Ambiguous Adventure Quotes


"He who wants to live, who wants to remain himself, must compromise"

The Knight (Samba Diallo's Father), Part One, Chapter 1

This quote expresses the helplessness of the Diallobé society following the conquest by the foreigners. In the quote, the Knight's position with regards to whether the community should send their kids to the foreigner's school is presented. The quote expresses the Knight's willingness to accept modernization and Western civilization. This is also evident when he later accepts to sends his son to the foreigner's school. Additionally, the ambiguous question of how they can repulse the West's classicism without losing their faith is implicit.

"When the hand is feeble, the spirit runs great risks, for it is by the hand that the spirit is defended..."

The Knight (Samba Diallo's Father), Part One, Chapter 1

Simba Diallo's father uses this quote to further strengthen his ideology. The quote forms an expression of their helplessness with regard to saving their religion from being tainted by the foreigner's rule. He uses this quote to bring to light the fact that due to their weakness, portrayed by their defenselessness with regards to the matter of the foreigners and their rule and the aspects that they stand for (science and technology), they might not be able to fight for their religion unless they compromise by assimilating the way of their colonizers and the virtues that they present.

"But it is also true that the spirit runs great risks when the hand is too strong"

The School Principal, Part 1, Chapter 1

This quote presents the standpoint of the principal with regard to whether they should accept the foreign rule. The principal warns against approaching the issue too strongly since just as the feeble hand might cause great risk for the spirit, the same would be the outcome for a hand that is too strong. The principal uses this statement as a cautionary measure, warning the Diallobé's to be wary of how they handled the matter of the foreigners since however they handle it, the outcome would always be uncertain. Since Ambiguous Adventure is a probe into modernization, colonization and the effect it has on religion, this quote presents the principal's reserved ideology with regards to the same issues.

"The question is disturbing nevertheless. We reject the foreign school in order to remain ourselves and to preserve for God the place He holds in our hearts. But have we still enough force to resist the school, and enough substance to remain ourselves?"

The Teacher, Part 1, Chapter 1

This quote brings into perception the conflict between faith and culture, a dilemma that is explicit in Ambiguous Adventure. The question of whether after the encounter with the West with their material wealth and weak spiritualism, the Diallobé would be able to maintain their faith and spiritualism is apparent.

"There is no more light, there is no more weight, the darkness is no more. Feel how antagonisms do not exist"

The Voice of Darkness, Part 2, Chapter 10

The concept of conflict resolution is apparent in this quote. Samba Diallo's heart is invited by the "voice of darkness" to a place where it can savor anagogic ecstasy and "the light of depths" can penetrate him in entirety, allowing him to proceed into a place of no dubiety and ambiguity. This quote presents the resolution of a conflict in which Samba is able to perceive the truth. Later, the words at the end of Ambiguous Adventure form the end of the conflict presented between Samba's spiritualism and the materialism of the west.

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