LTERATURE IN ENGLISH DRAMA & POETRY
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Yoko is one of the thirty seven wives of Chief Gbanya. She is his favourite wife. The chief does whatever Yoko tells him to do. This does not go well with Lamboi and Musa. They look for ways to kill the Chief and take over the reign of Mende Kingdom. Their opportunity comes when the Chief is flogged mercilessly in their presence by the Governor. He sustains injuries during the flogging. Lamboi and Musa mix a poisonous concoction using alligator gall. They give it to him. He drinks it. Before he dies, he hands over his Chiefdom to Yoko after she persuades him. This does not go well with Musa and Lamboi. They look for ways of removing her from the throne. Meanwhile, Yoko upon ascending the throne, sacrifices her womb as it is in line with the tradition. During her reign, she is able to conquer more territories and add them to her kingdom. She also maintains a cordial relationship with the Governor and act according to the dictates of the imperial representative. In a plot to dethrone her, Musa and Lamboi kidnap and kill Jeneba and lied to the people that it is Madam Yoko that use her for ritual. This allegation makes Queen Yoko to be subjected to humiliation and disgrace from her subjects. She finally goes to the poro bush and clears her name of the allegation. In a bid to avoid further embarrassment and disgrace, she asks her maid to prepare for her a poisonous concoction. She drinks it and takes her own life. She says it is better than facing further humiliation.
How The Character of Musa Contributes to The Development of The Play
Musa plays the character of the seer and the medicine man in Mende land. He has the full trust of Chief Gbanya who believes him to be a true messenger of the gods. Musa has some dirty secrets. Lamboi is aware of these secrets, so he uses it as an advantage to force the support of Musa in his plan to dethrone Chief Gbanya whom he feels is being manipulated by a woman in his style of leadership and in the area of decision making.
The duo of Musa and Lamboi finally get their chance to kill the king when he was flogged by the Governor for sending an army against him. Musa prepares a poisonous mixture using alligator gall and making the king believe that it was a normal her prepared to treat his injuries. The king innocently drinks it and dies.
Unlucky for Musa and his accomplice, the Chief hands over the Chiefdom to his beloved wife, Yoko before he dies. She then sacrifices her womb as it is the custom of the land for the throne. Musa and Lamboi then kidnap Jeneba, the daughter of Ndapi and Kill her. Musa then deceived the people into believing that the Oracle revealed to him that Yoko killed Jeneba and used her for ritual. This angered the people so much that they subject her to humiliation, disgrace and even dethroned her. As the story unfolds, her name is cleared while the main culprits are known. But the humiliation that Musa makes her to face traumatized her to the extent that she drinks poison and Kill herself in a bid to avoid further humiliation. Miss’s caused the deaths deaths and misfortunes that happened in the play.
NECO LITERATURE SOLUTIONS
Lakunle’s role is to highlight the growing influence of Western culture on Africa, even in the remotest villages. An educated man who thinks that the tribal customs are outmoded and barbaric, Lakunle is determined to wean Sidi away from the old ways. Yet he fails, as Sidi chooses for her husband Baroka, the village chief, the epitome of everything Lakunle detests.
Lakunle’s failure to woo Sidi stands as a reminder of just how far Nigeria must go if it is to be a thoroughly modern, Westernized country. But the suggestion here is that for Western ways to gain a foothold in Africa, they must at least be properly understood, and even then must only be introduced gradually before being incorporated into traditional practices. Lakunle doesn’t understand any of this, which is ultimately why he is unsuccessful in gaining Sidi’s hand in marriage.
Lakunle is an educated young man who returns to the village to teach school. He is Baroka’s rival as a suitor to Sidi.
Lakunle represents the promises and pitfalls of independent Nigeria and embodies postcolonial identity. He is proud to be a modern man and calls attention to the negative features of traditional society. However, he seems eager to throw out the good with the bad. Advocating freedom for women, for example, he seems to Sidi to be bossy, unappreciative, and condescending. He rejects paying bride as an outmoded custom, but Sidi interprets his reluctance as disrespect for her value and an excuse meant to hide his inability to pay it. His education in the British system has diminished his ability to relate to his own people. Sidi rejects him in favor of Baroka.
Lakunle is the village schoolteacher and a proponent of Western civilization. He dresses like an Englishman and has a penchant for using “big words.” Wole Soyinka uses the protagonist, Lakunle, to criticize the native Nigerians, who are in a state of cognitive dissonance, as they cannot decide whether or not to embrace Western culture. Lakunle is representative of modernism, but his character and actions reveal how little he knows about Western modernization. Lakunle wears English clothing as opposed to native clothing. However, his English suit is deemed old-fashioned. In fact, it is described as “threadbare” and being “old-style,” which clearly shows how Lakunle is still stuck in the past, even though he tries to portray himself as a “civilized man.”
Further, Lakunle’s pursuit of Westernization is depicted in the fact that he does not want to pay Sidi’s bride-price. He uses a list of adjectives to express his hatred toward this African tradition:
A savage custom, barbaric, out-dated,Rejected, denounced, accursed,Excommunicated, archaic, degrading, Humiliating, unspeakable, redundant, Retrogressive, remarkable, unpalatable.
