In Sembene Ousmane's "God's Bits Of Wood" there is a detectable apect of human rights that surpasses all distinction. He points out the dilemmas of a neo-colonial state without giving them the weight of the novel. This novel utilizes this historical event to show humans at their best. The book shows the power of humankind to become humane without compromise. He displays well his ideas on race, gender, and human rights but by the end of the book we are led to an even more enlightening state of thinking and existing, which is to live without hate, even those who hate you, "[...] you must not let hatred enter your heart" (191). This is truly a great message to give while expressing such a triumphant story and event.
The novel also seems to contain a little intertextuality with the poetry of Muyaka (a 19th century poet who composed orally in his native tongue of Kiswahili and never saw the effects of colonialism). This relationship is most notable after reading his famous poem "Seeing Is Believing" (Ua La Manga)
-I've seen a hyena and a goat keeping good company.
-Also a hen and a hawk bringing up their chicks together
-And a blind person showing peopl the way;
-This was not told to me, I obvserved it with my own eyes.
I see the relationship throughout this poem but specifically with the third line, since one of the leaders of "Gods Bits Of Wood" is a blind woman named Maimouna, "All of the women seemed to want to walk behind Maimouna [...]" (201).
Ousmane also confronts the question of African Literature, and whether it can exist any mediums other than indigenous African languages. Throughout the book, which was originally, written in French, Ousmane will say such and such said in French when the novel clearly is already in French, "and then, holding out his hand to the two whit men, he added in French, 'Good morning, gentlemen" (125). By doing this throughout the novel Ousmane implies that the original is truly not in French but only exists that way (and in its English form) to cater to us, almost in an act of charity. The lines from one of the main characters embody this greatly, "That is all I had to say, and I have said it in French so that he would understnad me, although I think this meeting should have been conducted in Oulof, since that is our language" (177). He has written his novel in French for the same reason that Bakayoko speaks in it, because unlike Bakayoko,(and Ousmane) the French despite being surrounded by Oulof never picked it up.
All in all Ousmane accomplishes creating literature that is worthy of the world reading it. Like so much of African Literature it is masterful, new and refreshing, but sad because it is not enjoyed as widely as it should be.