SOCIO CULTURAL CONFLICT AND POLITICAL DISILLUSIONMENT IN CHINUA ACHEBE’S A MAN OF THE PEOPLE AND NGUGI WA THIONGO’S PETALS OF BLOOD

SOCIO CULTURAL CONFLICT AND POLITICAL DISILLUSIONMENT IN CHINUA ACHEBE'S A MAN OF THE PEOPLE AND NGUGI WA THIONGO'S PETALS OF BLOOD
SOCIO CULTURAL CONFLICT AND POLITICAL DISILLUSIONMENT IN CHINUA ACHEBE'S A MAN OF THE PEOPLE AND NGUGI WA THIONGO'S PETALS OF BLOOD

SOCIO CULTURAL CONFLICT AND POLITICAL DISILLUSIONMENT IN CHINUA ACHEBE’S A MAN OF THE PEOPLE AND NGUGI WA THIONGO’S PETALS OF BLOOD

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page

Declaration

Certification

Dedication

Acknowledgements

Abstract

Table of Contents

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

1.2       Statement of the Problem

1.3       Purpose of the Study

1.4       Significance of the Study

1.5       Objectives of the Study

1.6       Scope and Limitation of the Study

1.7       Research Methodology

1.8       Bio-Data of Chinua Achebe

1.9       Bio-Data of Ngugi Wa Thiongo

CHAPTER TWO REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE-

CHAPTER THREE- SOCIO-CULTURAL CONFLICT AND POLITICAL DISILLUSIONMENT IN CHINA ACHEBE’S A MAN OF THE PEOPLE

3.1       Analysis of Achebe’s A Man of the People

3.2       Themes in Achebe’s A Man of the People

3.3       Styles in Achebe’s A Man of the People

3.4       Characterization in Achebe’s A Man of the People

 

CHAPTER FOUR- SOCIO-CULTURAL CONFLICT AND POLITICAL

DISILLUSIONMENT IN NGUGI WA THIONGO’S PETAL’S OF BLOOD

4.1       Analysis of Ngugi’s Petals of Blood

4.2       Themes in Ngugi’s Petals of Blood

4.3       Style in Ngugi’s Petals of Blood

4.4       Characterization in Ngugi’s Pelals of Blood

CHAPTER FIVE- SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1       Summary

5.2       Conclusion

5.3       Recommendations

Works Cited

 

ABSTRACT

This research work exposes the socio-cultural Conflict and Political Disillusionment in Chinua Achebe’s A Man of the People and Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s Petals of Blood. The study shows that the poor have remained unsatisfied. Full of disillusionment, suffering and oppressed as a result of the promises the leaders made to them.

In A Man f the People for instance, Achebe exposes the various socio-cultural conflicts and political disillusionment in the politics of Chief Nanga. Who promised his people during his visit at Anata Grammer school by providing, pipe bone water. Good road network and employment to the masses. However, but he failed when he got into power by using the government money in building mansions and chasing women around.

 

Achebe uses the above mentioned character as a man of the people who is disillusioned by his people who voted him into power.

In Petals of Blood, Ngugi portrays the socio-cultural conflict and political disillusionment as a problem faced by the poor Kenyans.

The study therefore recommends that, literature should be a compulsory subject for all Nigerian students because it mirrors the events, incidents and episode of every society and it would also serves as an avenue 1or eradicating immoral and political crisis in every society of Africa.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

Socio-cultural conflict and political disillusionment are issues that have been affecting many African societies today. This is why Chinua Achebe of Nigeria and Ngugi Wa Thiongo of Kenya used their novels as literary tools to fight against cultural conflict corruption. Political conflict, political disillusionment, the effects of Mau-Mau rebellion exploitation discrimination and oppression of the British-rule in Nigeria and Kenya during her independence.

In A Man of the People for instance, Achebe uses Chief Nanga as a Nigerian politician. Who resort to all kinds of corrupt means using the government funds that is meant for the masses for his selfish interest. He maintained that within a few years of independence, Nigeria under Black hegemony urns into a cesspool of corruption and misrule.

