The Other Side of Truth

by Beverly Naidoo
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How important is Naidoo's use of point of view in developing the theme of empowerment in The Other Side of Truth?

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The Other Side of Truth is a novel written by Beverly Naidoo . It tells the story of two Nigerian children, Sade and Femi, who must flee to London as refugees after their mother is murdered. She is killed because the children's father, Folarin Solaja, is a newspaper reporter who...

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The Other Side of Truth is a novel written by Beverly Naidoo. It tells the story of two Nigerian children, Sade and Femi, who must flee to London as refugees after their mother is murdered. She is killed because the children's father, Folarin Solaja, is a newspaper reporter who angers Nigerian authorities by telling the truth in his articles. Much of the story is told from the perspective of Sade. This is one of the more interesting features of The Other Side of Truth. It shows readers how the point of view that an author uses can affect the shape of the overall story.

Since Sade begins the novel as a child, readers see the atrocities committed by the Nigerian government through a child's eyes. This makes the events seem all the more confusing, random, and in some cases hateful. Readers see the events happening just as Sade would have seen them. Children are more innocent than adults and have less of an understanding of the dark ways in which the world can operate. By telling readers an often horrible story from a child's perspective, Naidoo reminds readers of their own innocence and asks them to consider these events with a child's eye.

The theme of empowerment is developed through Sade's grows throughout the novel. Readers first meet her as a child who doesn't quite understand the competing interests at play that result in the death of her mother and the threats to her family. After arriving in London, she matures and starts to see these events more clearly. With the author's evolving use of point of view, readers get to experience this growth—this empowerment—right alongside Sade.

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