Tram 83 Leftovers: Ambiguity of Tram 83


There seems to be many signs of ambiguity when it comes to Tram 83 such as the locations of the Tram 83 and the city state, what exactly is the Tram 83 and entire setting of novel. Even the Dissident General character identity is never revealed. This only raises the question of why? Why did Mujila decide to keep things ambiguous.

First is the Tram 83 and what exactly is the Tram? according to the beginning of the second chapter of the novel where it briefly explains “First night at Tram 83: night of debauchery, night of premature ejaculation, night of syphilis…night of dancing and dancing” (Mujila, 6) which tells us that Tram may be some night club of sorts. however in the next page it states “Tram 83 was one of the most popular restaurants and hooker bars, its renown stretching beyond the city border” (Mujila, 7) which further reinforces the fact of the Tram 83 being a club with its location being a stretch away from the city state.

Although the Tram may a restaurant and bar another question which is only minor is the Tram 83 there’s still some minor ambiguity when it comes to the club is the club actually built from a tram (a trolley looking kind of train) or is it a kind of building like any other. Also another question is if the club is based on a real life club.

Mujila never gives an explanation to why anything was left ambiguous. However, there might an answer to why everything was left ambiguous. The reason could be that Mujila isn’t trying to offend anybody, since the novel is supposed to be set in the Congo post colonial era and the country being run by some dictator its obvious that he isn’t trying to get into trouble with the authorities. considering how writers and artist nowadays can get into a lot of trouble for writing and drawing the wrong books. Or could just be that Mujila doesn’t want to pay royalties to the real life Tram 83.


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