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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 423

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The Healers presents a highly fragmented society, where diverse characters try to navigate the colonial-era conflicts between native African Asante people and British interlopers. The dominant narrative voice both acknowledges that fragmentation and imposes unity on the novel’s structure. The narrator often self-consciously breaks out of the frame. When words fail him, he seeks guidance from masters of eloquence to improve his story telling. “Send me words of eloquence,” he implores.

Words are mere wind, but wind too has always been part of our work, this work of sowers for the future, the work of story-tellers, the work of masters in the arts of eloquence.

The white British–black African conflict is a frequent subject of Ababio, a local power broker who aims to manipulate the political situation for his own avaricious ends. He does not descend from a royal lineage, and he distrusts the native rulers. While he rationalizes his machinations as merely realistic, he is also straightforward about his attitude toward losing.

There would be no kings if some catastrophe brought all black people together. . . . And if we are such fools as to stand against the whites, they will grind us till we become less than impotent, less than grains of bad snuff tossing in a storm. That is the choice before every one of us. I myself, I have already chosen. And those who think like me have chosen. We shall be on the side of the whites. That is where the power lies. We have chosen power because we find impotence disgusting.

While the character Densu seems to be the protagonist, the plot at times threatens to derail his centrality. After Prince Appia is killed, Densu is framed for his murder. Densu’s unconscious challenges his confidence in his own innocence and even his identity. In a sleepless state, he is haunted by bizarre thoughts and weird images.

He saw a fierce, nameless beast, half serpent and half forest cat. The beast had coiled itself around the body of the prince Appia, still alive, and Densu saw it bare its fangs to destroy Appia. In halfawake nightmare state he was in, Densu had only seen the body of the prince. But at the moment when the beast was on the point of sinking its fangs into his neck Densu saw Appia's face. It was his own.

In the convoluted action of the plot, the twists and turns preceding Densu’s exoneration amplify the idea of disunity and connect his personal identity crisis to the fragmentation of his land.

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