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What is the meaning of Saro-Wiwa's views on how people clustered together to view...

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lt1017 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted August 22, 2013 at 5:40 PM via web

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What is the meaning of Saro-Wiwa's views on how people clustered together to view public executions in "Africa Kills Her Sun"?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 23, 2013 at 7:09 AM (Answer #1)

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The way in which Bana envisages his execution, carried out with maximum publicity, is one that reveals the author's feelings and beliefs about the way in which people willingly go to watch such events and see them as entertainment, rather than being horrified at what they witness. Note how Bana refers to them as "miserable wretches," and how he uses irony in his image of his execution:

The Stadium will fill to capacity. And many will not find a place. They will climb trees and hang about the balconies of surrounding houses to get a clear view of us. To enjoy the free show. Cool.

Firstly, the way in which the execution will occur in "The Stadium" reveals just what an entertainment it will be. Stadiums are normally used for sporting events, and it is therefore a deliberate choice that the public execution occurs in this environment, as it is presented as merely another form of entertainment. The way that the place is described as filling "to capacity" with many having to find alternative means to seeing the executions also reveals judgement, so unthinking are the spectators. The reference to the executions as a "free show" which can be enjoyed by the spectators reveals the contempt and judgement that the author feels. Note how this is cemented by the final word of the paragraph, "Cool," which is shocking in the depth of its irony, as of course there is nothing "Cool" whatsoever about the execution of three men in such a barbaric way.

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