As a result of social vices in our immediate environments this
research work aims at bringing out how contemporary writers have reacted
to the bad happening in the society, especially using Denja Abdullahi’s
Mairogo and Jide Balogun’s The Desert in the river using sociological
theory to investigate social vice that were present in the two texts and
it is discovered that poetry is used as a means of achieving an
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.2 Purpose of the study
1.3 Significance of the study
1.4 Scope and Limitation of the study
1.5 Research methodology
2.1 Sociological theory introduction
2.2 Relevance of sociological theory of literature
2.3 Importance of sociological theory
2.4 sociological theorist
2.5 Social forces I n the development of sociological theory
2.6 Intellectual forces and the rise of sociological theory
2.7 The contemporary relevance of sociological theory
2.8 Relevance of sociological theory to the research work
3.1 Themes of social vice in Jide Balogun’s the desert in the River
3.2 Themes of social vice in Denja Abdullahi’s Mairogo
3.3 Literary techniques employed
Nigerian poetry is the poetry of the Nigerian people that is written
in order to show the experiences of the people, their culture, socio –
economic and political status.
Poetry is a work of art that deals with style like other genres of
literature which can be used to expose the societal vices or ills done
by man. Vices such as socio – economic, political and cultural vices
As a result of societal decadence, writers or poets use their
literacy works as interventional tools to effect a change in the
society. Earlier poets like Wole Soyinka, Niyi Osundare, Odia Ofeimu,
Ezenwa Ohaeto, Funso Aiyejina, Ikekwu Ogine, Femi Osofisan among others
are in this category. Many critical works and many articles in journals
Newspaper Magazines, etc have been written by them so as to expose
various forms of vices.
In an interview by Jane Wilkinson (1985)
The only problem we all face is one which besets not only writers but
citizens in Nigeria. The problems of our unbelievable and unacceptable
socio – political situations, which get and more reactionary and in
human with every succeeding regime.
For this reason, Soyinka (1985:68) sees the social economic and political situations of Nigeria as frustrating.
Examples of literary essays and literary works that have been written
by some Nigerian scholars include, Chinua Achebe’s essay, The Trouble
Nigeria, (1993), and also Odia Ofeimu in his poetry titled The Poet
Lied, (1980), Tanure Ojaide’s Fate of Vulture (1997) and Invoking the
Warrior Spirit (1998), also Niyi Osundare’s Village Voices (1984)
and The Eye of the Earth, (1986) among others. All these works reflect
the social vices that are rampant in the society.
In the Fate of Vulture: Poems like “the music of Pain” is addressed
to the issue of social and political status of the society, in the form
of protest and agitation for justice. Also, the poem identified as the
“chorus of resistant cries” depicts lament song used as a bid against
corruption and also, it shows the dauntless spirit of the people’s voice
and will, including the poet. As illustrated of the victories against
… I wanted communion to shame
Chief of selfish role.
… drawing into its veins
The strength of millions,
It took the course of the country
Into its expanding heart
… listen to my song
The music of communion pain (p.2)
In addition, the poem “Compatriots” shows the political
disappointment, mockery of the national integrity, nonchalant attitude
of the custodians of power, moral and social dereliction among others.
Some lines from the poem include:
As soon as they had their hold on the land,
They upset the customs of the truth
Now they have blunted the sacred sword
How will justice be executed (p.13)
Moreover, in the village voices poem like “Eating with all the
fingers” establishes the greediness spirit in the life of people in the
society especially the politicians who care not for the others in the
society, but they want every thing to becomes their own personal
properties. It says
The affairs of this life
are like people eating
some dip ten fingers
and close their throats
their greed chokes the land
with sprawling dirt. (p.15)
In addition, the poem “The land of Unease” shows moral and social
decadence in the life’s of the people. It also shows the attitude of the
leaders toward the economy of the country, as the one which does not
improve it but to destroy the one which does not improve it but to
destroy the economy. As illustrated
Men forge unequal knives
A few slashing the yam
With machete greedier
Than Esimuda’s sword
leaving mere peelings
This research work is aimed at showing how contemporary Nigeria poets
use their poetry to expose the social, economic, cultural, religious
and political vices in Nigeria so that adequate changes can be made.
This research work shall consider Denja Abdullahi’s volume of
poetry Mairogo and Jide Balogun collection of poems, The Desert in the
River and materials to be used in discussing and analyzing the images of
social vices in contemporary Nigerian poetry.
1.2 PURPOSE OF STUDY
The purpose of this research work is to show themes and cultural
influences in the poetry of Denja Abdullahi and Jide Balogun.
Furthermore, this research work will place emphasis on the socio –
political, economic, religious and cultural subjects in the poetry of
Denja Abdullahi and Jide Balogun and their struggle for positive change.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
To the best knowledge of the researcher, no research has been carried
out in this area using Abdullahi’s Mairogo and Jide Balogun’s The
Desert in the River. Therefore, the researcher is studying these texts
using sociological theory to discover how these texts have depicted
socio realities. The research work is going to be of benefit to both
literary and non – literary students. Students at the secondary level
can also benefit from it.
It is also a contribution to the body of knowledge in the area of sociological theory in relation to literary texts.
1.4 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF STUDY
This research work will focus on the themes of social vices in the
poetry of the two poets. Also, it will discuss the literary techniques
employed by the poets to pass their message.
The limitation of this research work will be the volume of Denja
Abdullahi’s poetry Mairogo and only part one of Jide Balogun’s “The
pulsating pulses” in The Desert in the River because this is the only
part in the collection that has much relevance to the research work.
The sociological approach is adopted for this research. This method
is useful in investigating the socio – political, cultural religious and
economical relevance of Denja Abdullahi’s and Jide
Balogun’s Mairogo and Jide The Desert in the River. Relevant secondary
sources will be used to strengthen the interpretation of data.
1.6 CHAPTERISATION OF STUDY
This research work will comprise only four chapters
Chapter one will be the introduction of the study purpose of the
study, significance of the study and lastly the scope and limitation of
Chapter two will be the literature review which talks about the review of what some scholars have said on social vices.
Chapter three will be the analysis of Denja Abdullahi and Jide
Balogun’s poetry as well as discussion on the use of literary techniques
employed by the two poets in the poetry to pass their intended message.
And lastly, the fourth chapter will be the summary findings and conclusion of the research work.