Category Archives: Literary Criticism

A Not-So Careul Rant on Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. Chiedozie Ude

Well, straight to my rant. I’ll drop something more detailed whenever my spirit tells me to.

Things Fall Apart is seen as a prototype book that aptly portrays the lives of Africans before the coming of the colonial masters and even during the colonial era. Therefore, many critics regard it as a historical fiction.

Achebe, masterfully, tells the African story from an African perspective. Before this book was written, we had so many stereotypic works about Africa that were written by Europeans. These works described Africa as a savage place that housed lawless black people. A typical example of one of such books is Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Because of these European depictions of Africa, it became important for us Africans to tell our own story; and in my opinion, Achebe did that through Things Fall Apart.

This story narrates the saga of Okonkwo, the protagonist. Okonkwo typifies a traditional African man who believes in toxic masculinity. No wonder he loathes his father and everything his father epitomises because his father is his foil. This theme of masculinity is further reinforced in the way Okonkwo treats Nwoye. Sadly, this treatment of Nwoye was to force Nwoye to accept the Christian missionaries. Also, it is owing to the fact that Okonkwo hated anything feminine that made him kill Ikemefuna.

Okonkwo, despite being a flawed character, has some admirable qualities. He is hardworking and prosperous. He symbolises the indigenous African resilient spirit; the spirit that helps us thrive under hardship. According to the narrative, the odds were against Okonkwo, but he still found a way to succeed. Thus, he also deserves our admiration. Therefore, we can say that he represents the prosperous nature of Africa before the coming of the colonial masters.

The book also covers a lot of traditional Igbo practices such as the New Yam Festival, the Masquerade Event, and the Wrestling Event. With these events, Achebe seeks to show the richness of the Igbo culture as against the erroneous belief that Africans only practiced barbaric cultures.

Also important to talk about is the genre of the novel. This book falls under historical tragedy. The tragedy perspective is totally valid because it show how the coming of the whites completely destroyed our way of life. Of course, for things to fall apart, there has to be a cataclysmic event. In this case, the destructive event is colonialism. To simply put it, Achebe aims to tell the story deculturisation of Africa by Europe. He does this by narrative the story of his tragic-hero, Okonkwo, who despite his zeal to do what he feels is right, possesses several flaws that are Illuminated by several factors β€” modernization, colonialism, fear, tradition, to name a few. These flaws ultimately lead to his downfall. By extension, the flaws symbolically represent the flaws in the traditional African society that made it possible for the colonial masters to conquer and enslave Africans. Surely, the decision of the district commissioner to write the story of the life of Okonkwo in a single paragraph helped to strengthen the argument that this book is a tragedy.

So, in terms of form and content, Things Fall Apart deserves to be celebrated. It simply presents the lives of Africans before and during colonialism. Let me stop the rant here.

Comments on A Time to Kill and Sycamore Row: John Grisham.

Chiedozie Ude

I missed yesterday, so I will just forge on with today. Consider this as free writing and not a review. No thematic analysis. No structural criticism. Just random thoughts. Pardon my lack of suspense; it bores me sometimes. Then again, I am always bored. Permit my ramblings or train of excuses; so, here goes nothing:

John Grisham is an author that influenced me a lot during my mid-teens. Because of him, I wanted to study law. I found myself falling in love with litigation; I wanted to be a hotshot lawyer who would champion the cause of the downtrodden masses. One reason behind my decision to consider dabbling into law was that his protagonist, Jake Brigance, was surreal. Jake Brigance was capable of kicking ass!

In A TIME TO KILL, Jake successfully defends a black man who killed the men that raped his daughter. In the next book, SYCAMORE ROW, Jake defends a black woman whose late employer will all his property. The point here is that Jake was always able to beat the odds.

However, the way the underdog lawyers win in his books is sadly a misrepresentation of the society. The little guy hardly wins in real life. Consequently, we may say that Grisham is too much of an idealist. The paints pictures of how he thinks the world ought to be, especially in terms of justice.

Also significant to mention is that these two books graphically show how racist the USA society can be. Thus, we can mention racism as a predominant theme.

There are a lot of things to discuss in this book. Perhaps, we can have this discussion some other time. πŸƒπŸƒπŸƒπŸƒπŸƒ.

Lol. Expect me to edit this piece once I’m sober.

A Brief Review of J. K. Rowlings’ Harry Potter by Chiedozie Ude

The Harry Potter series is a collection I hold dearly. The way the author was able to create a whole new civilisation that consisted of supernatural creatures such as wizards, witches, werewolves, goblins, etc., beats my wildest imagination.

The Harry Potter books are seven in number and they span 7 years of Harry Potter’s life: seven years of intense struggle against dark forces led by the evil Lord Voldemort. However, the use of flashbacks, in some places, make us realise that the conflict is one that began long before the main protagonist, Harry, was born. Retrospectively, one can say that all the events that occurred before Harry’s birth are significant to the development of the plot.

