Most African writers direct their literary efforts towards the arousal of Socio-political and economic awareness. Marxism, in its pursuit of socio-political change attempts to redefine human existence through class. Alienation, one of the theories of Marxism has been chosen for this research using Helon Habila’s Waiting for an Angel.
The novel has been analyzed by focusing on three features of alienation; social, political and economic alienation. From this work, we found that alienation has oppressed, suppressed and subjected the masses specifically using Poverty Street in Lagos to represent the generality of Nigerians who were oppressed under the dictatorial military regimes during the 1990’s. It has also been discovered that not even the prison should negate the continuity of socio-political and economic struggle. Though alienation has crippled the less privileged, it has also served as an eye opener through which the masses became radical in nature in order to effect a change in the societal system.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE i
TABLE OF CONTENTS vi-vii
1.1 Introduction 1-2
1.2 Purpose of the study 3
1.3 Justification 3
1.4 Scope and Delimitation 4
1.5 Research Methodology 4
1.6 Author’s brief Biography 4-5
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 The concept of Alienation 6-17
2.2 Political Alienation 17-18
2.3 Social Alienation 19
2.4 A review of Helon Habila’s Waiting for an Angel 20-22
2.5 Conclusion 22
APPLICATION OF SOCIO-POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
INDICES OF ALIENATION TO HELON HABILA’S
WAITING FOR AN ANGEL.
3.0 Introduction 23
3.1 Social Alienation 23-30
3.2 Economic Alienation 30-34
3.3 Political Alienation 35-44
3.4 Conclusion 44
4.1 Summary 45
4.2 Findings 46-48
4.3 Conclusion 48-49
A general opinion is that literature mirrors the society. The role of literature is more than just to mirror the society. It raises the awareness of both the individual and the society by exposing open or secret truths that people are ignorant of. Literature relates most to the society and in fact, to all aspects of the society be it historical, political, social, geographical, economic, biographical etc. Literature basically aims at effecting a change in the societal status quo. Literature is a liberating force that frees us from the inherent shackles placed upon us by the society.
The social functions of literature include the ability to record and explain personal experiences and the experiences of others, to explain a concept, to inform or educate its readers and to entertain the audience as in the case of drama and performance. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2000,p.692) defines literature as pieces of writing that are valued as works of art, especially novels, plays and poems. The primitive level of literature was in the oral form before the advent of the art of writing. With the development of writing came the preservation of literature in notable forms. Written literature, can therefore be seen as the embodiment of literature in written form either handwritten or printed.
Literature attempts the depiction of man and his environments within a creative mode. Creative imagination and the use of a specialized form of communication medium-language and style makes literature different from all other disciplines. Literature draws strength from actual life. Literature deals with the joys, sorrows, poverty and above all, death which man is subjected to. Literature, like all other art forms, draws on human experience and tries to reflect the same and communicate it back to man in an ordered and artistic form.
The literature of a specific community is defined as the sum total of all works of imagination either in oral or written form which have helped to project and reflect the life and culture of that community in the three important areas of narrative fiction, drama and poetry. In most African communities, the restoration of a collective conscious sensitivity is the major concern of the Nigerian writers.
Fiction is the assemblage of a number of short stories that are meant as indicators of the authors life experiences and his practical analysis of man’s behaviour. The aim of the author is communication and the revelation of many messages using majorly combined adjectives in order to give exact description of situations.
The motivation for the topic centers on the fact that socio-political and economic alienation still thrives even in our present society. The general public must rise up against all forms of socio-political and economic alienation. This research shall pre-occupy itself with a salient message which is Socio-Political and Economic Alienation in Helon Habila’s Waiting for an Angel.
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