celanire - Teddy Hanson French R1A 3/17/10 To Find Your...

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Teddy Hanson French R1A 3/17/10 To Find Your Inner Music Ludwig van Beethoven, a famous classical composer, once claimed, “Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.” Just as Beethoven believes in the power of music, Maryse Conde suggests this idea’s power in her novel, Who Slashed Celanire’s Throat. The immoral protagonist, Celanire Pinceau, manipulates and controls the people around her to gain what she desires. Upon arriving at Guadeloupe, Celanire meets Matthieu and Amarante, a couple who has been arranged by the Wayana culture. Matthieu is a detective who investigates the corruption of Ms. Pinceau specifically related to the conviction of her own father. Although Ms. Conde leaves much in the dark as to where Celanire’s “power” stems from, one could say Celanire swaps the tribal music for French as an instrument to manipulate and control her target of desire: a married Amarante. Ironically, by finding her own music inside of herself, Amarante frees herself from the curse of Celanire and escapes with the very same power that ensnared her. In order to even begin to argue whether Celanire controlled people through music, one must first prove that Conde’s novel previously accepts this power of music. An example that jumps to mind is the Christian church which sits highly contested throughout the colonialism in this novel. Many of the tribes, upon conversion would be required to sing many religious hymns. Upon king Koffi Ndizi’s conversion, towards the beginning of the novel, we are left finding the tribe singing a French song: “Je crois en Toi, mon Dieu, / Je crois en Toi, / L’ombre voile mes yeux, / Mais j’ai la foi.” Although
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Hanson 2 this simple song literally symbolizes the end of the tribal culture and religion, as the chief forces conversion on all of the citizens, interpreted on a broader scale, one might say that the song has changed the tribe. As the text suggests, the fear the song invokes plays a
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This note was uploaded on 09/25/2010 for the course ANTHRO 02303 taught by Professor Deacon during the Spring '09 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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celanire - Teddy Hanson French R1A 3/17/10 To Find Your...

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