Houseboy: Novel Analysis Part 2: Title, Setting & Style of the Novel

This Analysis covers the following aspects:

  • The title of the novel,
  • Setting of the novel, and
  • Style of the novel.
LITERATURE IN ENGLISH Novel Analysis: 'Houseboy' - Part 2.
a.      The title. The title of the novel is reflective of the character of the novel, Houseboy, or Toundi Ondoua, who works as a houseboy of different European houses. It is symbolic as it reflects the brutality and tortures that are undergone by the person who works under such influence. The experience of the ‘houseboy’ in the novel reflects the experiences of houseboys or housekeepers all over the world. The writer addresses how these people work hard for their bosses and how they are lowly paid. However, they are mistreated by their masters as if they are not part and parcel of masters’ wellbeing.
b.      The setting. The novel is set in Africa during colonial rule especially an African colony under French Assimilation policy. The setting also shows how Africans were brutally regarded by the French in those days. This is the relevant setting to most African counties that were under French colonial rule. The novel also goes beyond and explores how people are racially segregated in various parts of the world nowadays.
c.       Style. Diary style. The author of this novel has chosen to present the events of the book in diary style. In the novel, we see this unique style when the main character narrates his life experiences through his diaries (in the novel they are known as ‘exercise books’) that are read by another person.


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Accessed on 19/07/2016

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