 

The novel portrays the political disillusionment in post independent Nigeria and also explores the conflict of corruption, exploitation and social injustice in the Nigerian society and the acquisition of material wealth by crooked means. The novel further explores the predicament of the people of Nigeria in the political and socio-cultural context.

On the other hand, the Kenyan novelist, Ngugi Wa Thiongo uses literature as a form of communication and expression to conscientise and assist in bringing liberty to the oppressed Kenyans by showing his commitment to the struggle against neo-colonialism and capitalism.

 

The situation in Kenya alter its independence according to Ngugi seems not to be conducive to all Kenyans apart from those few who are the ruling elites. In relation to the exploitative regime in Kenya, the novelist advocates a change in his native country that has been subjected to various 1orms of sulfuring socio-political conflict and political disillusionment.

From the foregoing, Achebe and Ngugi’s writings examine Nigeria and Kenya from the perspective of political conflict and disillusionment. Their desires is to see their country as a place where the institutions of governance can guarantee good health, housing, 1ood, quality education, fairness, justice and security.

 

SOCIO CULTURAL CONFLICT AND POLITICAL DISILLUSIONMENT IN CHINUA ACHEBE’S A MAN OF THE PEOPLE AND NGUGI WA THIONGO’S PETALS OF BLOOD

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Achebe and Ngugi believed that Nigeria and Kenya are African countries that have suffered cultural conflict and political disillusionment after their independence. According to them, their countries started by the colonisers from whom the neo-colonisers inherited it. Ngugi for instance uses Peals of Blood as a weapon to deal with Kenyan problems at all levels.

He uses different characters and their roles to bring to light the class divisions, class struggles and culture alienation. Thus, that are taking place within the Kenyan society because of the influence of the past western colonizers.

 

1.3       Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this research project is to expose the socio-cultural conflict and political disillusionment in Chinua Achebe’s A Man of The People and Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s Petals of Blood.

 

1.4       Significance of the Study

This research project is significant to the reader of this work, students of Literature and English as a whole as the work will enlighten them more on the root causes of socio-Cultural conflict and political disillusionment in Nigeria and Kenya. The study will also be important to Literature writers and they would find this research project significant.

 

1.5       Objectives of the Study

The study aims at examining the following objectives:

  • to investigate he causes of socio-cultural conflict and political disillusionment in Nigeria and Kenya using Chinua Achebe’s A Man of The People and Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s Petals of Blood as a case study.
  • to examine Achebe and Ngugi’s purpose of writing A Man of The People and Petals of Blood as well as examining the fictional characters in the two novels that are affected with conflict and political disillusionment.
  • to find out some possible ways of curbing with the challenges of socio-cultural conflict and political disillusionment affecting the masses.

 

1.6       Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope and limitation of this research work S on Chinua Achebe’s A Man of The People and Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s Petals of Blood.

 

1.7       Bio-Data of Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe was born in Ogidi in Nigeria in 1930 and christened Albert Chinualumogu Achebe. He was born a member of the Igbo tribe, one of the four main tribes of Nigeria. Achebe’s parent was Isaiah Okafor, His parent were converts to the protestant church mission society in Nigeria.

Moreover, at the age of 12 years, Achebe moved away from his family to the village of Nekede, four kilometers from Owerri. He enrolled as a student at the central school, where his older brother called john taught. While in Nekede, he gained an appreciation for a traditional Art.

 

Thereafter, in 1944, Achebe sat for entrance examination and was accepted at both the prestigious Jennish Memorial Grammar School in Onisha and Government Collegein Umuaha and University College in lbadan while at the university Achebe contributed several stories and essays to its magazines.

Moreso, in 1953, he graduated with a B.A before joining the Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation Service (N.B.C) in Lagos. In 1956, he was selected at the staff school run by British Broadcasting Corporation (B.B.C). Furthermore, in 1958, his novel was sending for recommendation in London by one of his teacher, Gilbert.

 

Thereafter, in 1961, he met a woman in Enugu named, Christiana Chinua Okoli and got her married that same year at the university of lbadan main campus and was blessed with children.

Achebe died at the age of 82 on 21 March, 2013. Some of his selected works includes: Things Fall Apart (1958) No Longer At Ease (1960) Arrow of God (1964)A Man of the People (1987)Short Stories Marriage is a Private Affairs (1952) Dead Meris Path (1953) The Sacrificial Egg and Oiher stories (1953) Civil Peace (1991) Girls at war and other stories and vengeful creditors (1973).

