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This research work examined The Theme of Exploitation and Corruption in Chris Eghavreba’s Canopy of Thunder and Iyayi’s Violence. Literature is an imaginative work of art conveyed through the medium of language. It is a medium of reflecting the contemporary issues of the society be it class struggle, leadership problem, matters of security or issues on national development. In fact, literature serves as a mirror of society or a channel through which the social, political, cultural and economic issues that ravage a given society are explored. This means that there are correlation between art and life; hence, literature deals with people and their experiences in a given milieu.

This paper, therefore, concerns itself with the contributions of literary artists to the lives and experiences of people in the Nigeria society, especially on matters of national security and development. This is because the literary artists are seen as people who are committed by using their works to advocate for an egalitarian society, especially satirise the evils of corruption and exploitation; and push the proletariats into a struggle towards liberation from all the forces that undermine their experiences. The paper will make specific emphasis on Festus Iyayi’s Violence and Chris Eghavreba’s canopy of thunder a Marxist oriented novel that advocate forces against all the forms of exploitation and corruption in our society.




1.1       Background to the Study

Literature is a literary creation that mirrors the life experiences of people in the society. Enright says literature is a work of art in memoirs of a mendicant professor “offers a vast reservoir of human experience and judgement of experience, a development of imagination and entry into human situation. To him one of the major functions of literature is the portrayal and examination of man as he goes through both pleasant and unpleasant experiences in his new perspective in African education.

Fafunwa writes:

Literature after all is life, it deals with men in every conceivable relation with others, his joys and woes, his tragedies and comedies, his fears and hopes. Thus, literature is seen as a distillation of human experiences which permetes thoughts and emotions. As the imitation of life, it is educative and gives us insight into the nature of reality.

To Danzinger and Johnson in an introduction to literature says:

“It aims at giving automatic picture of ordinary life, usually by showing typical people of the middle and lower classes engaged in ordinary pursuits and recording their activities in great and concrete details. (122)

Hence, in novels that deals with realistic aspects of life, great emphasis is given to seemingly inconsequential people, who are portrayed in a rigorously unidealised way, and to such things as sight and sounds of common life.

According to Wathiongo in Home coming, literature does not grow or develop in a vacuum. It is given impetus, shape, direction and even area of concern by social, political and economic forces in a particular society.

Festus Iyayi’s Violence and Egharevba’s Canopy of Thunder are novelist slum and sophisticated in their works. Festus Iyayi’s Violence and Chris Egharevba’s Canopy of Thunder: A propaganda against exploitation, inequality, unpatriotism and corruption, we are constant made aware of the political, social and economic forces which determines individual life, men and women relationship, love and family ties. The novelist high lights the evils of corruption, exploitation, avarice, nepotism, graft, inefficiency, general nonchalance and dereliction of duties by government officials, basic indiscipline, class consciousness and many other ills, and how they undermined the security and development of the nation.

A consistent lampooning of the bourgeoisie class and crass materialism are pellucidly exemplified in the novels under study, hence, the major conflict in the novels is human dignity versus money, which is the case in all class societies.

Iyayi’s and Egharevba’s fictional world shows two worlds overlap to form one world.

In this study, we set out to explore the writes preoccupation of events in contemporary Nigeria. So far, we can say that a critical appraisal of this novels shows writers whose sensibility have been awakened by inequalities and injustice in the society. Their novels are grim expression of what is called the “appatting condition” in the society. That is, generally in their novel, Iyayi’s and Egharevba’s present the society, and the evil prevalent in it. The novels also present man’s inhumanity to his fellow man and other forms of barbarism and brutality infused into society through man’s folly and irrationality, and these breed violence which undermines security and national development.


1.2       Statement of the Problem

It has been observed that the effect of bribery, corruption, oppression and victimization in African society present the implicit cost of corruption. These incident transform corruption into a regressive tax on service that the poor cannot afford, making basic services unattainable. Thus, it is the poor and vulnerable who suffer most due to corruption as they are more reliant on Government series and public system to satisfy their most basic needs.

Moreover, in addition to bribery and oppression that are demanded of those who cannot afford them, corruption result in the deviation of funds intended for development and undermines government’s ability to provide basic services.

Due to these, there has been a lack of transparency, integrity and accountability is related to economic under performance and letters progress toward poverty eradication in many developing nations.

It is against this background therefore the theme of corruption and exploitation in African literature becomes imperative.

1.3       Significance of the Study

The study will be significant in the following ways:

  • It will reveal some of the corruption practices in Africa.
  • The study shall attempt to reveal some of the causes of corruption and it effects in African literature as a whole.
  • It will help other researchers to be acquainted with the knowledge of corruption and exploitation in African literature.
  • It will prompt Nigerians to refrain from the acts of exploitation and corruption.

1.4       Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to examine the theme of corruption and exploitation in Egbarevba’s Canopy of Thunder and Festus Iyayi’s Violence as a case study.

Festus Iyayi’s Violence and Eghavrevba’s Canopy of Thunder will critically condemned various aspects of corruption in African literature. The purpose of this study shall then be to show negative impact of exploitation and corruption in African literature destroys the lives, hopes and dreams of the masses in particular and the society at large.

1.5       Scope of the Study

The scope of the study shall be limited to themes of corruption and exploitation in African literature. An analysis of Egharevba’s Canopy of Thunder and Festus Iyayi’s Violence. The scope will not extend to other areas, as a result, the limitations will not affect the result of the findings.

1.6       Research Methodology

This research will be based on library, the primary sources of information will be Enharevba’s Canopy of Thunder and Festus Iyayi’s Violence. The research shall also sources information from relevant secondary sources.



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