Satire And Social Control In Wole Soyinka’s Kongi’s Harvest And Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again

Satire And Social Control In Wole Soyinka’s Kongi’s Harvest And Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again
Satire And Social Control In Wole Soyinka’s Kongi’s Harvest And Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again

Abstract: This research examined Satire And Social Control In Wole Soyinka’s Kongi’s Harvest And Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again. It focuses on the social and political ills prevalent in the African societies with the view of correcting them thus, making the contemporary society a better place to live. Using two texts from renowned Nigeria writers, the economic, social and political evils are being satirized to involve transformation. Here the moral decadence, religious hypocrisy, marital imbalance and corruption palpable a savage, portrait of group of dictatorial African leaders are portrayed in the texts of study. This study brings to limelight the evil inherent in African socio-political system and calls for a change, especially in the Nigerian society.



From the days of the Greek philosopher, Socrates, writers have been in the vanguard of social change, challenging the mores of oppressive society. The artist’s mode of assessing the socio-political system in the society is satire: a form of writing which makes fun of the evil or foolish behavior of people, institution and the society in general. The African Play wrights like Soyinka, Osofisan, Sutherland, J. P. Clark, Ola Rotimi etc. have made use of satire as an artistic mode of expressing the societal and political realities in the contemporary Africa. The African society for them is obviously a chaotic one, where dreams and aspirations of the people remain unrealized. They have seen with shock the endemic corruption, moral decadence and political exploitation that have become part and parcel of the society.


 1.1 Background to the Study

It is universally conceived by many literary scholars, that literature mirrors the society. However, literature goes to depicts vari8ous aspect of human life. The social, political religious, economical and historical aspects of human lives are expressed through literature. For the sake of this study, we shall concentrate on dramatic generic from the literature and the social control.

This research concentrates on the concept of satire used by African play wrights cussing Wole Soyinka and Ola Rotima as a case study to effect some societal. Satire is any piece of writing that used device sure as Irony. A text or performance that uses irony or wit to expose or attack human vice, foolishness or stupidity.

As a literary manner, Satire is concerned with ridiculing human and institutional follies with the intention of correcting them. Satire may be represented in the mode allegory and also mode imitation through pictures and caricatures. It is insidious treatment of subject in dramatic fashion, also in mode of lampoon which an individual is represented in a insolent way, this make it subject of laughter. Therefore, Satire is employed to mock or censor the action of man or his belief. It is also use to assess the state of man in his society and to create a difference between the present situation and the ideal situation.

Through the use of Satire, the study investigate how the two authors chosen for this research exposed the ills the vices in the Nigeria socio – political system in the post independence era. It also focuses on the awareness of the people to the policies of the government, the tyranny and evil that pervaded his role and the bridge of justices and misrepresentation of the truth. The work is also embarked up on to establish the fact that political and economic violence is phenomenon satire by literary master piece.

It can be said that Wole Soyinka and Ola Rotima use satire in two texts as a literary device to express the made fun of Nigeria institutions or individual by drawing the attention of the people to their vice with the aim of making amendments. Satire is a major tool in bringing about social transformation.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Many African nations are in crises today because of the experience of the colonialism and the ensuing post – colonialism. This because of the leadership style in Africa and Nigeria in particular as represented in the works of Wole Soyinka and Ola Rotimi. The authors seek to satirize political class, mediocrity and religious hypocrisy as well as exploitative tendencies of the people trusted with the leadership mantle of the country.

Most new leaders who has successful tutelage and who became the stooge of the east while colonial masters took over the political power and put into practice when they learnt their noble dreams and popular postulations quickly demise in the face of power and wealth. They themselves have the blessed of the earth, and compassion for the general welfare of the people was no more in priority or a worthy cause of fight for.

However, satire became very important in the post independent Nigeria as it is used to attack them for new colonialism, corruption, hypocrisy, ignorance and administration and other vices.


1.3       Objectives of the Study

This study is important as it brings to bear issues that are integral to our society which many people are not aware of. The study tends to

(i)         Re-emphasis and exposes the use of satire by African playwright to lash political larders and religious larders and highly esteemed people in the society.

(ii)        Serve as a corrective instrument for socio – political problem of Nigeria contemporary society.

(iii) Create awareness of people to the policies of government, the autocratic and evil pervaded its rule.

(iv)       Expose the ills and vices in the Nigeria socio –  system since independence as well as drawing attention to the weakness in the society also the attitude which must be change if the society is to develop.


1.4       Significance of the Study

Study of this nature is embarked upon to establish the fact political and economic violence is a phenomenon satire by literary writers. It goes a long way not only to attack the assumed unattackable ills and vice in human life which are mostly blinded by emotional instinct, but also as like no other literary application brought reformation to all these ills and vices in terms of political, social and economic ways.


1.5       Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study analyzes the conditions that have bedeviled and continue to haunt the Nigeria society. Also, the purpose is to developed and understanding and appreciation of the range of the literature written in the post colonial era, and to examined how post independent Nigerian experience have given rise to use of satire as a literary device to portray this period.


1.6       Methodology

The fact to be used will be collected from the two drama texts based on the concept of satire in the texts. Hence, the social aspect expresses the salient events in the contemporary Nigerian society with regards to man. The social problems of the society is not just religious and political manipulations which is prominent in Wole Soyinka’s Kongis Harvest but also the moral decadence, where moral imbalance is also seen in the texts, signifying the total domestic disorder in the Nigeria system. Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again is a political problem, abuse of power, complexities of power, intrigues of power and hurt of power in African leadership. Also, the tool which Wole Soyinka and Ola Rotimi employ to satirize in Kongi’s Harvest and Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again respectively shall be examined.

This research will be divided into four part, chapter one presents different literary definitions of satire, important satiric strategies and important of satire both to the individual and the society at large. All expressed in the background to the study. Chapter two dwells with the review of the related literatures. It will examine different scholars and critics view about the novel under study and the use of satire as a vital tool by the authors will be examined. Chapter examines critically, Wole Soyinka’s Kongi Harvest, thematic analysis and setting. Satire And Social Control In Wole Soyinka’s Kongi’s Harvest And Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again.

Chapter four examines critically, Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again, issues of dictatorship and use of literary devices. Chapter five which will be the conclusion of this study is a brief summary and evaluation of what the study entails. For the purpose of analysis of the data collected for the study, the research entails the use of textual analysis as parameters for drawing conclusion on the research findings.

Originally posted on May 18, 2021 @ 11:08 pm

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