The coexistence of nature and culture becomes an essential subject of study in the quest for ecological sustainability. Positive cultural traditions must be perpetuated to preserve the environment, as man’s attitude has amply demonstrated. The complex relationships between nature and culture make it even more important to take into account a comprehensive approach that acknowledges the interconnectedness of humans and the ecosystem. The goal of this study was to explore Zakes Mda’s The Heart of Redness with a particular emphasis on how nature and culture can coexist to promote a sustainable ecosystem. It adopted postcolonial ecocriticism as its conceptual framework. The question that guided this study was: “How have nature and culture been presented in the novel to create eco-consciousness?” This study encourages readers to reflect critically, through a textual analysis of the unique characters that the novel presents, on how their choices affect the natural world and how culture and the natural world coexist. It serves as a gentle reminder to readers that keeping a harmonious balance between tradition and modernity is essential for both the survival of the ecosystem and the maintenance of a common human identity. This study ultimately contributes to the growing body of literature on postcolonial ecocriticism.
Keywords: Culture, Ecological, Nature, Postcolonial-Ecocriticism, Sustainability
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Jonathan Essuman is a Lecturer of Literature at the Department of Languages Education, Akenten Appiah-Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development, (AAMUSTED) Kumasi, Ghana. He is currently a PhD candidate and holds both M.Phil and B.A. in English from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana. He has twelve (12) years teaching experience at all levels of education; Basic, Senior High and Tertiary. He is a member of the African Literature Association, USA. His research interests are within the scope of postcolonial literature, Literature and the Environment, Africana Womanism and Migration. He has attended several conferences both locally and internationally and presented papers at some of these conferences.
Confidence Gbolo Sanka (PhD) is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of English, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, (KNUST) Kumasi-Ghana. His research interests include African Literature (both oral and written), literary criticism, literary theory and stylistics. He has been teaching courses in Literature at the postgraduate and undergraduate levels.
Philomena Ama Okyeso Yeboah (PhD) is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of English, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, (KNUST) Kumasi-Ghana. Her research interests are in the area of Literatures of the Diaspora, the contested gendered terrain in Africa, and streetism and its rippling effects on the current generation of Africans. She teaches courses in Literature at the postgraduate and undergraduate levels.
Moussa Traore (Associate Professor) currently works at the Department of English, University of Cape Coast. He does research in English Literature, World Literature, Literary Theory, Diasporan studies and Postcolonialism. His current project is a ‘Book on Africa in Geopolitical and Globalization Context’. His current research interests are Writings from the Francophone Caribbean and Brazilian returnees in West Africa and new ways of reading Frantz Fanon. His method of gathering data is Textual Analysis. Professor Traore is currently working on a book on “The Way Forward for Africa in the 21st Century”.
Essuman, Jonathan, Sanka, Confidence G., Yeboah, Philomena A.O and Traore, Moussa.“The Nature and Culture Binary in Zakes Mda’s The Heart of Redness.” E-Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences 4, no.9 (2023): 1137-1146. https://doi.org/10.38159/ehass.20234910