fate, and listening to the officers perspective on this foreign custom, I can see the text book colonizer mentality at work. The pride that Elesin shows in the festivities before his life is taken is something that we as a western society could never really full grasp, let alone British officials and occupiers in the mid 1900’s. The way that Pilkings and his wife were dressing up for the ball in a indigo piece of native garment that symbolized death was a perfect anecdote for how colonial rule in Africa truly looked like… full of insensitivities and generalizations about the lives of the people that call Africa home. Pilking’s sends for Elisen’s arrest, which at first glance looks like a favorable thing to do. As an occupying force subjecting the population to labor and other insidious acts, they have no real say in how these generational traditions should take place or cease, citing Christianity and forcing the customs and societies to bend to principles and rules that they themselves didn’t want a part in. Although unfortunate that Elesin’s fate is pre destined so far in the play, it brings fourth the interesting idea of a plethora of different cultures and how the members within them follow and accept their duties within the group despite how drastic or unnerving they may be.

3 thoughts on “Death And The Kings Horsemen

  1. I agree with you. The Pilkings’ and the rest of the white population in that area seemed very insensitive to the customs and traditions of the native people’s cultures. It doesn’t seem right to me that they feel they can interfere, despite the fact that they have never even taken the time to try and understand things for another perspective.

  2. The phrase “accept their duties” stuck out to me quite a bit. It made me think about why we people are so keen to follow the societal expectations they are raised in, even when it may seem crazy to an outsider.
    I think that could have to do with our natural trust in those who raise us, and that we expect them and our world to take care of us. But I also think we see other traditions/cultures as “crazy” because we were raised in a totally different way. I would have to think about that more. I’m glad you brought that idea up.

  3. Your use of terms like “colonizer mentality” and “occupying force”, led me to think about how long America has been in Afghanistan, essentially ruining the lives of the civilians there. I’m not sure how to really connect that to the reading, so I’ll just leave it at that.

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