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This research work addressed itself to the way people tend to see fictional works. People see fictional works as being fictitious, but they are over laid with fact. This long essay, using Akachi Adimora. Ezeigbo’s works as guide, demonstrated the impact of the intermeddling of fact with fiction in literary works. They do not always obstruct each other and when harnessed depending on the ingenuity of the artist they can serve multiple purposes. The sociological socialist realism theory is used in this research work because real and factual events in Ezeigbo’s life are contained in her works. Ezeigbo make use of the Igbo setting. There are names proverbs, idioms and practices that epitomize the Igbo culture and Igbo world view. Her works are linked between her fiction and her lived experience. The major source of her stories is her own direct experience through fiction. Oral Aesthetics is highly portrayed in Ezeigbo’s works in her constant use of songs, proverbs, lullabies and the Igbo cultural setting. This study has shown that Akachi Adimora Ezeigbo, a fictional writer wrote about her own personal experiences in her novels and short stories.
TABLE OF CONTENT
Table of Content viii
1.0 CHAPTER ONE
1.1 Introduction 1
1.2 Definition of Terms 7
1.3 The Last of the Strong Ones : A Synopsis 11
1.4 The Relationship Between Facts and Fiction 13
1.5 Research Problem 16
1.6 Methodology 16
1.7 Scope of Study and Limitation 17
1.8 Justification 17
1.9 Purpose of Study 18
1.10 Structure of Thesis 19
2.0 Literature Review 20
2.1 Issues Relating to Akachi Adimora — Ezeigbo’s Writings 20
2.2 Aesthetics in Akachi’s Works. 34
2.3 Adimora — Ezeigbo’s Formal Aesthetics Borrowings from the
Oral Narrative Tradition. 35
2.4 The Role of the Writer in Literature 38
3.1 Fact and Fiction in Akachi Adimora —Ezeigbo’s The Last of the
Strong Ones and Children of the Eagle 41
3.2 The Search for Self 43
3.3 The War’s Untold Story: The Challenging Years of Youth 47
3.4 Marriage and Family Life 51
4.1 The Aesthetics Residues of Facts and Fiction: An Example of Akachi’s The Last of the Strong Ones and Children of the Eagle. 59
4.2 The Igbo Nuaces in The Last of the Strong Ones and Children of the Eagle 72
5.1 Summary of Findings and Conclusion of the Research Work 74
5.2 Summary 76
5.3 Findings 78
5.4 Conclusion 81
Literature is studied for various reasons. It covers all aspects of human life. It is all-embracing and encapsulating. It contains artistic truth, which is better than historical truth. An artistic truth applies to every situation of life while historical truth appeals to a specific situation of life.
A quality of Akachi Ezeigbo which makes her fiction not just reading matter is her ability to knit life experiences into art. There is an effort to make the incidents as realistic as possible not just in context but in form and style. Prominent among her choice of techniques is foreshadowing and the use of the third person omniscient narrator.
A writer is a “righter” righting the societal “wrongs”. This is another way of saying that a writer is a watchdog to the society. He comments upon social happenings with the aim of improving them. This argument can be used to nullify the “art-for-art-sake” philosophy of literature. Art - for - art - sake perception opines that literature should be on its own aesthetics and not be mixed up with politics. In reality, literature cannot really be separated from human experience from the political, social, religious and cultural realm.
Literature is essentially a creative art. Hence, originality and creativity are the key words. Most of the ideas in 1 are either totally imagined (fiction) or partially imagined. Partial imagination is interplay of fact and art known as faction.
The generally accepted notion is that literature mirrors the society. But literature, as can be deduced from the present ideological trends does not stop at mirroring the society. It does more than mirror the society. It does not just give us the picture of our lives alone but goes further to suggest ways of improving ourselves. Literature is th private and public awareness given to both the individual and the society respectively through the exposure of the hidden or open truths that people seem to be ignorant of. Literature aims at affecting a change in the societal status quo.
Omotayo Oloruntoba -Oju (1999) cited in Ibrahim B.F. & Akande F.F, States that;
The term. literature may be used to refer to any material in written form or any other material whose features lend them to literary appreciation or appraisal... the term in a specialized sense refers to works of art in any of the established literary genres, prose, poetry and drama..
One would have expected Oloruntoba - Oju to have recognized the un-established and un-written genre (material as well in her definition of literature in order to make such a definition comprehensive enough. According to Terry Eagleton (1983) Cited in Akande and Ibrahim (1997),
Literature is a liberating force, freeing us from the inherent shackles placed upon us by the society. Literary criticism is therefore born out of it struggle against a loss of culture and its feature becomes defined as struggle against the foreseen bourgeois stat and it’s has no predetermined future.
All definitions of literature hang on essentially what literature looks like, what it aims at doing or what it is for or why it is the way it is or what it should be used for. Literature as a discipline is a spoken or written medium which uses languages, plot, character and setting to give us a picture of what our life looks like.
Literature draws its strength from actual life. It deals with human life with all its complexities and difficulties. Literature deals with the Joys, Sorrows, Poverty, Plenty and above all death to which man is subjected and which is man’s enemy.
The Literature of a particular community can be defined as the sum total of all works of imagination either in oral or written form, in prose or in verse .which have helped to reflect and project the life and culture of that community in the three important areas of narrative fiction, drama and poetry. Literature, like all other art forms draws on human experience and tries to reflect the same and communicate it back to man in an ordered or artistic form. This is because the human condition is the reality known to most men and women and it is this reality that literary artists depend on for their writings.
Literature may deal with particular and contemporary events and issues or with attitudes and behavior in contemporary and particular situations. For example, Achebe’s A Man of the People (1966) deals with politics and politicians in the early years of Nigerian independence. A very remarkable way of showing the despicable, ruthless and selfish politician of the period is found in the portraiture of Chief Nanga. Also in Nigeria, the events of the civil war of 1967 — 1970 are made memorable in for example:
Akachi-Adimora’s The Last of the Strong Ones (1996) and Children of the Eagle (2002). These writing are varied accounts of the Nigerian civil war, a contemporary event and through them unborn generations will be aware, even if not of the full factual details of the war of at least the basic perceptions of the war.
Literature enlarges ones experience. Some texts will lend themselves to easy understanding simply because of the reader’s actual experience. Hence, all definitions of literature boil down to and emphasize its nature, form and utility. These days, unlike in the past when the literature of a people is said to be the unwritten records of those set of people, the word literature is used to refer to a collection of historical, geographical and academic records such as personal essays, speeches, biographies and letters.
Nigerian writers generally appear to be more interested in recreating in the reader’s mind, a whole traditional way of life, bringing out varying degrees a man’s realities, by making use of frequent allusions to their people’s customs ‘and tradition. They bring on record communal activities such as festivals, ceremonies, ritual practices, beliefs, occupations and the co-existing nature typical of all Africans.
Hence, these writers have their foundations in the cultural heritage of their respective ethnic groups. Ernest Emenyonu (1972) rightly puts it thus:
In a multi-ethnic nation like Nigeria, it is imperative that the culture and life-ways of the component units should be given full airing so that national sentiments could be built upon the foundation of understanding.
In the same vein, Emmanuel Obiechina (1975) reasserts that “it is only by incorporating Nigerian tradition in our writings that make them Nigerian”.
Finally, literature is a portrait of man and his environment held up for him to see by the artist, so that he can have profound reflections about his world view and general existence. Critics of literature must understand it’s interdisciplinary nature for an intensive and extensive comprehension. Literature should contain ideology and also reflect the human mind. This is the meeting point between creativity and criticism
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