Stereotypically, Rowlings presents her conflict in the expected good-vs-evil format. Nevertheless, her story is purely original, both in terms of action and in terms of her character development. Harry alongside other members of Gryffindor are presented as the good guys while Lord Voldemort and his death-eaters are portrayed as villains. The originality of this exquisite work is augmented by the various plot-twists that arise as we seek a resolution to the conflict. For example, the killing of Dumbledore presented Professor Snape in a bad light, but at the end, it is discovered the Severus Snape was just acting on Dumbledores’ orders. Many readers did not see that coming because Rowlings was careful enough to hide the true loving and bold personality of Snape behind his gruff and mean facade.

Another thing of note in this text is how Rowlings is able to show contemporary issues. The real world, for instance, is divided based on racial and tribal lines. Identically, the world which Rowlings paints is split based on specie-lines; that is, there is a class difference between the wizards and the humans. In fact, this division cuts across various specie, with the wizards occupying the top of the food chain. The wizards reinforce their superior feelings by derogatorily calling humans “muggles”. Also, the offsprings of wizards who married humans were regarded as halfblood (similar to the term half caste) while wizards who had human parents were called “mud bloods”. Likewise, the wizards with two wizard parents were known as “pure bloods”. So, it is justifiable to say that the world of Harry Potter is a microcosm of the real world in terms of the malignant issue of discrimination.

In all, Rowlings is successfully able to pass across the message of true friendship and familial love. She preaches the power love possesses over evil. Little surprises when it is revealed that Harry’s mother’s love for him was the charm that prevented Voldemort from destroying Harry as a baby. Similarly, the strong bond between Harry, Hermione and Ron Weaselly was key to finally defeating Lord Voldemort.

I can write many pages on this books, but I think it is important for me to stop here in order not to spoil the book for those who wish to read it. Therefore, let this piece serve as a clarion call for you all to lose yourselves in the enchanting world of Harry Potter: a world that makes a child play the roles of men; a world whose civilisation relies on a boy β€” the boy who lived, Harry Potter.

However, the movie is a travesty of art.

The way so many events that occurred in the book were blatantly ignored in the movie makes me think that the movie is mediocre.

The director needs to face firing squad. Lol.
It is the same storyline though.

IS CHIMAMANDA’S PURPLE HIBISCUS WORTH THE HYPE? BY CHIEDOZIE UDE

Chiedozie Ude

Purple Hibiscus, a book like no other

Adichie, generally, should be applauded for being able to shine in the literary world of Nigerian literature which has been largely dominated by the Soyinkas and Achebes. I read Purple Hibiscus for the first time in 2011. Back then, I read it for what it was: an interesting story. However, of recent, I cannot help but give kudos to Adichie for the manner in which she approached everything in this book.

Firstly, her use of her protagonist, as the narrator, helped us to see things from the perspective of a girl made timid by familial obligations and religious constriction. Undoubtedly, the use of this mode of narration helped to endear the character of Kambili to the readers. Adichie’s descriptions of the events are actually how a teenage girl would describe them; thus, giving credence to her choice of Kambili as the narrator.

Secondly, I love her character development. At first, we get to see Kambili as a naive lady, but as time goes on, she comes of age and is able to make several decisions without feeling guilty. One of such is her decision to confess her love to Father Amadi, a man whose job as a preacher requires celibacy. Other instances of this transition can be seen in the way she develops other opinions which are contrary to those of her religious zealot father. This coming of age is what reinforces the bildungsroman aspect of the book.

Also, in terms of character development, we see Jaja grow from a spectator to a key player who begins to look after his sister and mother. Of course, the defiance he shows to his father helps to make the conflict more interesting. Unarguably, the most important act performed by Jaja is when he decides to take the blame for his father’s murder in a bid to protect his mother. This act performed by Jaja debunks the claims made by many that Adichie is totally against the male gender.

Furthermore, Mama also experience this growth; howbeit, not in terms of ageing. She metamorphoses from being a timid woman who lived to please her abusive husband to a woman who would kill her husband in order to protect the children and herself. However callous this may seem, the premeditated murder of Eugene by Mama is justifiable.

Another thing that makes this book worth the hype is that this text discusses a lot of sociological issues that happen in Nigeria β€” both past and present. The past events covered in this text include: the military coups, the transition from military to civilian rule, the killing of journalists (Ade Coker). The murder of Ade Coker draws great semblance with the murder of the historical personality, Dele Giwa. Thus, we have to give Adichie credit for covering these issues in her text.

Of modern concern in this text has to be themes such as: patriarchy, religious rigidity, the depleted educational system of Nigeria, amongst others. Patriarchy is displayed through the way Eugene Achike rules his family with an iron fist. The religious perspective, also, cannot be underemphasised because many of the actions in the text are instigated by the religious beliefs of the characters. Eugene, for example, believes his father is a pagan; thus, he refuses to respect and help his old father.

Indeed, Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus is a story that is totally worth the hype. It is one that will forever be treasured by yours truly.

