Greenland, tells a coming of age story about a young boy named Elvis Eke, who has big dreams to make something of himself in America, the land of the free. Through out this novel, major cultural and life changes come about. Generational differences from the elders to the youngest living generation are unmistakably present through out the whole story, especially after Elvis’s mother dies and him and his father move to Lagos. The corruption aspect of the governments in Africa changes as the story progresses as well.
The occupations that Elvis has throughout the years of his story also change drastically after he takes the bold move to come to America. Elvis’s story shows us how African culture changes throughout the period of time in which this book was written to present day. There are many cultural aspects of the African culture that still remain strong and permanent but all societies make adjustments as the years go on merely because things change and if adjustments are not made then the people of the society may not be satisfied.
After Elvis’s mother dies from breast cancer, Sunday (Elvis’s father) moves them into Lagos. In Lagos they lived in the slums. The slums were dangerous and not stable places to find work, food, or a sense of safeness. Everyday was a struggle for Elvis because his father had resorted to drinking away all his problems. Elvis had to leave his other family members including; his grandmother, Aunt Felicia and Beef. His cousin, behind when his father and him made the move to Lagos.
The original plan was to find better Job prospects in Lagos, but unfortunately Elvis became the provider for the family his father then acquired in Lagos. The woman his father soon started seeing after moving to Lagos had three children of her own. Without a formal education fro a school Elvis works on the beach singing and dancing as an Elvis Presley impersonator. After moving from his family In the village, Elvis develops a tendency to not respect his elders as much as he used to. Because of the particular situation Elvis as put into this was bound to happen.
As his father proceeded to drink he slowly lost some respect for the adults In the society merely for the fact that Elvis may have considered himself to be more mature than them at some points in his life. In the beginning of the book, there is a scene depicted in which his Grandmother asks him for his help sweeping the yard after he blurted out a comment about the dance lessons he wanted to take. He respectfully refrains from the question he had asked his grandmother after she, slightly rudely says, “Are you blind? You Canaan see this broom?
Or are you Just going tea watch me sweep with my old bones? ” (P 38) Today some of the younger generation would help the elder out, others would ask for payment, and some may not even do it at all. There is a major difference in how elders are treated now then they were twenty plus years ago. There Is a sort of entitlement aspect that elders or older people In general expect from the younger communal TTY. In Greenland we see as Levels starts getting Into more Illegal aspect TTS AT working he starts loosing respect for elders.