Analysis Of Novel:House boy by FERDINAND OYONO

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Analysis Of  Novel House boy
The Form in House boy


a) Character
Toundi omdoua ( Joseph) house boy
  • He is the main character, who is activity of circumstances of colonial rule in Cameroon
  • He is forced to live away from his family due to both his father harshness and brutality and family poverty
  • He represent poor African children whose life is full of messiness/problems that is from birth to death
  • He reflect child labor and street children in modern society due to family poverty when he works as a house boy oppressed , humiliated, discrimination, exploitation tortured to death
  • He is partially educated but he remained unaccepted as a fellow human being by the whites who is loves and serves them
  • He is baptized as Joseph then became the house boy of new local commandants (head of the government )
Farther Gilbert
  • He is a catholic father , who lives in missionary center
  • He is portrayed as oppression , exploiter that humiliates his house boy (toundi) who is an Africa
  • He portrayed as a racist despite being as a religious
  • He represent all religious leader who are hypocrites that is those who don’t practice what they preach
Father Vandermayer
  • He is the assistant to father Gilbert
  • He took the position of the father Gilbert after his death
  • He is a racist ,exploiter ,oppressor
  • He treats Toundi worse than father Gilbert
  • He also represents hypocritical religious leader
  • He is the white chief of police force
  • He is harsh and brutal to Africans
  • She is an Africa girl
  • She is agriculture engineer’s house girl who not only sleeps with her boss but also a girl friend to the houseboy (Toundi)
  • She steals the agricultural engineer’s money and moves to Spain
Madame Suzzy
  • She is commandant’s wife and very beautiful who has an extra marital affair with prison director
  • She seems to like commandants
  • At the beginning, she treats Toundi friendly but later miss treat him as an enemy
Toundi father
  • Harsh and brutal to his son
  • He use abusive language
  • E.g. father Gilbert hair is like the beard of a maize cob
  • E.g. the dog of the king /the commandant like the king
  • E.g. the author in the novel ,the author says toundi was treat like a pet animal by father Gilbert and kicked like a dog by the commandant
  • E.g. Toundi say my ancestors cannibals
  • Sophie herself is called by agriculture engineers my cabbage my chicken
  • Madam refers the African food is an old baboon
Symbolism in characterization
  • father Gilbert is a symbol of colonists with religions goals and Death of symbol of transition from initial colonists
  • Toundi parents are symbol of old generation lost to the colonists
  • Madame/commandant both symbolize the French colonists and colonialism in general
The title of the novel is just it just like other literature work, the title of ” house boy ” it standard for symbolism of African country where by other character like father Gilbert e.g. represent white domination, in order to exploit Africa nation
In the novel of house boy the setting was in Cameroon Africa
The Content in House boys
Analyse the Content in House boys
a) Themes
i) Oppression / exploitation
These are among of overriding theme in the book; they are mostly depicted through the main character for example;
  • Father Gilbert used to show sugar lumps to the children the ways people throw come to the children
  • Toundi was not paid
  • Toundi’s toured caused his death
  • The servant were given very bad food
ii) Ignorance
The Africans who underwent an act of assimilation was not any use to them, at the first Africans had thought that the white had a very high level of civilazation and that is why some of them were assimilated example Toundi.
iii) Humiliation
  • The French humiliated the black Africans, they claim the Africans to be the French after undergoing the policy of assimilation
  • They don’t pay Toundi as the house boy
  • They tortured toundi until he lost consciousness
  • Father Gilbert also throws sugar lumps to African children as animals or children
iv) Disappointment
  • Toundi is disappointed at last when he discovered that inspite of being assimilated he still despised by whites, he still humiliated, opposed ,exploited by the whites though toundi is honest and respect to them
  • Toundi is blaming himself for his decision of being assimilated and leave away the African tradition ways of life
v) Awareness
Toundi became aware of the French hypocrisy at his bed during his death “he say brother what are we? We blacks who calls our selves French man?” This question shows that finally Toundi has come to discover that the assimilation done to them was full of hypocrisy aimed to facilitate oppression, exploitation, among the Africans
vi) Immorality
This is moral pollution in which there is a tendency of people violating the social norms and going against the moral value.This has seen/shown in the novel in different occasion’s value;
  • The agriculture engineers also makes love with his house girl in secret
  • Father Vandemayar also acts immorally because he treat people against
  • Prostitution has also been revealed in the novel as, discovered that Kalisia used to be a prostitute at the coast
The French colonial administration include the police, the prisons and the police of assimilation and catholic mission (religions) and the white man’s culture are used to oppress, exploit, humiliate and segregate Africans in their own countries.
The book is relevant to the society due to the following aspect;
  • Some leader parents fail to set good example to the young generation to copy because they are the source of moral decay
  • People have failed to live by what they preach, including the church which is expected to be the savior of humanity ,in sometime leads by hypocrites e.g. father Gilbert

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