Mimetic Approach to Analysing “Love’s Deity” (A purely thematic approach)

UDE, Chiedozie Orji.

Department of English, University of Lagos.


The poem “Love’s Deity’ is, indeed, another work of literature which possesses a huge degree of mimeticism. This implies that this poem is one which projects several key issues that are peculiar to everyday life. These issues, no doubt, make the poem one that can be defined based on the extent to which it imitates life.
The poem captures the plight of the persona who finds himself in an uncomfortable situation of unrequited love β€” that is, he is in love with a girl who does not share his feelings and affections. Through this knowledge, it comes as no surprise that the persona either knowingly or unknowingly raises several issues which serve to explain not just his predicament, but also, the predicament of others who find themselves in love. Therefore, it can be said that the poem “Love’s Deity” captures themes which include: the theme of love; the theme of fate; the theme of defiance; the theme of callousness of the gods; and the theme of man’s belief in the supernatural amongst others.


The theme of love is obviously central to this poem. This is because it is the very reason for the persona’s struggle. He, the persona, just like many others, finds himself in a situation whereby his love is not being reciprocated by the object of his affection. The subject of love is a universal concept which has always complicated matters or made people happy. Hence, it can be said without any form of doubt that the theme of love, as projected by the persona, reflects the society.


Another theme which helps to project reality is the theme of fate. This theme is captured through the persona’s insistence that he has been given a part to follow by the childish god of love; hence, he has no choice but to follow this part β€” that is, the part of loving someone who will never love him. This theme, also, is in tandem with the classical notion of unavoidable destiny; little wonder the persona accepts his fate by constantly stating in the refrain that he loves a person who will never love him. This theme, definitely, projects realism through the insight provided on the persona’s condition and of course, through the similarities it shares with the classical notion of unchangeable destiny.


Closely related to the theme of fate is the theme of man’s belief in the supernatural. Man, as an individual, is one who believes in the existence of superior beings such as gods, demons and angels etc. It is, therefore, because of man’s belief in these elements and in the power they possess over man that makes man to always acknowledge them through praises when things are going well, and of course, blame them when things are not going well. This theme is well captured in the poem in that the persona believes that the god of love is the cause of his predicament, even without any clear evidence. The persona does not believe the fault may be from him, probably in terms of affluence or physical attractiveness; hence, he seems it worthy to blame not only the god of love but also, the gods who created the god of love. The presence of these supernatural beings is also exposed in the third stanza where the persona suggests that if the god of love is allowed to continue acting with impunity, other gods will likely follow suit, and by so doing, these gods will challenge Jove’s supremacy.


Of course, another theme which depicts realism is the theme of man’s defiance towards elements of the supernatural. The persona describes himself as a rebel and atheist. These words imply that he does not have much regard for religion and the gods, and he acts out these descriptions by insultingly calling the god of love a child. He continues to show his defiance towards authority by suggesting that the gods who created the god of love did not mean much. This suggestion implies that the gods are incapable and restricted when it comes to handling critical affairs. Finally, the persona brands the god of love as irresponsible. This, unequivocally, speaks of the persona’s blatant disregard for superior authority. Obviously, this theme is a universal concept because many a man, from time immemorial, has always been blasphemous towards the supernatural beings.


In conclusion, this essay has discussed the poem “Love’s Deity” based on the extent to which it imitates life. Several themes were raised and succinctly discussed with a view to proving that John Donne’s “Love’s Deity” is a poem that has a lot of verisimilitude with life.

A Realistic Approach to the Poem “May 29”

UDE, Chiedozie Orji.
University of Lagos, UNILAG

The poem.


The poem, “May 29”, is a realistic one that graphically depicts the Nigerian political society. The poem is a satiric one which centres on the farcical nature of the Nigerian democratic system. According to the poet, democracy, as practised in Nigeria, is not in line with the tenets of true democracy. Instead of the Nigerian democracy being an affair for every citizen of Nigeria, it is an affair for a select few, that is, the rich, the political godfathers and the electoral candidates which are metaphorically referred to as “sacred cows”. The poet continues to criticise the Nigeria’s version of democracy by mentioning several flaws in it. He shows these flaws by describing the system as one that is infected. Finally, the persona admonishes that Nigerians should practise proper democracy by giving the people the opportunity to select their own leaders.

The title is significant to the subject matter and thematic content of this poem because it is a date that shows our return to the democratic system of government after decades of military rule. Little wonder why the 29th of May is regarded as Democracy Day in Nigeria. This day is one that should represent a new beginning for us Nigerians; however, it is not so because our democratic system is flawed by issues such as violence, preference for the rich, incompetence, godfatherism, anarchy, restriction of the press, amongst others. All these issues, no doubt, show that this poem is one which accurately portrays the Nigerian society.

