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Metaphor of Baby Coumba
After the Most Royal Lady calls for a meeting of the Diallobé people to encourage them to send their children to the foreign school, she compares herself to a baby who is learning to walk to express her uncertainty in the decision that she was making: “I must tell you this: neither my brother, your chief, nor the teacher of the Diallobé has yet taken a stand in this matter. They are seeking the truth. They are right. As for, I am like your baby Coumba” (Ambiguous Adventure, 42). Like a baby who is practicing to walk by placing one foot in front of the other, she places her hope in the belief that sending their children off to the foreign school will benefit them to some extent even though she is also quite sure that it might kill in them what they value the most in them and seek to preserve—their spiritualism.
The metaphor of Journey—road, adventure, itinerary
In his discussion with Lucienne’s family, Samba Diallo uses words such as journey, road, adventure, and itinerary metaphorically. He says: “It may be that we shall be captured at the end of our itinerary, vanquished by our adventure itself. It suddenly occurs to us that metamorphose ourselves, and we see ourselves as other than what we were. Sometimes the metamorphosis is not even finished. We have turned ourselves into hybrids, and there we are left. Then we hide ourselves filled with shame” (Ambiguous Adventure, 93).
Samba Diallo uses these words to express his sense of loss of himself, mainly, his loss of identity and the confusion that engulfs his life to the extent that death appears as his only refuge: “You are entering the place where there is no ambiguity” (Ambiguous Adventure, 177).
The metaphor of the seed
The allegory of the seed that is to be fostered rather than wrecked alluded to by the Most Royal Lady during her speech brings into perception the emphasis on the significance of allowing the Diallobé children admission to the foreign school in order to succeed. It further brings forth the optimism of the Most Royal Lady with regards to the fruits that might follow as a result of the foreign education, just like seeds planted bring forth fruit that is consumed.
The master’s death
The master forms an embodiment of faith and culture of the Diallobé people. His death has been used to allude to the social demise of an older system metaphorically, that represented by the teacher’s death, to allow room for a newer system, that of the colonizer. This death is not as a result of some liberal gesture but rather due to the fact that the latter is all including: “… he was now near death. But, at the same time as himself, he felt that the country of the Diallobé was dying from the assault of strangers come from beyond the sea” (Ambiguous Adventure, 23).
The helplessness of the Diallobé country
“…the Diallobé country, helpless, was turning around and around on itself like a thoroughbred horse caught in a fire” (Ambiguous Adventure, 14). In this quote, the helplessness of the Diallobé society is explicitly compared to a thoroughbred horse caught in a fire. Through the use of this simile, the magnitude of the defenselessness and debilitated state of affairs of the Diallobés is brought out, following the conquest of black Africa by the French. It becomes clear that they might not be able to preserve their faith and spiritualism unless they compromise.
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