 

1.9       Bio-Data of Ngugi Wa’Thiongo

Ngugi was born 1958 in Limuru. Kenya, on January 5. He was educated at a mission school at Gikuyu independent school during the Mau Mau insurgency. He went on to attend Alliance High School in 1955-1959 and Makerere University College in Kampala, Uganda, in 1959-1964.

After earning a B.A. in English he worked as a journalist for Nairobi’s Daily Nation for half a year. Before leaving to continue his studies in Literature at the University of Leeds in England. He returned to Kenya in 1967 and taught English at Nairobi University College until January 1969. Where he resigned in protest during a students’ strike. He lectured in African literature at North-Western University in IIlinois from 1970 through 1971. Then resumed teaching at Nairobi University College, where he was appointed acting head of the Department of English.

 

In December 1977, he was arrested by the Kenyan government and detained for a year. No formal charges were ever 1iled against him. But it was assumed that his involvement was in an adult literacy campaign that aimed at raising the political consciousness of peasants and workers in his hometown of Limuru. Which led to his imprisonment. When he was released. He was unable to regain his position at the University he was teaching.

 

In 1982, he went to England at the invitation of his publisher (Heinemann Educational Books) to launch a novel he had written while in detention. During his absence, there was an attempted coup in Kenya. Thus, after which a number of his friends and associates fled the country.

However, for his literary accomplishment, Ngugi has received many awards. He received the Distinguished Africanist Award from the New York African Studies Association in (1996). The Fonlon-Nichols prize (1996), the Zora Neale Hurston-Paul Robeson A ward (1993). The Lotus prize for Afro-Asian literature (1973), UNESCO first prize (1963) and the East Africa Novel Prize (1962).

 

All of his writings, Ngugi attacked injustice and oppression and championed the cause of the poor and dispossessed in Kenya. He “‘set out to develop a national literature for Kenya in the immediate wake of that nation’s liberation from British rule,” wrote Theodore Pelton in the Humanist (March-April 1995).

Ngugr’s literary works are, Weep Not, Child (1964), The River Between (1965), A Grain of Wheat (1967). This Time Tomorrow reprinted in Short African Plays (1972).

Homecoming (1972). The Trial of Dedan Kiumathi – with Micere GithaeMugo (1976), Petals of Blood (1977) and Devil on the Cross (1982). He also published two works of non-fiction, another anthology of essays called Writers on Politics (1981). He also produced an autobiographical work based on his year behind bars. Detained: A Writer’s Prison Diary (198)) and two children’s books Njamba Nene and the Flying Bus and Njamba Nene’s Pistol, both in 1995.

 

CHAPTER TWO

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

The literary works of Chinua Achebe of Nigeria and Ngugi Wa Thiongo of Kenya have been criticized. By literary critics, novelists, poets and researchers on the context of colonialism. Post-colonialism, socio-political disillusionment and political corruption. For instance, scholar like Eustace Palmer in An Introduction to the African Novel says: Achebe’s A Man of the People substantiates the social predicament and political malaise which are not the evil effects of colonialism, but ruthless manipulation of Africans themselves (72).

 

David Cook also acclaimed that in A Man of the People, Achebe is doing something new. He is exploring the situation in a modern African state, which is in the process of breaking completely with the past and the result is that the country enters the age of the isolated individual confronting a mechanical administration.

Indeed, the novel actually centres on the theme of disillusionment in post-independent Nigeria. It explores the corruption, exploitation and social injustice in the Nigerian society and the acquisition of material wealth by crooked means.

The events and atmosphere in A Man of the People match the Nigeria of 1960s in particular and Africa in general. This View makes Robert Wren writes in Achebe’s World: The Historical and Cultural Context of The novels of Chinua Achebe about the political situation of Nigeria during 1960s that evoked in A Man of the People:

Thus, a bureaucracy responsive to political pressure assured that only to the victors belonged the spoils. Hence, the system itself became the mechanism for despotic rule, and made despotism inevitable (98).

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