Misuse Of Power In Chinua Achebe’s Anthill Of The Savannah And Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus
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Over the ages, some persons or group of persons are known to misuse power to bully their subjects or subordinates. This unwholesome act gives rise to many literary works condemning the act. This work considers the misuse of power as portrayed by the novels Anthills of the Savannah and purple Hibiscus by Chinua Achebe and Chimmamanda Adichie respectively. Achebe in his novel shows the danger of pursuing power for power’s sake and also the impact of a dictator on a populace – the people of Kangan only suffer from Sam’s leadership. He represents the archetypal corrupted Nigerian leaders. Eugene Achike in purple Hibiscus is another character who abuses his patriarchal power over his family. Eugene is both a religious zealot
and a violent figure in the Achike household, subjecting his wife Beatrice, Kambili and her brother Jaja to beatings and psychological cruelty. This work therefore condemns in strong terms the brutality and disregard for human existence that exist in our contemporary society. People placed in authority must exercise their powers in accordance with the societal norms. There must be mutual respect and understanding in the families for a stable society.
1.0 BACK GROUND OF THE STUDY
According to Webster Comprehensive Dictionary, Literature is “the written work or production of the human mind collectively”.Oguche A.G defines literature as “a written work which deals with the themes of permanent and universal interests characterized by creativeness and grace of expression as poetry, fiction, essay, drama etc” (1). Literature is also viewed as a writing that pre-eminently reflects on and qualifies some aspects of human experiences, illuminating it from the perspective of scientific and intelligent observers.
There are two forms of Literature- written literature and oral literature. This work will dwell essentially on the written form of literature as it considers two literary works: Anthills of the Savannah by Chinua Achebe; Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie. The work seeks to trace how the two authors under review portray the misuse of power by people in the society.
According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, Power is the ability to control people or things. Power also means the right or authority of a person or group to do something. Over the ages, some persons or group of persons are known to misuse power to bully their subjects or subordinates. This unwholesome act gives rise to many literary works condemning the act.
Anthills of the Savannah is a 1987 novel by a Nigerian writer, Chinua Achebe. It was his fifth novel, first published in the UK 21 years after Achebe’s previous one (A Man of the People in 1966), and was credited with having revived his reputation in Britain. A finalist for the 1987 Booker Prize for Fiction, Anthills of the Savannah has been described as the most important novel to come out of Africa in the 1980’s.
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