The Use Of Satire In J. P. Clark’s The Wives Revolt And Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again. This research focuses on the social and political ills prevalent in 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 a group of dictatorial African leaders are portrayed in the texts of study. This study brings to limelight the evil inherent in the African socio-political system and calls for a change, especially in Nigerian society.
1.1 Background to the Study
Literature is as old as man itself, in time past, people use literature to mock and criticize governmental actions towards its subject. Every literary work aims at showcasing one thing or the other in society.
According to Fafunwa, literature, after all, is life; it deals with men in every conceivable relation with others, his joy, and woes, his tragedies and comedies, his fears and hope (44).
Thus, literature is seen as a distillation of human experience which permits thoughts and emotions as the imitation of life, it is educative and gives us insights into the nature of reality.
In the society which we found ourselves things happened and literary writers uses many literary devices to projects the brutality of government officials against their subjects to mock the actions of the official devices is needed by a writer to save him or her from the rod of law and the hand of the corrupt leaders and these devices is called satire.
Satirists use humor not only to ridicule their subject but to gain the attention and trust of their leaders while readers might not always respond to a highly-conceptual, advance argument for change laid out in a dense manifesto or academic essay, they can easily and enjoyably recognize societal problems targeted by satirical writers. Some scholars argued that the popular appeal of satire helps to bring about actual social reforms since the use of humor makes it easier to disseminate political and societal critiques more widely.
Samuel Johnson opined; satire is a poem in which wickedness or folly is censured (91).
The Use Of Satire In J. P. Clark’s The Wives Revolt And Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again
Nathaniel West stated that satire is a mocking spirit or tone that manifests itself in many literary genes can also enter into almost any kind of human communication (161) from the above definition Satire seeks to expose something foolish in the society. In Africa literature, the use of satire by plays writers to mirror out patriotism, social, political and economic decadence in the society.
Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband has mad again, Rotimi use major Brown to mock military regime and their wicked guest for power even after retiring from the military, Rotimi in Our husband has gone made again show the level to which military officers demands for political offices by all means and J.P. Clark, Wives Revolt, Clark uses the play to mock government decision over the Niger Delta oil.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
It has been observed that oppression, bribery, and victimization of a citizen in Nigeria and African society at large have become a normal routine. Moreover, the sharing of God’s gift mineral in society is not equally distributed to cover all the geo-political zones and ethnic groups.
There is also a lack of transparency and accountability by government officials. It is on this background that Satire in African Literature has become imperative as a tool to foster charge.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to examining satire as a tool for societal change using Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband has gone mad again and J.P. Clark’s Wives Revolt. Rotimi and Clark use satire to reveal the wickedness and evil practices in Nigeria and African society. The purpose of this study shall then show the negative impacts of corruption in African literature through Satire and how it destroys the lives, hope and dreams of the masses in particular and the societal at large.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The study will be significant in the following ways:
- It will reveal some of the corrupt practices in Africa
- The study shall also attempt to reveal forms of oppression and its effects on African literature as a whole.
- It will also boost other researchers to be acquainted with the use of Satire to reveal corrupt practices in African Literature.
- It will prompt Nigerians to refrain from the act of oppression.
1.5 Research Methodology
This research will be library based, the primary sources of information shall be J. P. Clark’s Wives Revolt and Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband has gone mad again. The researcher will also source information from relevant secondary sources.
1.6 Scope and Delimitation of the Study
The scope of the study is limited to satire in African literature. An analysis of Clark’s Wives Revolt and Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband has gone mad again. The scope will not extend to other areas as a result; the limitations will not affect the result of the findings.
1.7 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the research will be:
1. To use satire to mirror out some decay practices in African literature.
2. To exposed corrupt practices in African literature.
3. To create an awareness of the need to put a stop to such practices.
1.8 Bio-Data of the Author
John Pepper Clark was born on April 6, 1935. A native of Kiagbodo in Nigeria, he studies at the University of Ibadan where he graduated with a degree in English in 1960. He began his career as a writer and journalist and became chief editor of Daily express in Lagos. He later moves to America in 1962 to further his education at Princeton University. He became a lecturer at the University of Lagos and co-editor of the literary journal “Black Orpheus”.
He is a playwright, a poet, and a great writer, some of his works include; verse collections poems (1962), “A Reed in Tide” (1965), State of the Union (1985). His play work includes Song of a Goat (1961) The masquerade (1965), The Raft (1978), Ozidi of Atazi (1978), Wives Revolt (19) and others.
1.8.2 Bio-Data of the Author
Gladstone Olawale Rotimi was born on Apri 13, 1938, a native of Sapele, Delta State, Nigeria. He died on August 18, 2001, at Ille-Ife; he was a scholar, playwright, and director. He obtained his degree at Lagos State University and later traveled to the United States in 1959 to study in Boston University after receiving a B.A in Fine Art in 1963, he attended the Yale School of Drama where he graduated with M.A, 1966.
He taught at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), he spent most of his years in the Caribbean and the United States in St. Paul Minnesota. His plays include: To stir the God of Iron (1963) and Our husband has gone mad again (1977), The Gods are not to blame (1971), Koronmi and the Prodiga (1974), Tragedy of the Ruled (1983); and Hopes of the living dead (1988) etc.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Satire: A literary device of writing or art which principally ridicules its subjects often as an intended means of provoking or preventing change.
Humor: The quality of being amusing, comical, funny, etc. which makes people laugh a lot.