The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope

by William Kamkwamba
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In The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, how does William Kamkwamba explore the conflict between magic and science?

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Kamkwamba celebrates science and engineering as the way in which he was able to travel the world, obtain scholarships, and obtain the platform from which he writes. When he talks of magic, it is primarily as the indigenous belief systems of the people of Malawi which come into conflict with Western science. Kamkwamba paints a picture in which, despite the presence of a school and library, most people do not understand or believe in science.

Through his hands-on approach, Kamkwamba is able to obtain a level of understanding beyond that possessed by most people in his village. While initially others mock him for operating based on science rather than the traditional belief systems of his people which focus more on ideas of magic, they eventually come to respect him when they see his windmill functioning.

More than merely exploring tensions between science and magic, Kamkwamba explores the way in which competing systems of knowledge clash in colonial contexts. Western science—despite...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 571 words.)

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