This study applies socialist realism as an analytical tool to analyse the deployment of ideology in Ibrahim Tahir‟s The Last Imam and Abubakar Gimba‟s Sacred Apples.
The study argues that the religion and cultures of the people presented
in the novel provide the aesthetic framework on which the ideological
paradigm of the novels are based. In the light of this, the study
discusses the application of ideology with the aim of demonstrating a
shift in paradigm in contemporary literatures of northern Nigeria from
the sole adherence to religious dictates to an exploration of secular
and social issues. This thesis therefore, applies the socialist realist
theory to examine the social preoccupation of Tahir‟s and Gimba‟s
writings. It argues that writing as socialist realists, these writers
convey the picture of their society with historic correlations and then
anchor their artistic expression on the theme of politics, child labour,
religious bigotry, culture and family life, they strive to provoke an
ideological reform and by educating the masses in the socialist spirit.
This study further argues that as social realist works, the novels
record the dreams and ideas, hopes, aspirations, failures and
disappointments, motives and passions, and experiences of their society
in an attempt to reveal the realities that surround the lives of the
Nigeria as a multi-ethnic, cultural and linguistic nation is
unified by the fact that it shares basic national, economic, political
and social problems that undoubtedly affect its nation in the same
manner without consideration for geo-political zone. Northern Nigerian
literature like the literature of any part of the country or world
reflects its society and the life of its people. However, there exists
practical, religio-cultural issues that one could consider as forming
the basis for difference amongst these diverse ethnic groups within the
nation of Nigeria.
This study examines how through time and generations of writings,
writers in Northern Nigeria have employed their religious ideology as
the underlying paradigm for discussing other ideologies, depicting
Northern Nigeria as a region whose ideology is massively influenced by
the Islamic religion (which is the predominant religion of the region).
Although Ibrahim Tahir and Abubakar Gimba explore a variety of
socio-cultural, political and economic issues that permeate discourse
nationwide as indicative of their affinity with other parts of the
country, yet the impact of Islam on cultural diversity ignored by novels
from other regions, is fully highlighted inThe Last Imam and Sacred Apples. This gives credence to Joseph Abel‟s (2006:240) assertion that‟
The Northern Nigerian novelist in English contends with a
complex historical experience in his imaginative reconstruction of his
reality, especially in its relationship to the larger Nigerian context.
In essence; the novelist in the north is preoccupied with signifying an
identity through a narrative form circumscribed by two opposing
Hegemonies! The Arab Muslim and the euro-Christian.