The Theme Marxism of Nigerian Literature in Chris Egharerba’s Canopy of Thunder and Festus Iyayi’s Violence

ABSTRACT: This research discussed The Theme Marxism of Nigerian Literature in Chris Egharerba’s Canopy of Thunder and Festus Iyayi’s Violence. As portrayed by the two authors violence and negligence in Nigeria is cause by corrupt political leaders which on the other hand would be traced to the pre-colonial era and these conflicts were between the blacks and the whites or the colonizer and the colonized.  On the other hand, Festus Iyayi’s Violence, exposes how the rich explore the poor as seen in the novel using Queen and her husband as case study. At the same time, a balanced view is given of the members of the neo-colonial comprador class. They are also portrayed as human beings; but as human beings debasing themselves and others in their efforts to appropriate the surplus –value created by the working people.

The Theme Marxism of Nigerian Literature in Chris Egharerba’s Canopy of Thunder and Festus Iyayi’s Violence

Consequently, it is on this point that the researcher research on the topic, the theme Marxism of Nigerian Literature in Chris Egharerba’s Canopy of Thunder and Festus Iyayi’s Violence, with a view of finding a solution to the above issued confronting our Nigerian society and African at large.   



1.1       Background to the Study

Literature deals with men in every conceivable relation with others, his joys and woes, his tragedies and comedies, his fears and hopes. Thus, literature is seen as a distillation of human experiences which permeates thoughts and emotions. As the imitation of life, it is educative and gives us insight into the nature of reality. Literature is a literary creation that mirrors the life experiences of people in the society. Enright says literature is a work of art in memoirs of a mendicant professor “offers a vast reservoir of human experience and judgement of experience, a development of imagination and entry into human situation. To him one of the major functions of literature is the portrayal and examination of man as he goes through both pleasant and unpleasant experiences in his new perspective in African education. Fafunwa writes:

To Danzinger and Johnson in an introduction to literature says:

“It aims at giving automatic picture of ordinary life, usually by showing typical people of the middle and lower classes engaged in ordinary pursuits and recording their activities in great and concrete details. (122).

Hence, in novels that deal with realistic aspects of life, great emphasis is given to seemingly inconsequential people, who are portrayed in a rigorously unidealised way, and to such things as sight and sounds of common life. According to Wathiongo in Home coming, literature does not grow or develop in a vacuum. It is given impetus, shape, direction and even area of concern by social, political and economic forces in a particular society. Festus Iyayi’s Violence and Egharevba’s Canopy of Thunder are novelist slum and sophisticated in their works.

Festus Iyayi’s Violence and Chris Egharevba’s Canopy of Thunder: Propaganda against the Marxists that were exploiting the members of the society and causing inequality, unpatriotism and corruption. The constant Marxists made aware of the political, social and economic forces which determine individual life, men and women relationship, love and family ties. The novelist high lights the evils of corruption, exploitation, materialism, nepotism, inefficiency, general nonchalance and dereliction of duties by government officials, basic indiscipline, class consciousness and many other ills, and how they undermined the security and development of the nation.

The above forms the background to this research work on the Marxism in Nigerian Literature in Chris’ Eghareuba’s Canopy of Thunder and Festus Iyayi’s Violence. Therefore, Chris and Iyayi are strong African Marxists whose literary works of art examine how the lower cease is being exploited by the bourzoises in the society. In their writings, they portrayed how the class struggle and conscious efforts of the works and proletariats to survive and posses their rightful possession. The protagonist, Dr. Osagie Omoregie who performed a major operation to serve the life of a young lady who had been in a state of coma, thereby delivering her of her pregnancy, but unfortunately for him, the lady died after delivery while the child survived.

The Chief medical officer becomes infuriated and writes a lot of damaging report against him for not obeying the policy of the government. At last, he is dismissed thereby using violence to change the oppressive system. This has showed a clear example of Marxist thereby that seek for class struggle. On the other hand, Festus Iyayi’s Violence illuminates the author’s yearnings for the freedom of the oppressed. The novel introduces themes, and issues that are socially-driven, such as the deplorable condition of the oppressed in the society and the insensitive nature of the government towards her citizens.

The novels of Iyayi’s and Egharevba are grim expression of what is called the “appatting condition” in the society. That is, generally in their novel, Iyayi’s and Egharevba’s present the society, and the evil prevalent in it perpetuated by the Marxist in the society. The novels also present the Marxists’ inhumanity to their fellow humans and other forms of barbarism and brutality infused into society through the Marxists’ folly and irrationality, and these breed violence which undermines security and national development. Nigerian Literature using these two novels has portrait the actions of the Marxist on the members of the society and the writers Iyayi and Egharevba seem to have express this in their writings. This therefore formed the background to this present study on Marxism in Nigerian Literature in Chris Egharevba’s Canopy of Thunder and Festus Iyayi’s Violence.  

1.2       Statement of the Problem

It has been observed that the Marxism have been reflected in the writings of the many Nigerian literatures and this is seen as many of the writings have focused on bribery, corruption, oppression and victimization in African society. These incidents transform corruption into a regressive tax on service that the poor cannot afford, making basic services unattainable. Thus, it is the poor and vulnerable who suffer most due to the Marxists’ activities as they are more reliant on Government series and public system to satisfy their most basic needs.

The works and the lower class citizens reflected in Chris Eghabreuba and Festus Iyayi’s writings. As Marxism writers, they writings have focused to the sufferings, poverty, exploitation, oppression, victimization, and agonies of the lower class and the betterment of the lots of the common people who ought to be the real owners and controllers of the wealth they produce in the same vein, Chris Eghareuba and Festus Iyayi therefore users their literary novels to write and encourage the poor, a struggle in whatever form to balance the scale of social stratification and equalities in the society.

1.3       Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this research work is to investigate Marxism in Nigerian literature in Chris Eghareuba’s Canopy of Thunder and Festus Iyayi’s Violence.


The Theme Marxism of Nigerian Literature in Chris Egharerba’s Canopy of Thunder and Festus Iyayi’s Violence

1.4       Significance of the Study

The study will be significant in the following ways:

(i)         It will reveal some of the corruption practices in Africa.

(ii)        The study shall attempt to reveal some of the causes of corruption and it effects in African literature as a whole.

(iii)       It will help other researchers to be acquainted with the knowledge of corruption and exploitation in African literature.

(iv)       It will prompt Nigerians to refrain from the acts of exploitation and corruption.

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