Blog Archives

Almost Suicide

Yes, you read that title correctly. We’ve encountered two “almost suicides” in Dog Days. The first being from Book 1 when “the man in the brown jacket” almost went through with shooting himself. The second failed suicide occurred in Book 2 when the mother who had no money to feed her children, claiming “Today is the day they’re gonna kill me,” laid under a bus in the hopes of being run over. Yet despite these drastic attempts, in both instances the victim ended up backing out due to fear and public humiliation. So my question is why does Nganang include these two “almost suicides?”

Here are my thoughts:
I think that these suicides are Nganang’s way of showing not just the drastic measures people in Cameroon take due to “the crisis,” but also showing how “the crisis” has created a unique community aspect within Madagascar. For both suicides were ultimately stopped as a result of public intervention. Now I know in the “man in the brown jacket’s” case, some of the residents of Madagascar were egging him on, but it was still the community presence that made the life or death difference. The crisis made everyone, for lack of a better word, nosey; they are more interested in each other’s affairs. Also, the fact that the suicides failed at the hands of the community has to carry some weight when it comes to considering what Nganang hoped for the community to allude to in relation to the crisis.

Could these almost suicides be Nganang’s way of highlighting a positive aspect of “the crisis” or have I totally missed the mark?

Does anyone have any thoughts on what the significance of the two failed suicides is?

I would love to hear some other ideas! I feel like they were put in the novel to make a significant point! Am I crazy? 🙂