Obviously, the issue of violence is central to the understanding of the subject matter. Violence, as an act, is one which pervades the Nigerian political system at all levels of government. It is not uncommon for political leaders and candidates to employ thugs that will aid them to suppress or intimidate the opposition. The persona sheds light on this issue by mentioning the disregard with which the rule of law is held in the country. He emphasises the obvious irony by defining democracy as a system of government where the practice of the rule of law is absent, that is, instead of having peace during elections, we have bloodshed. The except below strengthens this argument:
“Democracy
Without rule of law”
Democracy with
Deoxygenated blood”

Closely following the theme of violence is the theme of anarchy. Anarchy suggests a state of lawlessness. The Nigerian society is described as lawless by the poet due to several anomalies. To exemplify this state of lawlessness, we use several instances highlighted in the poem such as the decision to allow only the rich to govern; the violence that mars our elections; the absence of press freedom; and of course, the blatant disdain with which our constitution is treated by the political elite. Anarchy is further emphasised in the poem when the poet advises the ruling elite to give the people the power to constitutionally choose their own leaders instead of imposing leaders on the people through unconstitutional means.

“Let authority
Emerge from the people
Let the have the right
To alternate leadership”
What makes anarchy stand out as a theme is the sharp contrast between the two systems β€” democracy and anarchy. One symbolizes orderliness while the other represents chaos. Due to the obvious difference between the two ideologies, it becomes ironic that the Nigerian democratic system is deeply embedded in lawlessness.

Another theme that is central to this analysis is the theme of incompetence. The poet draws an image of a blundering person as he tries to define the Nigerian democratic system. To him, nothing about our democratic process is worth emulating and this is because those in charge did the weigh the advantages and disadvantages before making the decision to return to democracy. This explains why the persona, in the fifth stanza, describes the system as “premature”. He goes on by stating in the subsequent stanzas that our democracy is counterfeit; hence, it will never work unless we go back to the basis by giving the people the power to select those they want as leaders.

One cannot discuss the Nigerian democratic system without mentioning the problem of godfatherism. Political godfathers are powerful individuals who impose electoral candidates on the people. These godfathers can go to any length in order to ensure that their candidates win. This practice, unquestionably, limits our democratic system. The presence of these godfathers make the candidate untouchable, that is, these candidates cannot be rejected by the people irrespective of whether they are qualified or not. To further show that these candidates are untouchable, the poet describes them as “sacred cows”

Another issue that helps to give credence poet’s stance on Nigeria’s democracy is the fact that only the rich can contest elections. Abraham Lincoln defined democracy as a system of government that revolves around the choice of the people; but in the case of Nigeria, it is a government of the rich who rule for the benefits of the rich. This problem vividly support the writer’s claim that our democracy is infected.

The poem is structured in twelve quatrain stanzas. Each stanza, undoubtedly, is used by the poet to reinforce the main idea of this poem. The poet is consistent in his criticism of the Nigerian democratic process by clearly mentioning the different flaws in our democratic system in the stanzas. The stanzas are uniquely structured in such a way that no two stanza mention the same problem. For example, stanza two presents the system as one reserved for only the rich while stanza three exposes the bloodshed that is inherent in the Nigerian democratic process. Aside these differences, one can, without any iota of doubt, conclude that all the stanzas reinforce the fact that Nigeria is not practising the right form of democracy. Also important to note is that the stanzas lack any form of rhyme or regular meter; instead, the poet ensures musicality through the repeated use of the word “democracy”.

The diction β€” choice of words β€” employed by the poet is simple and straightforward. The poem is one whose subject matter can be easily deciphered by the reader due to the writer’s use of everyday words. Also, the choice of words is also important because it helps us establish that this poem is set in Nigeria. For example, the use of “May 29” as the title reveals a specific date, and constant repetition of the word “democracy” or its adjectival variant “democratic” help us to establish that the pun centres on democracy in Nigeria. Asides the use of somewhat complex expressions such as “rinderpest, suffused, deoxygenate, and Francis de Sales, to name a few, the poem is to a large extent easy to understand.

The persona’s tone can be described as satiric. This satiric tone is evident in the way the poet mocks the Nigerian version of democracy. It is worthy to note that this mockery is geared towards bringing about a change in the Nigerian society. The poet ridicules contrasts the Nigerian version with that of other developed democratic countries by sarcastically bringing his own variant of Abraham Lincoln’s definition of democracy. Instead of calling democracy an ideology that is people oriented, the persona calls democracy a system that has been reserved for the rich. He satirises all the lacunas in the Nigerian system, and he concludes by calling for a revamp of the system, that is, one that will ensure people’s participation.


Conclusively, this essay has been able to prove that this poem is realistic by discussing extensively on its form and content. The issues mentioned in this poem will, most certainly, convince any reader that this poem adequately mirrors the Nigerian political society.

Email: Chiedozieude@gmail.com

WhatsApp: 09090953414

KELANI, Mercy Timilehin: Mimetic Analysis of “Akintunde, Come Home”

Department of English, UNILAG.

