A Thematic Analysis of Beneath the Lion’s Gaze and Held at a Distance: My Rediscovery of Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


This research work is based on thorough reading and careful analysis of ‘’Beneath the Lion’s Gazeand Held at a Distance: My Rediscovery of Ethiopia” which are written by Ethiopian-American female Diasporic writersMaazaMengiste and Rebecca Hail respectively. First, it aims to publicize the works of the remarkable involvement of female writers in a number of different political, social, cultural and economic issues at different levels. Second, it is designed to fill the gap (i.e, scarcity of diasporic research works) through a thematic analysis of the literary product of these authors. Hopefully, it would be an additional meaningful contribution to this genre. It mainly focuses on the political instability and economic crisis, the unimaginable commitments of the national icons or the amazing few who are determined to sacrifice their life for others, the secret of the ideal family bond, the importance of cherished traditional values, the major predicaments of the diasporas in the host land and the temptation of being drawn to the mother land. These diasporas are facing a wide variety of tremendous challenges, setbacks since the first generation diaspora. The analysis of the two literary works also reveals how much the diasporas were deprived of their national identity; and how they were torn between the old and new ways when competing set of beliefs, values and new ways of thinking came into play. These Ethiopian-American female writers’ works exhibit common themes; nevertheless, the major concern of Maaza is occasionally being the minor concern of Rebecca. The converse is true also. This is evident in the literary works of these diasporic authors.



Beneath the Lion’s Gaze and Held at a Distance: