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This research work examines corruption and violence in Festus Iyayi’s Violence and Chinua Achebe’s A Man of the People. The study has revealed that Festus Iyayi and Chinua Achebe belong to different generations of Nigerian writers who see corruption, violence and socio-cultural conflicts in our Nigerian societies as the result of misleading and corrupt practices of political leaders in our contemporary Nigerian society. The study also shows that Nigerian societies are faced with political conflict, political disillusionment and political oppression because of mal-administration, dictatorship and excessive socio-political conflicts imposed by the corrupt leaders. The study therefore recommends good literature novels with good moral lessons to be exposed to the learners on the effects of corruption and violence in our Nigerian society and Africa at large.  The authors’ views are equally established with the hope of an end goal of finding solutions that will take Africa out of the shackles of corruption, violence poverty and inequality.

  • Background to the study

The background to this study evaluates Festus Iyayi and Chinua Achebe’ sex ploration of the trend of exploitation, dehumanization and social economic and political forces affecting the Nigerian society. As a socialist, Iyayi mobilises the workers to resist their oppressive and dehumanizing conditions with the aim of making change. In an interview with Kunle Jibade, Iyayi reiterates: I write because I want to see changes that would transform the lives of the people. My writing is directed at and dedicated to those who are interested in bringing about a positive change in our society (1). From the foregoing, Iyayi explores how the Nigerian socio-political structures looks and urges the oppressors tonight for their political and economic rights. On the other hand, Achebe as one of the most powerful voices in the Nigerian literary scene addresses the Nigerian society and national interests. He writes on the Nigerian’s post-independence phase, when the country became a ‘cesspool of corruption and misrule’ in the context of colonial-style, social and economic development, a situation that resulted in conflict between the emergent elitist middle class and the general populace. Essentially, Achebe and Iyayi paints a picture of exploitation of the masses in these two novels thereby making the reader sympathize with these wretched of the Nigerian society. They equally paint a critical picture of the bourgeois class where they hold them responsible for the inherent exploitation, oppression and dehumanization of the poor masses in post-colonial Nigeria. The suffering of these poor has reflected on the socio-economic and political milieus in Nigeria. The above forms the element of exploitation and dehumanization as the background to this study.


  • Statement of the problem

The effects of exploitation and dehumanization of the masses as portrayed by the two novelists in this research truly hampers the progress of the Nigerian society; inflict different socio-economic challenges, violence, poverty and sexual exploitation. The study therefore concerns on how to enhance comfort the Nigerians instead of exploiting the poor as seen in the suffering of the characters in the novels.

1.3     Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this research work is to examine exploitation and dehumanization in the novels of Festus Iyayi’s Violence and Chinua Achebe’s A Man of the People.


1.4     Significance of the Study

This research will be beneficiary to the Nigerian political leaders especially in the house of Senate and Assemblies with knowledge on how the poor Nigerians suffer of exploitation, corruption and poverty. The study is going to enlighten researchers especially literature, reader of this study and students of English with more knowledge on the evil of exploitative condition of upper class of Kenyans and Nigerians.


1.5     Objectives of the Study

The following the objectives of this research work are:

  1. to analyse the exploitation and dehumanization in Iyayi’s Violence and Achebe’s A Man of The People
  2. to investigate the causes and effects of exploitation and dehumanization in the Nigerian society.
  3. to provide solution on the evil of exploitation and dehumanization bedeviling the Nigerian society.

1.6 Research Methodology

This research work will make use of Iyayi’s Violence and Achebe’s A Man of The People as the primary sources. The secondary sources are the use of African novels, libraries, internet and academic magazines for more information on the research work.

1.7     Scope and Limitation of the study

The scope of this research work is limited to Iyayi’s Violence and Achebe’s A Man of The People.

1.8 Bio- Data of Festus Iyayi

Festus Iyayi is an African literary writer. He was born on the 29th September, 1947 in Ugbegun, Eland, Edo State, Nigeria. His parents were farmers who experienced deprivation and lived on little means; they instilled in him strong moral lessons about life. He started his primary school education at Annunciation Catholic College (ACC) in the old Bendel State and completed in 1966.

In 1967, he went to Government College at Ughelli and graduated in 1972 and was also a zonal winner in the Kennedy Essay Competition organized by the United States Embassy in Nigeria. He left for Ukraine in pursuit of higher education and obtained an M.SC in industrial economics, he also obtained his PhD from the University of Bradford, England.

He returned to Nigeria in 1980 and took up lecturing in the Department of Business Administration at the University of Benin. He was the president of the local branch of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and later, in 1986, he rose to the position of National Organization President.

He published his first novel Violence in 1979, his second novel The contract was published in 1982, his third novel, Heroes published in 1986 brought him to lime light and got him the Award of commonwealth writers prize. Awaiting Court Martial (Malthouse press), 1996 being his last novel is a collection of his short stories.

His interest included behavioural science, human resources management, recruitment and selection. He died in a ghastly motor accident on November 12, 2013 at the age of 66.

1.9 Bio- Data of Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe is one of the best African novelists; he was born in the year 1930 and christened Albert Chinualumogu Achebe. He was born a member of the Igbo tribe, one of the four main tribes of Nigeria. Achebe’s parent was Isaiah Okafor, His parent were converts to the protestant church mission society in Nigeria. At the age of 12 years, Achebe moved away from his family to the village of Nekede, four kilometers from Owerri. He enrolled as a student at the central school, where his older brother called john taught. While in Nekede, he gained an appreciation for a traditional Art.

In 1944, Achebe sat for entrance examination and was accepted at both the prestigious Jennish Memorial Grammar School in Onisha and Government College in Umuaha and University College in Ibadan while at the university Achebe contributed several stories and essays to its magazines.

In 1953, he graduated with a B.A before joining the Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation Service (N.B.C) in Lagos. In 1956, he was selected at the staff school run by British Broadcasting Corporation (B.B.C). In 1958, his novel was sending for recommendation in London by one of his teacher, Gilbert. In 1961, he met a woman in Enugu named, Christiana Chinua Okoli and got her married that same year at the university of Ibadan main campus and was blessed with children. Achebe died at the age of 82 on 21 March, 2013.

He wrote the following novels: Things fall Apart (1958), No Longer At Ease (1960), Arrow of God (1964), A Man of the People (1987). Short Stories: Marriage is a Private Affairs (1952)Dead Meris Path (1953). The Sacrificial Egg and Other stories (1953), Civil Peace (1991), Girls at war and other Stories and Venegeful Creditors(1973)



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