100 Level



“Akintunde, Come Home” is a free verse poem based on its form. The poem is a reflection of the Nigerian society, just as literature mirrors and reflects the society. “Akintunde, Come Home” exposes political ills prevalent in Nigeria; it reflects the malevolence and corrupt practises of African political leaders exhibited in their act of governing. The poet who seems to be more experienced, elderly and politically vigilant than the addressee exposes dubious acts of African leaders. The poem could be said to be a piece of advice or admonishment to young minds who find themselves in this political realm of corruption. The tone of the poet is rather persuasive as he calls political minds back to order. Apparently, its truthfulness to life is portrayed by the themes that can be derived from the poem. Some of these themes are: oppression; corruption; selfish ambitions; repercussion etc. Also, this poem, as an African poem, portrays core African values as seen in the way the persona employs adages to make his point clearer.

The poem opens with a rhetorical question of an African adage; “if a man’s mouth is small must he borrow a bigger one to talk to his child?” This adage brings us to a typical African society where proverbs are used to convey messages of inspiration, consolation, advice and many more, but precisely, the African adage used at the opening of this poem could be said to convey a message of advice and admonishment. The use of this adage portrays the poet as a typical African who is concerned on voicing his intent to his addressee on a pressing issue. Adages are common in African societies as it opens ground for dialogues; great writers like “Chinua Achebe” make use of adages in their works; novels, essays, poems etc. to make it full of wisdom. Africans believe in the truthfulness and effectiveness of adages on dialogues, even “Chinua Achebe” once wrote; “proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten”. Evidently, the adage used at the beginning of the poem shows its truthfulness to life as it shows us a picture of the African society.

In addition, the African society is governed by cold-blooded leaders with selfish ambitions. The poet in a serious manner, exposes the corrupt practises and malevolence of political leaders in the African society. Some of these callous acts by the ruling elites include: unfulfilled campaign promises; disregard for the poor; overpowering the weak, among other things as displayed and carefully highlighted in the poem.

Furthermore, the poem’s truthfulness to life is clearly seen in themes of oppression, corruption, selfish ambitions and repercussion, these themes aptly describe the nature of African politics. Oppression and corruption complements African politics as shown in the poem: “…where life is a race in which the strong trample the weak, dashing for the flattering fragments of stolen trophies”. Corruption takes most part of African politics as African leaders engage in looting of public funds, embezzlement of public funds and the likes. Oppression also is not left out as striving citizens are impoverished through deprivation of some rights. Rich politicians in the society look down on the poor with contempt. All these themes, undoubtedly, are aids that strengthen the fact that Niyi Osundare’s poem, “Akintunde, Come Home”, is one which accurately describes issues that are plaguing the African society.

Niyi Osundare also subscribes to the classical, or rather human law of retributive justice. This belief can be placed under the theme of repercussion. Repercussion, as employed in this poem, denotes that there are always consequences for every human action, be it good or bad. This can be seen in the poem as the speaker admonishes his addressee to quickly return to his roots before he would become a victim of the cases aforementioned. The persona vividly portrays his belief in repercussions in this line: “Come home before the sword you wield turns round to claim your neck.”

In conclusion, the who’ve explanations clearly show the relationship between the poem and realism: its truthfulness to life. The use of an African adage at the opening of the poem and themes that relates to present happenings in the African society evidently depicts the truthfulness of the poem to life. Also, from a mimetic point of view the poem could be said have being written in an attempt to curb political ills.

He who is appointed by the state must be obeyed in all things right or wrong. Discuss this statement by Creon in relation to autocracy, theocracy and divine justice.

UDE, Chiedozie Orji.

Department of English, UNILAG.

Instructions:

1. This essay should simply serve as a guide to those who have no idea about how to attempt the assignment.
2. No part of this essay should be copied by any student as his or her own. The reason for this announcement is that the department of English does not tolerate plagiarism. The penalty for this is failure. Please, do not risk it.
3. Please, do not screenshot or copy and paste this essay because I really need the “clicks”.
4. Feel free to text me if you have issues with the essay. Let us have a scholarly discussion. (09090953414)

Analysis

The play Antigone is a Classical Drama which captures the struggle between the eponymous heroine β€” Antigone β€” and the dictatorial king, Creon. This conflict between these two characters arises based on ideological differences. Creon, for example, is a proponent of man-made laws while Antigone is a supporter of the divine laws β€” laws made by the gods. These ideological differences make Antigone to defy Creon’s law which forbade the burial of Polyneices, a traitor, and this action leads to a tragic end of the play.

Obviously, tragedy, in the play, is orchestrated by several factors, and one of these factors is Creon’s statement. The statement β€” “He who is appointed by the state must be obeyed in all things right or wrong.” β€” is made by Creon to Haemon, his son when Haemon tries to intercede on the behalf of Antigone. This statement is highly significant because: it displays the autocratic nature of Creon; it showcases Creon’s disregard for the ways of the gods; and of course, it instigates a reprisal from the gods. In light of this, this essay will focus on the critical explication of how Creon’s statement can be related to autocracy, theocracy and divine justice.

