SUBALTERN CONSCIOUSNESS AND POSTCOLONIALITY IN TANURE OJAIDE’S THE TALE OF THE HARMATTAN

SUBALTERN CONSCIOUSNESS AND POSTCOLONIALITY IN TANURE OJAIDE’S THE TALE OF THE HARMATTAN

Authors

  • Macpherson Chikaodiri Okpara Ebonyi State College of Education, Ikwo, Nigeria

Keywords:

Subaltern consciousness, Niger Delta poetry,, literature and environment, pospostcolonial literary criticism,, national development

Abstract

The discovery of crude oil in the Niger Delta of Nigeria in the last years of Nigeria’s colonial experience marked an ironic twist in the living conditions of the local  population. The poetry on environmental questions in the region recreates the reality of how the destruction of the environment through felling of trees, oil drilling, oil spillage, gas flaring and the attendant pollution of land and water bodies in the area combined with the dispossession and marginalization of the people by foreign-owned capitalist oil conglomerates, greedy Nigeria’s political leaders and some corrupt internal elements to subject the natives to subaltern conditions. This paper identifies and discusses indices of subaltern consciousness and postcolonial contradictions in selected poetry from Tanure Ojaide’s The Tale of the Harmattan. Using postcolonial literary critical perspective, the paper analyzes select relevant poems and finds that they mirror the suffering, silencing,
and dispossession of the people which confine them to the margin of socio-economic life in spite of abundant oil resources in their land. The study also finds a striking balance in thematic concerns and artistic utilisation of the techniques of contrast and irony, the devices of imagery and sound, oral tradition and appropriate choice of words and tone in the successful re-imagining of the relegation of the people to secondary existence in
their own land while their oil is siphoned to develop other climes. The paper concludes that this situation has led to the rise of subaltern voices made up of environmental and literary activists, and militants and insurgents in the region with far-flung implications for
economic development in the nation and recommends the need to address the marginality and dispossession of the region to address their restiveness and pave way for accelerated economic development of Nigeria.

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Published

14-11-2022

How to Cite

Macpherson Chikaodiri Okpara. (2022). SUBALTERN CONSCIOUSNESS AND POSTCOLONIALITY IN TANURE OJAIDE’S THE TALE OF THE HARMATTAN. SOKOTO JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE, LITERATURE AND LINGUISTICS (SJOLLL), 2(1), 1–15. Retrieved from https://sjolll.org.ng/index.php/sjolll/article/view/16
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