Conflict And Empowerment In Selected Prose Of Wole Soyinka And Sembene Ousmane

Project and Seminar Material for Linguistics and Communication

Project and Seminar Material for Linguistics and Communication


Political conflict and empowerment are crucial issues that have not been studied in a comparative manner in Wole Soyinka and Sembene Ousmane’s writings. The disparity in the consideration of the female gender by the authors in question has also not been given crucial attention by critics. In view of the foregoing, the objectives of this research are to explore the thematic affinity and disparity between the two writers and to embark on a comparative analysis of their selected prose. The connection between them revolves round conflict and empowerment. Hence, the authors reflect how a coterie of individuals, in desperation for power, makes surreptitious moves to retain leadership by further relegating the marginalised. Again, there exists conflict between traditional African and European cultures. A deliberate artistic device employed by Soyinka and Ousmane to promote healthy cultures is to ridicule traditional or modern methods that are incongruous in our technological age.

While the marginalised are empowered in the first conflict, cultures that should not go into extinction are glorified in the second conflict. These authors equally pay attention to the women by empowering the female characters in their works. In undertaking this research, primary sources, critical works from the library and the internet provided relevant materials that enhanced the understanding of the works. The researcher has made reference to articles and embarked on detailed reading and content analysis of the works. An eclectic critical approach using Marxism, New Historism, Socialist realism and Feminism has been adopted. The study reveals that while Soyinka relies on the intellectuals to effect a positive change, Ousmane believes in the strength of the workers. Soyinka advocates for a democratic option for a social change; Ousmane believes in a dialectical materialistic option. The two authors do not conform to the romantic idea of negritude. It is worthy of note that authors from different social and cultural backgrounds respond similarly when they are confronted with similar situations. What makes the difference is the approach.

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