Of course, Creon’s statement depicts his autocratic nature. Autocracy is a system of government whereby the ruler possesses unlimited power. Creon, as a ruler, typically exemplifies this autocratic mannerisms through his acts. He single-handedly forbids the burial of a man because he (Creon) is of the belief that the dead man is a traitor who does not deserve burial rites. Creon also sentences Antigone to be buried alive when she defies his decree, and this act is, of a surety, the biggest irony in the play β€” that is, the dead was left unburied while the living (Antigone) was buried alive. Creon’s decision to punish Antigone can be seen in the lines spoken by Teiresias below:

Teiresias: For that thou hast entombed a living soul,
And sent below a denizen of earth,
And wronged the nether gods by leaving here
A corpse unlaved, unwept, unsepulchered.

Obviously, the statement he makes to his son simply reinforces his autocratic tendencies because it succinctly summarises Creon’s disregard for the opinions of others.

Another idea which Creon’s statement brings to the fore is the concept of theocracy. Theocracy suggests or encompasses the rule of a country by a priest or the rule of a country based on the sacred laws of the gods. The Classical Greek society, as portrayed by many an author, is one which strongly believes in its deities and also depends on the gods for guidance; thus, it is expected of every man to respect these gods and their priests. Due to this dependence on the gods, Creon’s statement is relevant to this analysis because it exemplifies Creon’s disregard for the ways of the gods. Creon shows utmost disregard for this when he decides to contravene the law which states that the dead must be buried. He even goes further to ridicule the priest, Teiresias by describing him as a sell-out β€” one who takes bribes. By so doing, Creon defies the status quo which places the gods as superior and this act of blasphemy or blatant disrespect leads to the retribution of the gods β€” that is, divine justice.

Divine justice, as mentioned above, has to do with the penance the gods place on individuals who defy them. Obviously, Creon’s vile responses to the prophet’s warning, alongside his belief that the leader of a country is the highest authority to be consulted or obeyed in all matters, counts as an act of insubordination to the gods. This insubordination may also be regarded as “hubris” β€” excessive pride. Pride, as we have been made to know, brings about the downfall of a noble character in classical tragedies. Creon is not exempted because his actions make the gods to pronounce doom on his family though the Prophet Teresias. Tereisais’ pronouncement can be seen in the lines below:

Teiresias: I prophesy. For, yet a little while,
And sound of lamentation shall be heard,
Of men and women through thy desolate halls;
And all thy neighbor States are leagues to avenge
Their mangled warriors who have found a grave
I’ the maw of wolf or hound, or winged bird
That flying homewards taints their city’s air.
These are the shafts, that like a bowman I
Provoked to anger, loosen at thy breast,
Unerring, and their smart thou shalt not shun.
Boy, lead me home, that he may vent his spleen
On younger men, and learn to curb his tongue
With gentler manners than his present mood.

In conclusion, this essay has comprehensively examined how Creon’s statement β€” “He who is appointed by the state must be obeyed in all things right or wrong.” β€” is relevant to the themes of autocracy, theocracy and divine justice. All these were discussed with textual evidence to back them up.

UDE, Chiedozie Orji.

Department of English, 200lv.

09090953414

UDE, Chiedozie: Pragmatic Analysis of Chibok Girls. GBAMLOG.COM

Literature is so significant that it can perform a lot of functions. One of such functions definitely has to be the affective function. Literature can be affective when it aims to produce certain effects on the reader. Having established this fact, it is ideal to state that this essay aims to display the affective power of literature by conducting a pragmatic analysis of the text Chibok Girls.

The text in question has its characters and setting drawn from real life; hence, it can be described as a realistic text. It contains the investigations carried out by Helon Habila in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria. The investigation revolves around the history and causes of insecurity in Nigeria. Because of the presence of the writer at strategic places that have been affected by violence instigated by the dreaded sect, Boko Haram, this text can be described as one which contains first-hand information on the prevalent issues plaguing the country.

The title of the text is significant because it captures the most notable and internationally-recognised crime perpetuated by Boko Haram β€” that is, the abduction of 276 school girls on the 24th April, 2014, by Boko Haram. This title, however, does not constitute the focal point of this report. Rather, it serves as an instance which illustrates the ruthlessness of the Boko Haram sect.

Insecurity, as highlighted in the text, is as a result of activities such as terrorism, bad governance, corruption, religious-instigated violence etc. All these issues no doubt are bound to have certain didactic or other forms of effects on the reader. Some of these effects include: pity, fear, anger, apathy, and the didactic lesson of early prevention.

Pity is one of the major effects this text has on the reader. This is plausible because ruthless and despicable acts of Boko Haram on harmless civilians will without doubt draw out the pity of the audience. A good example is how the mother of Riskatu, one of the abducted girls, is made to narrate the painful events of the day her daughter was kidnapped. This instance, surely, is significant because it captures the pain and suffering which the parents and the relations of the abducted girls are going through because of their ignorance on the status of their daughters β€” that is, are they alive or are they dead? Another object of the reader’s pity has to be the abducted girls who will now serve as wives and concubines of terrorists instead of being with their families and completing their education. Unarguably, the pragmatic effect of pity is brought to the fore through the theme of terrorism.

