THE COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS BETWEEN THE PLAYS OUR HUSBAND HAVE GONE MAD AGAIN BY OLA ROTIMI AND TRACIE CHINA UTOH’S OUR WIVES HAVE GONE MAD AGAIN
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1.1 Background of the study
It is assumed that for Africa and indeed the world to be an egalitarian society; teachers must find innovative ways of using language to deconstruct sexist literature and helping readers, particularly students, to imagine a world in which there can be genuine equality.
As stated by Finnegan, Ruth (2011: 64), the artist undoubtedly remains a socio, political force in any social formation. Apart from playing the role of an entertainer, the artist uses his artistic creation to instill truth into people’s consciousness in any given age. It is also true that when anomalies and contradictions become too glaring in any society the literary artist feels called upon to rectify such anomalies found in the society using art as a weapon.The artist’s mode of assessing an existing sociopolitical system, the people’s attitude etc. in a society,is satire – a form of writing which makes fun of the evil or foolish behaviour of people, institutions or society in general. The literary artist is known to have used satire from the beginning of literary history (64).
Before Nigeria gained its independence, a lot of brilliant thoughts had been spurred by the political consciousness that had been unleashed on the African Negroes who had exploited the gift of literacy and intellectual enlightenment via the acquisition of formal education. Artists like Hubert Ogunde had already begun to criticise colonialism in their works and in the process opened the eyes of the masses to the reality of the country’s situation. According to Ebun Clark (1978: 23):
‘Ogunde’s Theatre participated in the cultural renaissance in the forties so did it in the nationalist movement…’
It was works like this along with other initiatives that spurred the struggle for self governance and before long, Nigeria gained its independence. However, self governance soon proved to be as vicious as colonialism (if not worse) as exemplified by corruption, inefficient leadership and greed, vices which came to be synonymous with Nigerian politicians. Again, the literary scholars took to their pens to criticise their wrong doings. Some wrote in newspapers, while others treated the issues on television and other mass media. On the other hand, some decided to employ the theatre.
The theatre has long been regarded as the house of `truth’ and the mirror of the society and writers in that period decided to, in the words of Richard Schechner `show ourselves to ourselves’ in a bid to enlighten people on the true evils in society; the culprits, their motivations and in some cases, proffered solutions. According to Ngugi Wa Thiong’o (2011:110).
[African] Literature deals with reality-political and economic realities…literature is a very important weapon in the ideological struggle, in the battle for images, a battle for how we perceive ourselves- in the struggle for communal and individual self-definition.
The relationship between theatre and society has not fizzled out in modern day Nigeria due to the fact that the problems of governance which started in the sixties still exist over fifty years after. The likes of Ola Rotimi, Wole Soyinka, J.P. Clark and Femi Osofisan have gone ahead to prescribe solutions; suggesting a thorough sieving of political leaders and a nationwide support for a true democratic system of government.
1.2 Statement of the problem
The angle from which reality is perceived varies from one writer to another. The literary artist may be so disenchanted by the contradictions in a society that he may use art as an instrument to reconstruct, readjust and rectify the anomalies in the society. The literary artist might show his displeasure with society by becoming a ‘rebel’ using art as an instrument for effecting social change. A writer can as well criticize the mannerisms and idiosyncracies of men which he feels are not in conformity with the ethics of civilized behaviour.
More than anything else, the artist can use satire as a weapon. When we talk of satire, it is clear that each age produces its own abuse and its own corrective satire. Generally, the angriestsarcasm is that which is directed against individuals and groups whose conduct shows a marked departure from the norms of the society. In the middle ages, for instance, some of the targets of satiric attacks were the monks and friars who failed to uphold the ideals of poverty, obedience and humanitarian services.
However, poverty is probably the worst threat to integrity and security world wide. It is a threat that cannot be adequately addressed through the cultural lip-service strategy of recognition and celebration, because poverty, and its offspring, insecurity and loss of integrity, are all matters of global and political economy, matters that demand redistribution and justice.Even though scholars are speaking for radicalism here, they fails to acknowledge the fact that so long as the distribution of resources on the continent does not mean that all men are rich while all women are hungry, the need for concerted efforts through a trans-gender offensive against hunger, for instance, can never be obliterated by the call for the replication of the tenets of radical ardor on the African continent. This is because a hungry man or woman knows no ideology other than that of food and wealth acquisition.
1.3 Objectiveof study
The general objective of this study is to determine the comparative analysis between the plays our husband have gone mad again by Ola Rotimi and Tracie China Utoh’s our wives have gone mad again
1.4 Specific objectives of study
The specific objectives of this study are to:
- assess political plays in Nigeria regarding theatre as a social critic
- examine the intertextuality in Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again and Our Wives HaveGone Mad Again
- analyze our husband have gone mad again by Ola Rotimi
- analyzeour wives have gone mad again by Tracie China Utoh’s
1.5 Justification of study
The socio-political heat is mounting in all strata of life in Nigeria. Things are falling apart on every sphere; individuals, families, communities, organizations, institutions, churches, mosques, shrines, cults and political parties among others. Never a time has Nigeria witnessed such high voltage of shocks to her system; moral, spiritual, social, cultural, political and economic.
This study will encourage student research, particularly on issues that are relevant to society. At a time when Nigeria is facing a number of pressing issues related to the effectiveness (or absence) of government, this work seeks to locate the underlying causes of ineffective governance in Nigeria through Texts as a point of reference. This work also will serve to prove that the theater is influenced by the government of a society and vice versa and could provide solutions to the problems encountered in the country. This work also aims to enlighten the masses, especially women, about their potentials and their ability to exert their influence on the future of the country.
1.6 Research methodology
For the purpose of this work, content analysis was the primary method of research. Materials studied included past projects, journals, text-books and play-texts. Internet posts were also used. The descriptive methodology was employed to drive the research home to a high density of intellectual engagement.
1.7 Scope of the study
This study will deal intensely within the play text. References to Nigeria’s political history will be limited to facts that are connected to the themes and other relevant aspects of the play text.
There were a lot of factors that hindered research on this project. At the outset, the playwright, Ola Rotimi is dead and this made life interviews with him impossible. It was also a little difficult getting statistics and other secondary information.
1.6 Definition of terms
- Politics: Made up ofsocial relations involving authority or power and to the methods and tactics used to formulate and apply policy.
- Intertextuality: is the shaping of a text’s meaning by another text as well as the interrelationship between texts, especially works of literature; the way that similar or related texts influence, reflect, or differ from each other: the intertextuality between two novels with the same setting.
- Comparative: Is a syntactic construction that serves to express a comparison between two (or more) entities or groups of entities in quality, quantity, or degree.
- Analysis: Ismethodical examination and evaluation of data or information, by breaking it into its component parts to uncover their interrelationshipsin order to gain a better understanding of it.