The Literary Artist and the Burdens of Revolution in E. E. Ifowodo’s The Writer’s Cross

Esiophunevu Beauty Umukoro


Modern African literature has continued to project good principles for social and human improvement. The absence of ideal condition has often given rise to different revolutionary pressures aimed at reformation of the human society. Ambitious and selfish leaders always exploit political, economic, religious and social conditions to their own advantage but to the detriment of their subjects. The various challenges plaguing humans today are largely human-induced or inflicted. This is so because the rulers have hijacked the state apparatus including her political and economic power to enrich themselves and to mistreat the masses who are considered inconsequential by the ruling class. The radical literary artist sees and projects revolution as the potent tool for the reformation of the society that is already perverse. The African writer is therefore saddled with the responsibility of sensitizing the oppressed masses on the urgent need for revolution. Over the decades, literary artists have shown their commitments with undaunted determination despite intimidations. This is the situation interrogated by F. F. Ifowodo in his play, The Writer’s Cross (TWC). What then are the challenges facing the literary artist? Can the artist be cajoled into oblivion? What does it take to be a successful reformist? These and many more questions are begging for answers. The answers are not also farfetched as this article x-rays Ifowodo’s The Writer’s Cross and exposes the fate of the writer as a reformist. This article is anchored on Karl Marx Marxist orientation which investigates the struggle between the bourgeoisies and the proletariats in the society resulting from the control and access to the means of production. The content analysis approach is adopted in this paper to expose the tyranny of the dictatorial leaders and the reactions of their subjects.   


Reformist, saddled, engagement, sociological bourgeoisies, proletariats

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