Tom E. Kakonis, explaining John Steinbeck’s idea of the group-man in his Mysticism in Selected Early Novels of John Steinbeck, speaks of the essence of a unitive state. For Steinbeck, “species are only commas in sentences,” so that “one specie of life merges into another to the point when what we know as life enters what is non-life,” thereby animating it in the process (qtd in Tom E. Kakonis, 14) and “the units nestle into the whole and are inseparable from it” (14). Needless to say, Zelie’s desire is to restore magic to Orisha as it means a reuniting of her world to the  world of the gods, to Sky Mother. Does this ring a bell in the universal literary tradition so as to necessitate an actual critical reading? If anything, Zelie’s desire is akin to the literary rhythm that resonates through Amos Tutuola’s The Palmwine Drinkard, Soyinka’s and J. P. Clark’s versions of Abiku, Ben Okri’s Famished Road, Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death as well as Emerson’s transcendental view; John Steinbeck’s writings, Grapes of Wrath, for one; and William Blake’s poems, to mention just a few familiar ones. In all these, there’s the motif of a  link to an unseen perfect world, once detached from, and then a desperate need to link up to that world again, oftentimes through series of adventurous moves. This is what this essay seeks to prove in exclusive relation to Children of Blood and Bone.

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Nwokoji, Chigozie Christopher is a graduate of the Department of English and Literary Studies, at the University of Nigeria Nsukka. A critical writer and was the Critical Editor of the Muse no. 47.