Abstract

The characterization of Kweku Ananse, the trickster figure in Akan oral narratives, is explored by means of Freud's psychoanalytical theory. Ananse is revealed as an incarnation of the id with little or frequently no intervention of the superego. He is lawless, asocial, and amoral. One systematically finds him engaged in activities directed at gratifying his instincts for pleasure without regard for social conventions, legal ethics, or moral restraints. Kweku Ananse's literary function in the Akan oral educational system appears to be an attempt to expose the danger that he represents in society. Besides, the audience sympathizes vicariouslywith our hero, who renders, within the fixed bounds of what is permitted, an experience of what is inadmissible. Ananse narratives are cathartic, serving as tension-relieving aesthetic devices.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2044
Print ISSN
0034-5210
Pages
pp. 74-82
Launched on MUSE
2006-03-30
Open Access
No
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