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The parents are not so sure that hey want to send their children to a new place where they will encounter a totally different way of life from what they have been used to at home(Kane, 8).
Samba is one of those sent to France for a better education. However, the Most Royal lady fully appreciates the risks that will come with that decision. She says of the children who will be sent away to France: “Perhaps the very memory of us will die in them. When they return from the school, there may be those who will not recognize us” (9). The first part of the book prepares the reader for the main theme of change and its impact on the characters. The Most Royal Lady foreshadows what would happen years later when many young people went to get education from the west. Many of them could not cope with the pressure of living in two worlds and they ended up forgetting where they had come from.
Having been used to the normal life of his countrymen while schooling at the local French School, it is quite hard for Samba to grasp or come to terms with the French culture. One of the major cultural clashes that Samba faces is the difference between his traditional Islamic ways and the open Western way of life in France (12). He finds his situation ambiguous when he finds himself separated from the Islamic way of life which he has known all his life. In France, he becomes entangled in the French life and this leads to a loss of spiritual identity. This is what makes him feel ambiguous, because he is in a situation that he feels he cannot fit in, and the place where he fits is thousands of miles away (17).
Samba feels some kind of emptiness since he cannot reconcile the beliefs and values that he was brought up to hold dear to and those of the Western culture. He goes through self conflict, although he does not forsake or forget his African ways. The conflict emerges from the fact that he realizes that as much as he cannot really accept
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