A Season in the Congo

by Aimé Césaire

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Last Updated on September 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 210

Careful! Once dead, he will be even more formidable. In your mind he is a demon. Once dead, he will become a god!

Mokutu's statement underscores the mythic, larger-than-life qualities that coalesce to surround Lumumba. He comes to represent unity for the Congolese, prosperity, and independence.

Should I die, let it be like Gandhi.

Lumumba himself adopts a larger-than-life role model, longing for the ideals of the non-violent revolution in India, led by Gandhi, that led to freedom. Ironically, Lumumba ends up turning for help to the Soviet communists, whose model of revolution is anything but non-violent.

Hear ye! Hear ye! The buffalo is wounded. He can not do anything because he's been shot. That's why the buffalo has grown furious. Who is the buffalo? The buffalo, it's the government of the Belgians and the Flemish.

This quote shows the vivid imagery of the play, using the metaphor of a wounded buffalo to describe the reaction of colonial powers to the idea of granting the Belgian Congo freedom from their rule. The former powerful Europeans are shown as injured and thus immobilized. But the buffalo (the Europeans) are used to being strong and uncontested. The quote warns that the instinctual response of this once powerful "animal" is a dangerous fury.

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