HOMOSEXUALITY IN JUDE DIBIA’S WALKING WITH SHADOWS AND WOLE SOYINKA’S THE INTERPRETERS

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ABSTRACT



The theme of homosexuality though still in its infant stage in African literature is one worthy of serious academic attention and exploration as it has become quite topical in recent times the world over. Over the years, there have been several portrayals of gayness in African works and that is what this research investigated in Jude Dibia‘s Walking with Shadows and Wole Soyinka‘s The Interpreters. Until recently, African authors have always represented gayness in the negative light and unsympathetically. It has however been discovered that currently a few African works have portrayed it positively and even sympathetically as could be seen in Jude Dibia‘s Walking with Shadows. The two main portrayals of gayness in African literature are sympathetic/positive portrayal and unsympathetic/negative portrayal which the two Nigeria works under study Jude Dibia‘s Walking with Shadows and Wole Soyinka‘s The Interpreters represent respectively. The duo portray homosexuality in two opposite directions; sympathetically and unsympathetically respectively. Both authors made extensive use of literary devices in portraying homosexuality in their individual novels. This research work looked at the following as it discussed the subject of homosexuality in the selected texts: how gayness emerge in the selected works, what goes on in the minds of some of the characters especially the gay and of course the attitude of the other characters towards the gay. This research work did a psychoanalytical study of some characters in the texts in order to understand the thoughts of the key players in the individual texts and their attitudes toward gayness.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page
Abstract
Table of contents

CHAPTER ONE
THE CONCEPT OF HOMOSEXUALITY
1.0: INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
1.1.1: Meaning of Homosexuality/Gayness
1.1.2:  Origin of Homosexuality
1.1.3: Types of Gay
1.1.4: Attitude to Homosexuality
1.1.5: Gayness in African Literature
1.2: Statement of Problem
1.3: Theoretical Framework

CHAPTER TWO
2.0 THE REPRESENTATION OF GAYNESS IN AFRICAN  LITERATURE
2.1 LITERATURE REVIEW

CHAPTER THREE
3.0: THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK AND METHODOLOGY
3.1: Theoretical Framework
3.2: Research Methodology

CHAPTER FOUR
4.0: A PSYCHOANALYTICAL READING OF THE SELECTED TEXTS
4.1: Homosexuality in Jude Dibia‘s Walking with Shadows
4.2: Homosexuality in Wole Soyinka‘s The Interpreters
4.3: A Comparative Analysis of the Selected Texts

CHAPTER FIVE
5.1:      Literary Devices in Jude Dibia‘s Walking with Shadows and Wole Soyinka‘s The Interpreters
5.1.2:  Imagery in Homosexual Representation
5.1.3:   Homosexuality and Symbols
5.1.4:  Simile and Metaphor in Homosexual Representation
5.1.5:  Irony and Sarcasm in Homosexual Representation
5.1.6:  Narrative Voice/Point of View
CONCLUSION
WORK CITED


CHAPTER ONE

THE CONCEPT OF HOMOSEXUALITY

1.0: INTRODUCTION

The concept of homosexuality in African literature is not altogether new, but the issue has recently become a topical one across the countries of the world and is gradually asserting itself in the literary terrain; therefore it deserves being explored. Hitherto, African writers in general and Nigerian writers in particular shy away from the subject of homosexuality which is not only sensitive but equally controversial. They explore other themes but pay little or no attention to gayness. In the 1960s and afterwards, a body of African works explore gayness in different degrees. Most African writers at that time depicted gayness usually in the negative light, as a taboo, moral depravity, anomaly, unAfrican and a western construct. The colonial masters and a host of other foreigners were portrayed as having initiated, practised and promoted same-sex relationships. Works like Kofi Awoonor‘s This Earth, My Brother, Yambo Ouologuem‘s Bound to Violence, Wole Soyinka‘s The Interpreters, Mariama Ba‘s Scarlet Song, Ayi Kwei Armah‘s Two Thousand Seasons and Ama Ata Aidoo‘s Our Sister Killjoy are typical examples of such portrayals.


1.1: BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY


This work will give attention to the concept/meaning of gayness, origin, types and attitudes exhibited towards gayness, and of course the portrayal of gayness in African literature. It will equally investigate the manner in which the selected novels, Wole Soyinka‘s The Interpreters and Jude Dibia‘s Walking with Shadows represent and explore gayness using the psychoanalytical literary approach which is very appropriate for analyzing representations of this kind. Psychoanalysis is employed in the analysis of both texts in order to understand the workings of the minds of the gay characters, the origin of their sexuality and also the basis for their mode of representation.

1.1.1: Meaning of Homosexuality/Gayness
According to Peter Nardi, the term ‗gay‘ ―evolved out of the concepts of heterosexuality and homosexuality, where the notion of heterosexuality was considered normal and homosexuality abnormal‖(1-11). Also in Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression in Social Work Practice: Working with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender People, Deana F. Morrow and Lori Messinger observe that, ―gay refers to people (male or female) whose principal intimate attractions and romantic relationships are toward other people of the same sex. Lesbian refers specifically to women whose principal intimate attractions and romantic relationships are toward other women. Some women prefer to describe themselves as gay, while others prefer to describe themselves as lesbian‖(7).
For the purpose of this study, gayness would be used interchangeably with homosexuality to avoid ambiguity because many authorities use gay to mean homosexual and vice versa. Female homosexuality is called lesbianism. A gay is one who is sexually attracted to members of his own sex and not the opposite sex. When a man is sexually attracted to his fellow men rather than women, he is said to be gay and when a woman is sexually attracted to other women and not men, she is also said to be gay. A gay woman is called a lesbian. The word ‗gay‘ became recognized in the 1960s as the suitable word used by homosexuals....


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