The Thematic Thrust in Aniefiok Idiong Experience of War

The Thematic Thrust in Aniefiok Idiong Experience of War
The Thematic Thrust in Aniefiok Idiong Experience of War

The Thematic Thrust in Aniefiok Idiong Experience of War



Aniefiok Idiong’s Experience of War shown that in Nigeria, the traumatic war experiences can interfere with the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents, but less is known about the subjective experiences and views of war survivours. As a literary writer, he identified and described the different types of war experiences of young refugees in an African context and analyzed how they perceived the meanings and impact of war on their lives.

The participants were the Nigerian / Biafran Civil War of the late 1960s. This assignment aims at analyzing the phenomenological method to detect themes incorporating multiple sub-themes. The results revealed five main themes about war experiences, all negative in nature: pain and humiliation, loss of close relationships, horrific scenes, threats to life, and fleeing for one’s life. Concerning the perceived meanings and impact of war, the results identified six main themes. Three of them were positive in nature: increased awareness of life, compassion for life, and identification with those suffering.

 The negative main themes incorporated vivid horrific memories, deprivation of age-appropriate opportunities, and self-harm and destructive behavior. Our findings suggest that young war survivors may be highly motivated to participate in nation- and peace-building and should be provided opportunities to contribute to broader political and civic life.

According to  Aniefiok Idiong’s Experience of War, a state conflict is an armed conflict that occurs with the use of armed force between two parties, of which one is the government of a state. Effects of war also include mass destruction of cities and have long lasting effects on a country’s economy. Armed conflict has important indirect negative consequences on infrastructure, public health provision, and social order. These indirect consequences are often overlooked and unappreciated. It is this struggle that eventually degenerated into a coup, counter-coup, and bloody civil war. The Nigerian Civil War broke out on 6th July 1967. The war was the culmination of uneasy peace and instability that had plagued the Nation, from independence in 1960. This situation had its genesis in the geography, history, culture, and demography of Nigeria. The immediate cause of the civil war itself may be identified as the coup and counter-coup of 1966, which altered the political equation and destroyed the fragile trust existing among the major ethnic groups.


The following thematic thrust as examined in the text under investigation includes:

The theme of Violence –Violence alternately takes on the role of chaos and order in Aniefiok Idiong’s Experience of War. The chaos of the war is fairly obvious. Soldiers die and towns and nations are torn apart by the battles. For instance, Udo’s plot to kill the solder in (page 63) was as a result of violence. The author portrayed as how he tries at first to suppress his own violent feelings and impulses. He relies on his pistol to give him a sense of protection and uses it to restore order during the gas attack when his men panic. The element of fire, we come to see, can be either a tool or a terrible oppressor. Udo also uses this violence in defiance of the chaos of the war.

The theme of change –Change means to replace one thing for another or to become different. An example of change is someone getting five one dollar bills for a five dollar bill. An example of change is someone getting a new hair cut. An example of change is a girl becoming a woman. To become different some things never change. The author specifically portrays transformation, transition, or substitution winter of changed after the war. Moreover, Inevitability, the theme of change is another important theme in the text. According to the author, war itself is an agent of change. It violently and aggressively pushes into people’s private lives, intermingling the private with public life. For instance, Udo sees this change in the physical landscape of his hometown. Gone is the idyllic small town he once knew, replaced by factories working tirelessly for the war effort.

Also, Brother Akpan’s changing body also represents his loss of innocence and the unmistakable sensation that one cannot go back in time and undo what has been done. Many of the masses as well as the villagers struggle to come to terms with the world as it changes. The element of water is also associated with change. The soldiers bathe at key points in the story before a change: before departing for training as well as before the war is warn.

The theme of Destruction of Innocence- Destruction of Innocence is one of the major themes in the novel, it progresses several innocent figures are consumed by the war. This begins with as many peoe died, a lots of destruction is seen as the author captured thus: few month later, the soldier returned with more than ten other armed soldiers. The wall of the partly blow from one of the Federal soldier. Bro was taken out of prison and presented to a corps of medical soldier for treatment. Brother Akpan then realized that about ten prisoners and many soldiers died the previous night during the heavy fight (P.19).

From the foregoing, death, a tragic accident and loss of lives were all gone. This incident also evokes the theme of change that appears in the novel. Many soldiers too, lose their innocence and take their life as a result. They are driven to suicide after watching their fellow soldiers’ death. The destruction of the natural world and animals is also an example of the destruction of innocence as examined in the above text.

The theme of hunger –Throughout the novel it is clear that Aniefiok Idiong’s Experience of War has a connection to the natural world and how hunger becomes the order of the day as both adults and children were full of hunger. All these characters foster a deep respect and reverence for the natural world and it is among animals that he feels the greatest peace and belonging. The author show how the goats, fowls, dogs and all the domestics animals fall victims of the war, lack of food and shelter affected them. There is a freedom and authenticity in the natural world that Aniefiok Idiong’s Experience of War finds in human society. The destruction of these animals is what ultimately pushes so many masses to act out violently against the human construct of war.

On the other hand, the children as well as the adult were all hungry. For instance, the author portray thus: their children were hungry and sick. Many of them died faster than those of the poor (P.28).

The theme of Public-In the novel, the entire public pass through the obnoxious challenge of war as it concerns itself with a number of different “wars”. First, there is the obvious literal war of World War. However, domestic disputes also factor into the title. Both the soldiers and civilians experience problems at home while the war rages. Still another struggle is the internal one each character faces, most notably. In page 15, the author portrayed how the villagers who numbered about six as they are declared death sentence on all of them within five minutes (P.15).

Findley revisits the topic of private vs. public throughout the novel. The masses, victims and the soldier meet and wish to kill as many as due to the private guilt he feels over the death of their mates. He then is thrust into a very public war where he is vulnerable and where he finds judgment waiting for him. He struggles to hold on to his privacy as best he can. He is socially awkward, particularly around women. When the other soldiers go to the brothel, he doesn’t want to go but feels he must.


In conclusion, Aniefiok Idiong’s Experience of War is a text that critically exposes the effects of wars and its consequences. Also, he also examined in the novel how War destroys communities and families and often disrupts the development of the social and economic fabric of nations using the Nigerian/ Biafra war of 1960s. To him, the effects of war include long-term physical and psychological harm to children and adults, as well as reduction in material and human capital as seen in the above text.

The author examined the fact that, the Federation of Nigeria, as it is known today, has never really been one homogeneous country, for its widely differing people and tribes. These obvious facts notwithstanding enforced the former colonial master, who decided to keep the country one to effectively control her vital resources for their economic interest. Thus, for administration convenience, Northern and Southern Nigeria was amalgamated in 1914. Thereafter, the only thing this person had in common was the name of their country, since each side had a different administrative setup.

Wok Cited

Aniefiok Idiong’s Experience of War. Aniwheel printers and publishers, 2008.

About Peter Lawson 2362 Articles
Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of A reputable researcher, Web Developer, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education. Call/Whatsapp for complete material: 07068634102