This study guide will help you analyse the text “The Old Chief Mshlanga” by Doris Lessing. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the summary, structure, characters, setting, narrator and point of view, language, theme and message.
Presentation of the text
Title: “The Old Chief Mshlanga”
Author: Doris Lessing
Published in: African Stories (collection)
Date of Publication: 1964
Genre: Short Story
Doris Lessing (1919-2013) was a British author and Nobel Prize laureate (2007). She was born in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and lived there, as well as in London and South Africa.
“The Old Chief Mshlanga” is a coming of age short story which follows an English girl living in Africa who changes her perspective on African natives as she grows up and meets a local chief.
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