Another pragmatic effect the text will likely have on the audience is that of fear. Human beings are creatures who fear a lot of things, ranging from known and unknown dangers. In the case of this text, the reader’s fear is justified because of several reasons. One of these reasons has to be the reader’s in-depth knowledge of the activities of this sect, and another reason for the reader’s fear, obviously, is the fact that the reader is a Nigerian; hence, he is not completely safe from the violence caused by the nonchalance of the government towards small and large-scale criminal activities and, of course, violence instigated by religious extremism as seen in the way Yusuf, the elder brother of Shekau, was able to spur his followers to commit several atrocities, and also, through the Maitatsine Uprising, as described by Helon Habila in the text. Hence, one can be certain to say that the themes of violence, terrorism, religious extremism etc., are sure to instigate the feeling of great fear in the reader.

When talking about the pragmatic effect this text has on the reader, one is sure to mention anger. The reader is surely going to experience anger at the government because of their nonchalant attitude towards fighting crime and safeguarding the lives and property of Nigerians. This attitude is captured by Habila in the way he narrates the transition of different government and the way they have all handled insecurity with levity. The focus, however, centres on Jonathan’s regime as president because it was during his tenure that the Boko Haram sect committed their most notable atrocity β€” that is, the abduction of the school girls from Chibok. The security agencies are also not innocent. Habila, through his report, captures instances where soldiers decided to collect bribes instead of arresting offenders. Surely, the callousness of the government officials and military personnel will surely emit the anger of the reader.

Furthermore on the pragmatic effect this novel has on the reader is that of apathy. Apathy in this sense means disinterest. This disinterest encompasses both religious and political participation. Because of the extreme way in which the insurgents attacked churches, many Christians, especially those living in areas in the North, will, of course, find it difficult to feel safe during church service; hence, they will end up avoiding service to God. An example of Boko Haram’s ruthless way of dealing with Christians is captured by Reverend Madu’s story on how his church was attacked. Muslims themselves are not exempted from religious apathy. Habila reports stories of clerics who were killed because they spoke against the tenets of Boko Haram. All these acts of violence against religious institutions will surely make the readers feel discouraged about religion.

Still on apathy as a pragmatic effect, one can, of course, not gainsay the fact that the activities of Boko Haram has caused a lot of people to become apathetic towards politics. This is evident in that there has been no elections in Chibok for years because of the fears of an attack by the terrorists. This political apathy will surely manifest itself in the reader because they will, without doubt, contemplate their safety during elections, and this will ultimately make them sit at home instead of voting. Another cause of political apathy definitely has to be the Nigerian irresponsible government. Helon Habila does not mince words as he reports how the government both at federal and state level have played huge roles in the current malaise of insecurity plaguing the country. Knowledge of this irresponsibility on the part of the government is likely to make the reader brand everyone in politics as birds of a feather; hence, the reader will surely show nonchalance towards politics.

Finally, the didactic lesson that can be learnt from Habila’s report is that early action by the government towards the prevention of crime is the solution to insecurity in the country. Habila draws attention to this by constantly reporting or emphasising how the various governments in Nigeria have ignored the signs of an uprising until it became out of hand as seen in the Maitatsine Uprising and Boko Haram Insurgency. Because history is deemed as a great teacher, it is expected that Nigerians (both the government and the readers) should learn from past mistakes in order to avoid repeating these errors.

In conclusion, the text Chibok Girls is one which captures the realities of people living in Nigeria. It is set in Nigeria; therefore, it may be regarded as one which will have lots of pragmatic effects on Nigerian readers. Some of these effects have been discussed in this essay; thus, proving that the text Chibok Girls is one which can be defined based on its affective powers on the reader.

Ude, Chiedozie Orji.

CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS!!!

Dear Esteemed Readers,
LITC β€” LOVE IS THE CURE β€” is hosting its second charity outreach on the 27th of December, 2019. So, you all are cordially invited to take part in it. Assist us in any way you can. We receive donations in form of cash, clothes, food items and toys. Join us today, as we spread the love during this period.

For more information on this, text or call the following numbers:
1. Chiedozie Ude *09090953414*
2. Chidinma Okonkwo *08180073734*
3. Afolabi Shobowale *08183848314*
4. Ekene Muolokwu *08127866274*
5. Andre Orji *08105463252*
6. Tochukwu Okoronkwo *08145697832*

Mimetic Analysis of Bomboy. Chiedozie Ude. Gbamlog.com

The novel Bomboy revolves around the character of Leke, a single young man who is portrayed as quite restless and antisocial; hence, he develops the habit of stalking women and stealing irrelevant things from people. He later finds out through a series of letter written to him by his biological father that the cause of his queer mannerisms stems from a generational curse placed on his family by a witch doctor whom they wronged. Having found the source of his troubles, Leke embarks on a mission to rid himself of the curse. All the events in the story prove that the novel Bomboy is one that can be analysed based on the verisimilitude it shares with the human society.

