Charles E. Nnolim
Someone has suggested [that Beti's Mission to Kala] is a picaresque novel and that the protagonist, Jean-Marie, is a picaresque hero. The statement is misleading because the plot of the classic picaresque novel is mainly episodic, and character growth is almost nil. Beyond this, the classic picaro normally comes from the lowest stratum of society, has little breeding, lives on his wits, and only a very thin line separates his rascality from actual criminality. A picaro is always a prankster and a rascal who begins and ends as one with little or no character development.
But the plot of Mission to Kala is not strung together haphazardly. The story line has causality, and events are...
(The entire section is 1880 words.)