Lakunle is the village’s school teacher who has an affinity for Western civilization and culture. He wishes to modernize Ilujinle and attempts to marry Sidi without paying the bride-price. He is Baroka’s foil, and his character helps develop the theme of modernity versus traditional African culture. Lakunle is an outspoken conservative who speaks out against Yoruba culture. Although he claims to love Sidi, he is being insincere. At the end of the play, Lakunle’s true intentions of not paying the bride-price are revealed. He simply wishes to avoid payment under the pretense that it is a savage custom. Eventually, Baroka wins Sidi’s heart and ends up marrying her at the end of the play. Baroka’s wisdom and cunning are no match for Lakunle, and the Bale’s victory suggests that traditional African culture is stronger than Western ways of life.
How The Cunning Acts Of Baroka Trap Sidi
Baroka plays the role of the traditional ruler of Ilujinle. He is the Bale of Ilujinle. He is a very Cunning character. He is regarded as the “Fox” because of the load of Cunning tricks.
At first, he envies Sidi because she was more popular than he is. She appears more prominent in the magazine than he does. He then decides to marry her and add her to his list of wives who were already thirty seven in number.
He uses Sadiku to woo Sidi. When Sidi refuses the advances, he devices another means. He cunningly tells Sadiku that he has lost his manhood. He does this knowing fully well that Sadiku will not keep it a secret fr Sidi. When Sidi hears the rumour, she believes it and lets her guard down by seeing Baroka as nothing but a harmless impotent man. When Baroka flatters her, she willingly accept by walking into his trap. Next thing she she knows, he sleeps with her and disvirgins her. To this end, she is forced to marry him.
*Discuss Osborne’s view of religion in the play?*
In the play, Jimmy sees organized traditional Anglican religion as the antithesis of everything he believes in. The modern world, he believes, is a world of moral subjectivity. The church offers a worldview in which there is clear right and wrong, salvation and damnation, and this is a world that Jimmy simply believes no longer exists. Jimmy’s relationship to religion is more complicated, however, because he does allude to African American evangelical religion as an example of pure emotion. It is probable that Jimmy does not value the morality or spirituality of African American religion as much as he values the way in which such religious expression gives voice to real and true emotion.
Jimmy Porter is the “angry young man” of the play, usually found spouting tirades against the complacency of the British upper classes, and especially against his wife Alison and then his lover Helena. Born working class but highly educated, like his friend and roommate Cliff, but has an ambivalent relationship with his educated status, seeing himself mostly as a working class man and yet frustrated that his education can do nothing to affect his class status. “He is a disconcerting mixture of sincerity and cheerful malice, of tenderness and freebooting cruelty.” Jimmy “alienates the sensitive and insensitive alike,” and his “blistering honesty, or apparent honesty…makes few friends.” Jimmy is a frustrated character, railing against his feelings of alienation and uselessness in post-war England.
(i)THE DESTRUCTIVE NATURE OF UNCONTROLLED JOY: The poet persona is obviously happy and joyous about his retirement from service after thirty five years in service. This explains why he organises a party to mark his retirement. However, his joy gets the better of him and he drinks to stupor, something he has been able to control for over thirty-five years in government employment. His over-joyousness lands him in his grave. Thus, in everything we do, there is need for moderation. Had the retiree been moderate while rejoicing and compliant to his erstwhile driving code, he would have enjoyed his retirement in peace. All his years he “pummeled his boozy throat” in compliance with his duty rules just went to waste.
(ii)THE DANGER OF DRUNK DRIVING:This is another significant theme in A Government Driver on His Retirement. The poem expresses the universal driving rule that drivers should not drive when drunk. It is widely believed that driving when drunk makes the driver(s) susceptible to auto-crash as in the case of our newly retired government driver. Driving when drunk pushes him to his early grave. His drunkenness “sent him home to rest in peace”. The poem exposes us to the dangers of driving when drunk and of course, that of careless driving.
(iii)DEATH: Towards the tail end of the poem, the theme of death manifests. Death is an inevitable phenomenon every human being must undergo. Every one of us will die someday. However, the poet persona hurries his death time as a result of his carelessness and unrestrained joy.
Poetic Devices Used in Dylan Thomas “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night”.
This has to do with the use of words to create images in the mind of readers. The following are some of the symbols used in the poem:
“Good night” refers to end life or peaceful death. Other words include “Close of day” and “Dying of light”.
“The Sun in Flight” symbolizes the lifespan of a man.
“Day” symbolizes the active or youth period of a man’s life.
“Night” symbolizes old age. “Dark” symbolizes death. “Night” symbolizes old age and “Sad height” symbolizes sickness or failing health.
The poet urges people not to submit to death even though it’s man’s final end. He reduces the power of death to nothing, though death is powerful as no mortal has control over it.
This is an intentional play on words. The expression “Goodnight” means goodbye and it means death. “Grave” in “grave men” means serious individual and also men at the brink of death.
(i) Freedom and Slavery: The predominant theme of the poem is freedom. The first line depicts this by introducing “the free bird.” And the opposite theme is “slavery.” A caged bird in captivity “sings of freedom.” The caged bird was created for freedom as a free bird. Nonetheless, it is in an unnatural situation, trapped in a cage. Not only is it trapped, but its body has been mutilated as well.
(ii) Despair and Hope: The caged bird is in a state of despair. Being tied up in the cage compromises his movement. He is hopeful that it will transform into a free bird. That is why he sings of the anticipated freedom. Freedom seems out of reach, and his “tune is heard” in the distant hill. This tells us that the bird is hopeful one day he will fly over to the distant hill just like his voice.
(iii) Fear and Courage: While the free bird finds it easy to fly and enjoy his freedom by claiming the sky, the caged bird lives in fear. However, he is courageous enough to keep singing and use the power of his throat to fight for his freedom
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