Analysis on Laura Bohannan?s Relationship with the Native of

Analysis on Laura Bohannan?s Relationship with the Native of Tiv in West Africa

In her essay ?Shakespeare in the Bush,? Laura Bohannan attempts to illustrate whether there is a ?universal understanding? through her experience of sharing Hamlet with the Tiv in West Africa. Throughout the story the Tiv object to some of its details, however, overall they are able to understand Hamlet, a very English play. Different cultural backgrounds not only make the Tiv and Bohannan have very different interpretations of Hamlet ,but also the general ideas of life and death. The essay is very much developed around their simple and abstracted relationship between the Tiv and Bohannan.

In her opening paragraph, Bohannan implies a very direct and assumptive relationship of herself and the Tiv. Using a sharp comparison ?left Oxford for the Tiv in West Africa? (300), Bohannan implies that she is from an educated background and the Tiv are not. In addition, Bohannan goes to Africa to conduct her study on the Tiv. An unequal relationship becomes clear. However, when she gets there, the Tiv treat her well and see her as their friend as they invite her to drink beer and to share stories. The Tiv do not feel intimidated by the ?superior? western culture.

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