2018/2019 WAEC Literature in English expo
Faceless begins in a slum cynically christened Sodom and Gomorrah with 14-year-old Fofo narrowly escaping rape by Poison, a Street Lord and local thug. She flees to her friend Odarley where we learn that Poison controls even the shared toilets and that Fofo is constipated because all she’s had to eat is bread. The scene then shifts abruptly to the middle-class life of Kabria, a good-hearted researcher for MUTE, an NGO which is a repository for alternate stories not found in books. Kabria is harassed by her demanding children and a bone-idle husband who expects his wife to wait on him even though she is in full time work as well. (Gender relations has been a theme in many of the recent African novels I’ve read).
When Kabria and Fofo cross paths, the young girl’s back story is gradually revealed. Like her older sister Baby T., she is cast out to fend for herself by her feckless mother Maa Tsuro, and like Baby T. she becomes a prostitute. Baby T. was found brutally murdered in the marketplace in another Accra slum called Agbogbloshie, and would have become just another forgotten casualty of slum life were it not for Kabria and her friend Dina at MUTE. They enlist the help of Sylv from a community radio station, and together they confront the shocking truth about Baby T.’s short life.5)Bigger Thomas, the protagonist of Native Son, by Richard Wright, expresses the role of a poor, uneducated black man. Bigger lived in a time where racism was very common in the society. Wright shows us through him, how bad the situation was. Due to his lack of education, Bigger had to work menial labor. Thus, he was forced to live in a one room apartment with his family. He felt trapped all his life, resenting, hating, and fearing the whites, whom he felt controlled his life. He views white people as a collective, overpowering force that tells him where to live, where to work, and what to do. The main focus of Wright?s novel is to show the effects of racism on one?s mind. Bigger has lived a life defined by the fear and anger he feels toward whites for as long as he can remember. Perhaps that is what leads him to do the crimes that he does.
Bigger develops the main action of the book when he kills Mary Dalton. In fact, it makes him feel as though his life actually has a meaning. He feels as if he has thereato assert himself against the whites. Wright does not try to show Bigger as a hero, because of his brutality and capacity for violence which is extremely disturbing, especially in the scene where he shoves Mary Dalton?s dead body in to the burning furnace in order to hide it. Wright?s main point is that Bigger becomes a brutal killer just because the dominant white culture fears that he will. By fearing whites, Bigger only contributes to the cycle of racism and fuels it even more. However, after meeting Max, he begins to redeem himself, actually recognizing whites as individuals for the first time in his life.
But the social injustice does not end there, after killing Mary Dalton, Bigger goes to Bessie, his girlfriend and tells her everything. Recognizing that Bessie might tell anyone, Bigger kills her too and is than arrested by the police. There, the injustice takes place. When Bigger was arrested, and
jailed, he received constant harassment. He only faced two choices, either to confess, or be lynched by the white crowed. Bigger knew deep down, that he was going to die anyhow. But Max, his lawyer, reminded him that he could still win the case and be free. Another example of the injustice is that when Bigger was eventually caught, the pubic and the media press automatically determine that he is guilty of not only killing Mary, but also rapping her before killing her.
Manfred, Prince of Otranto – an arrogant, unprincipled man who lives in the shadow of a curse
Hippolita, the wife of Manfred – a noble, virtuous and religious woman who loves her husband, although he does not deserve her love
Manfred becomes obsessed with finding and marrying Isabella. But, first, he must divorce Hippolita. She is a devout woman who will do as a priest asks her, so Manfred wants the priest, Jerome, to convince her to accept the divorce. Since Isabella has asked for shelter in the church until her father arrives, Jerome is well-aware of Manfred’s ill intent toward her. There is some confusion here – some believe the father is dead, but she believes he is alive.
Conrad – the son of Manfred and Hippolita, who dies at age 15
Matilda – the beautiful, sweet daughter of Manfred and Hippolita, who is 18No. 4
We all know how painful it is to part with something of huge value. Waking up one calm morning to realise that one’s lovely kitten or cat is dead; leaves the heart with some particles of sorrow not to mention the death of a loved one.
The sorrow and loneliness that come with bereavement is found paramount in the novel “Lonely Days” by Bayo Adebowale. A novel that discussed widowhood and it associated plights within African society (Nigeria as a case study). Yaremi among other widows suffered humiliation, intimidation and loneliness after the lost of her husband, Ajumobi.
With the help of a well chosen narrative styles; Bayo Adebowale drove his message into the heart of the readers. The author embraced such elements as climactic plot, dialect, omniscient narration, flashback, songs and poetry.
1. Climactic Plot: The events in Lonely Days flowed from beginning to end. It started with Yaremi lost her husband (Ajumobi) the widows’ humiliation followed then came the attempt of forceful second marriage to the final treat of the village elders to chase Yaremi out of Kufi village for violating the village’s traditional widowhood injunction.
2. Dialect: The Yoruba dialect is found at many unexpected lines of the novel’s narration. Few examples are iloro, amala, kijipa, arere, owurubutu, Sokoti, hua-hua-hua, ipele, labankada, Ayan-Agalu, etc. The purpose is to support the main setting of the novel which is Kufi (a symbolism for African cultural society).
3. Omniscient Narration: Bayo Adebowale placed narration of Lonely Days in the mouth of an unknown entity, such entity saw the in and out of all events_ both physical and those happening in the minds of characters. The narrator saw when the shooting stars fell of the sky and also saw Woye making decorations off the village junks.
4. Flashback: This is a technique of bringing past events into the present. It mostly adds beauty and information to any story. Deyo told Alani how Ajumobi and himself used to hoot at each other in their various farms; in preparedness to go home. Woye also got to know about Yaremi’s childhood experience through the writer’s use of flashback.
5. Songs and Poetry: These other genres of literature are employed into the plot of Lonely Days. There are many instances of song in the novel. At a point, Radeke sang a traditional widow’s song:
“If heaven was like going to the market in the morning
And returning home in the evening
I would have followed my husband
And run errands for him…”
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