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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

Aké: The Years of Childhood is a memoir in which Wole Soyinka tells the story of his childhood in Nigeria. This memoir is richly descriptive and told largely from a child's perspective and contains many interesting and important quotations. Many of these quotations address a central theme of the novel, which is the child's relationship to the world of adults.

Soyinka writes,

Wild Christian shushed him, but I saw no difference in both their attitudes. I was overwhelmed by only one fact- there was neither justice nor logic in the world of grown-ups.

This quotation reflects the child attempting to make sense of the logic of the grown-up world. Through child-like reflection, this quote also exposes the irrationality with which many adults conduct their business in the world. The child observes that he can see "no difference" between his mother's attitude and that of the child she is shushing, which reflects a theme of hypocrisy that is visible to a young child.

Another important quote comes at the very end of the memoir:

It is time to commence the mental shifts for admittance to yet another irrational world of adults and their discipline.

Again, this quote acknowledges the irrationality and hypocrisy of the adults in the child's life, but also notes the child's inevitable growth and transition into adulthood.

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