Nisi Shawl Everfair Themes

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“Ever fair, ever fair my home; ever fair land so sweet. […] Tyrants and cowards, we fear them no more; behold your power protects us from harm; we live in freedom by sharing all things equally. We live in peace within your loving arms” (Shawl 63). Everyone yearns for a home where they belong, a place where they can be free from persecution and oppression. This is the ideal society. This is Everfair, a small, bold nation tucked inside of the Belgian ruled Congo, a safe haven for people of any background. Nisi Shawl’s novel of the same name explores the diverse cast of characters that make up Everfair’s population, its founders, and the people who are fighting to keep it alive. Amongst these are individuals searching for identity, justice, and one whose quest changes as he undertakes it. By working to analyze …show more content…
King Mwenda is searching for justice. Reverend Lieutenant Thomas Jefferson Wilson starts out looking for one, and ends up looking for the other. Thomas is an American Christian-Missionary-Turned-War-Hero of African descent, and he is appalled at what is happening in the Congo Free State: “Horror. [He] could think of no other word to sum up what he had experienced on this trip” (Shawl 22) ☺. Thus Thomas’s brilliant idea is born – Everfair, or at least the beginning concepts. Thomas dreams of creating a colony where all are welcomed and equal; where liberty and justice truly are the laws of the land. Eventually this dream becomes a reality, and Thomas sets out for Africa to protect it. In the Congo Thomas meets Yoka, an indigenous Bah-Sangah priest. A Christian missionary at heart, Thomas seeks to reach out to Yoka and his fellow Bah-Sangah to teach them the ways of his Lord. However, as Thomas experiences more of the Bah-Sangah ways, he undergoes a series of strange incidents that lead him to wonder if what he believes is right at all. Thus, Thomas’s quest for justice leads him to a search for his true

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