houseboy Ferdinand Oyono begins his haunting tragedy at the end of a Cameroonian houseboy’s life. “Brother, what are we,” Toundi Onduo. Ferdinand Oyono has really done a great work with this fictional work. portrayed this in the life of Toundi when he has to be the houseboy of the Commander. Ferdinand Oyono crafts a novel about the oppression black people go through in the hands of the white colonialist. In West Africa specifically.

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The French policy of assimilation can be called patronizing at its very best.

Waveland Press – Houseboy by Ferdinand Oyono (translated by John Reed)

Husband, Father, Researcher, Bike Guy. Jun 30, V. Oyono’s novels were written in French in the late s and were only translated into English a decade or two afterward.

Early on, he Toundi Ondoua, the rural African protagonist of Houseboy, encounters a world of prisms that cast beautiful but unobtainable glimmers, especially for a black youth in colonial Cameroon. Toundi describe himself as a houweboy of cannibals which is very inhuman however this is situational irony since the French are the once who show inhuman traits by treating Africans inhumanly.

I’m having a bit of a hard time rating this one. This is evident in the events that occur immediately after father gilbert.

Ultimately, the harshness of the Reality of his and his people’s condition and how subtly his view of it evolves is absolutely fascinating. No trivia or quizzes yet. You are commenting using your WordPress. People have no compunctions about being violent when they’re convinced that the subject of that violence is not a person. All Africans were forced fdrdinand labor land taken away from them as the Europeans took out was economically valuable in Africa.

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Yet, I am very glad to have read this story.

In part 2 however the Commandant’s beautiful wife arrives and the consequences for Toundi prove to be dire as he serves both his master fetdinand the expectations of how a native can behave. Postcolonial Histories of Sub-Subaltern Societies. Thanks and God bless you.

Mustapha Aminu Muhammad November 22, How could he respect a man who acted without dignity?

It is a wonderful novel. Then things fall apart. The book is in the form of a diary although the reading is fluid like a novel is. Toundi’s voice is clear and concise, and for that reason the world can’t help but feel realistic, and that realism in turn fuels thought, empathy, and understanding.

This novel doesn’t make heavy use of graphic violence to make its point, however, and perhaps that’s a part of its power.

Houseboy by Ferdinand Oyono

I first read it about ten years ago in one of my undergrad courses on African novels, but I decided to reread it as one of the works in translations I’ll be teaching oyomo my IB English course next year.

Toundi’s sensitive self-esteem and idealistic attitude about the Europeans begin to flake, when he begins to realize that he belongs not to the world of his village nor to the one of the whites, but is caught in the groundswell of those Africans whose fate became inextricably tied to that of the colonialists and the changing world.


This is derdinand of novel with so much to say…i find out something new evey time I read it. The thesis is quite clear.

The theme of colonialism in reference to houseboy, novel by Ferdinand Oyono

Houseboy Ferdinand Oyono Snippet view – Father Gilbert dies in a motorcycle accident a few months after meeting Toundi.

Toundi’s story is troubling but engaging. There are a lot of reasons to like books. No matter the rank, education, poise, or beauty of the Africans who wished to assimilate, they remained lower even than the most unsavory and downtrodden white Frenchman.

Notify me of new comments via email. They were so fwrdinand, insecure, ignorant and mentally fragile that they cons Painful. Create a free ferdinan or blog at WordPress. It offers a glimpse into the life of an articulate African, Toundi Onduo, who was at first intoxicated by the offerings of the French, and determined to assimilate into their culture, but later realized the hypocrisy of European culture and despised its rule of his people. His fear and respect for the commandant somehow reduces after he discovered that the French colonial agent was not circumcised.