This work focuses on the metaphysical approach as portrayed by Amos Tutuola’s The Palwine Drinkard and D.O Fagunwa’s The Forest of God. This study shows how metaphysics was used in the two plays. Metaphysics is based on the use of myths, gods, medicine and use of god like creatures. The novels are used to show these facts.Research done has helped shed more light on what entails metaphysics and how it exists in our world and the belief people have in it.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page i
Table of contents vi-vii
Background to the Study 1-3
Scope and Limitation 3
Organization of Chapters 4
Authorial Background 4-6
End notes 7
Literature Review 8-9
Idealist Metaphysics 9-11
Materialist Metaphysics 11-12
Dialectal Materialism 12-15
End notes 16
The Metaphysical Approach in D.O. Fagunwa’s The Forest of God17-24
The Metaphysical Approach in Amos Tutuola’s The Palmwine Drinkard26-32
Summary and Conclusion34-35
Background to the Study
The word “metaphysics” is derived from two Greek words “Meta” which means “after” and “physika” which means physics (or nature). Metaphysics literally means after nature or after physics which deals with things of the mind, soul and other things outside this world.
The indepth meaning of metaphysics is not known because people often, mistake it with similar meaning in contexts.
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy. Its definition may not be as definite as one could know. However, there are different types of definition of metaphysics by different scholars like Aristotle, Democritus and Plato.
The Oxford dictionary (1995: 533) states that metaphysics is “the branch of knowledge dealing with the nature of existence, nature of truth and that of knowledge”
Aristotle in his Understanding Metaphysics (1903:170) defines metaphysics “as the four elation of all sciences as it is the science of being with the natural world and beyond”. In Aristotle’s case the word “beyond” refers to the supernatural world or realm. Metaphysics could also be the integration of the natural world of man with the other world of the unknown according to Aristotle, it is the science of reality.
The two novels under study Tutuola’s. The Palmwine Drinkard and Fagunwa’s The Forest of God are elemental case studies of metaphysics as they have it in them , elemental case studies of metaphysics from the beginning to the end. In their own unique way, these two writers express their aesthetic visions through their characters which emanates from a common stock of tradition, the Yoruba metaphysics mythology and collective, apprehension of the universe.
Abiola Irede in Tradition and Yoruba Writers (1975: 79) comments on Fagunwa and Tutuola that:
The significance of their work is this inherent
in the symbolic framework and connotation of
their novels. A simple but valid interpretation
of Tutuola and Fagunwa’s pattern of situation
in their novels suggests that man stand a dynamic,
supernatural, moral and spiritual world lived in
by obscure forces and this of course is a mythical
representation of the existential condition of man
as expressed in Yoruba thinking.(79)
Tutuola and Fagunwa’s personal beliefs of metaphysics was transferred to their use of characters like in the Forest of God we have Anjonnu – Iberu, the gnome of the ant hill, Death and so many more while in The Palmwine Drinkard we have the Incomplete gentleman, The half-bodied baby, Dance, Song and Drum and other characters. The use of charms which he used to prove his power in The Forest of God, his beliefs in ghosts and also the turning into a bird, the talking trees all portray the metaphysics in this novel.
Although, they both use almost the same thematic basis for their works, Tutuola failed in the literary tradition of which Fagunwa was a forerunner as most of the things in The Palmwine Drinakard are direct translation from Yoruba to English.
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