The novel Bomboy is rich in content in that it displays the relationship between modernity and tradition as it portrays human life. The novel portrays modernity through several ways. One of such ways is highlighted through the author’s depiction of a plethora of instances when Leke seeks modern and professional help in his search for rest and peace of mind. By so doing, themes such as: the universal theme of cultural conflict, as depicted by the clash between the Nigerian and South African beliefs; the theme of identity; the theme of love; the theme of racial discrimination; and the theme of the despicable nature of the prison system etc., are projected by the author. All the aforementioned help reinforce the argument that this novel contains some present issues faced by people in the society.

However, it is, arguably, the author’s use of traditional events that make this novel really stand out. By fusing tradition into the story, the author, who is of the Yoruba origin, has been able to reinforce several notions postulated by other Yoruba authors such as Wole Soyinka in Death and the King’s Horseman, Femi Osofisan in Women of Owu and Ola Rotimi in his Nigerian adaptation of Sophocles Oedipus Rex β€” that is, The Gods are not to Blame. One of these notions is the belief in the gods and their ability to affect destinies. Consequently, we have the theme of fate. All these themes combine to strengthen the argument that Bomboy is a realistic work of art with happenings that are peculiar to man.

The theme of fate can be considered as central to this story. The author develops this theme by employing several literary devices such as flashback, suspense and other factors such as happenstance. Through these devices, the theme of fate is established and the reader is also able to link different events to the subject matter. One may be tempted to argue that the author’s use of similar dates to convey past events that have significant effects on present events is purely coincidental. However, it simply strengthens the argument that everything has been premeditated by the gods. Hence, one can be justified to describe the gods as domineering and all powerful because they are capable of determining the destinies of man. This theme of fate is arguably most prominent in the life of Oscar, who from a very little age realises that he will never know peace or be happy because of the curse of the witch doctor, an emissary of the gods, on his family. Therefore, one can be justified to declare that it is the pronouncement of the gods that made Leke to behave awkwardly.

Another theme that is worthy of attention is the theme of cultural conflict. The concept of cultural conflict is a universal phenomenon which appears in many works of art. This theme is portrayed by Oscar who finds it difficult to get along with his South African colleagues because of his belief in the stories which surround the mythical and ancestral Queen Moremi of Ile-Ife. Because of this belief, Oscar fails to acknowledge South African heroes such as Rhodes. This clash of beliefs adequately sums up the tensions that plague the relationship between Nigerians and South Africans in the modern era β€” that is, 21st Century.

Closely related to the theme of cultural conflict is the theme of identity, another universal concept. The theme of identity is brought into focus in this book through the plights of biracial people. Both Leke and his father are the products of interracial unions; hence, they can hardly pass as whites or as blacks. This issue plagues Leke’s childhood because he gets bullied by school mates who recognise, through his white foster parents, that he was adopted. Another instance which reinforces the theme of identity is Leke’s name. Leke, because he was not raised by his biological parents, is forced to answer awkward questions about the meaning of his name and its origin.

The theme of love is another recurring idea which helps to project realism in the text. Love, however abstract, may be regarded as the force behind the actions of the characters. For example, Oscar’s grandmother is motivated by her love for her daughter; hence, she refuses to honour her promise by withholding her daughter. Unarguably, love may also be regarded as the catalyst behind Oscar’s decision to have Malcom Feathers killed. Also, everything Jane does for Leke is motivated by love and this explains why he really adores her, even after death, as seen in his ritual of planting 4 o’clock flowers. The budding love affair between Leke and Tsotso cannot be exempted. Through this theme, the characters have been able to vividly portray the sacrifices humans can do for their loved ones.

Another theme which ensures that this novel possesses verisimilitude with its environment is the theme which captures the despicable nature of the South African prison system. The South African prison system neither rehabilitates or reforms. Rather, it is a place where different vices such as murder, homosexuality, rape violence, etc., thrive. The pathetic situation of these prisons are vividly portrayed in Dennis Brutus poem: “Letters to Martha” where Dennis Brutus describes in detail the atrocities that are committed by inmates on one another. This inter-textual evidence strengthens the theme being discussed because it proves the truism of the theme through the similarities in the way the inmates in both texts act β€”that is, violence, homosexuality and killing are the order of the day. With all this evidence, one will surely not receive Oscar’s death in prison with much surprise. Therefore, one cannot gainsay the fact that the theme of the despicable nature of the South African prison system as portrayed in Bomboy captures the reality of prisoners in South Africa, and by extension, prisoners all over the world.

In conclusion, the text Bomboy is one which portrays real life with its setting β€” places drawn from real life; themes β€” ideas that are universal; and character actions etc.