Freedom from Imperialist Domination: Organized Revolt as an Imperative in the African Novel

Jude Aigbe Agho


African literature evolved largely as a reaction to the colonial presence in Africa and expectedly its growth and development bestride the tapestry of Africa’s subjugation by the colonial powers. The novel, which is the concern of this paper, has been employed by African writers to show the monstrosity of Africa’s colonial, neocolonial or postcolonial traumas, which mostly are depicted against a backdrop of violence unleashed on the people by power wielders, whether Western or African. In countering this, critical realist writers depict in their novels gory portraits of the misdemeanors of members of the ruling class and the effect of these on the Africans, but socialist realist writers advance revolutionary options for redressing the social problems created by the ineptitude of misgovernance by members of the African ruling class. Organized revolts, whether in the syndicalist form of strikes by workers or physical contestations by the African peasantry against the ruling class have become the norm and this is conceived as an outlet for the oppressed to recreate or humanize themselves and take their destinies in their own hands. This is in tandem with what the Marxists call ‘dictatorship of the proletariat class’ which is the final goal of the socialist revolution. This phenomenon will be further discussed in some of the novels of African writers of this strain of writing as the paper unfolds.

Keywords: Freedom, Imperialist domination, Organized revolt, the African novel

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

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