Exploiting the Potentials of Literature in Addressing Challenges of Sustainable Development in the Third World: The Examples of Wole Soyinka

L.O Nwokeneme


African Literature arises from the mirrors of African Community and the historical experiences of Africa. Thus, the major challenges which confront both the writers and consumers of literature revolve around the use of literary art to bring positive changes in both the individual and society. Right from its inception, literature has been variously used to arouse patriotism and national consciousness. The social functions of literature have not only helped to improve and shape the society, but also been found indispensable for building a virile healthy modern society. As a feature of the urban environment, modern literature acts as check and balance on the excess of the society such as social evils, injustices, human brutalities, discontents, dissatisfactions, bribery and corruption, etc. A number of reasons have been adduced for literary adaptations such as using them as background texts for making certain salient comments on the prevailing socio-political issues within their own societies. The main concern of this paper, therefore, is to critically portray how Wole Soyinka exploits the potentials of literature in his Opera Wonyosi, an adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s The Three Penny Opera to address and challenge the problems militating against sustainable development in the third world, especially Africa. Through vivid exposition of how Soyinka has employed his creative enterprises in Opera Wonyosi to address and challenge the problems confronting sustainable development in Africa and thus call for social reform, the paper concludes on the effectiveness of the potentials of literature in this regard.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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