THE TRAGIC AND THE SUPERNATURAL IN ELECHI AMADI’S THE GREAT PONDS AND THE CONCUBINE

ABSTRACT
The tragic and the supernatural are key issues in African literature. The sense of the tragic is embedded in the belief that man is not happy by nature. The concept of the supernatural and the tragic have been explored by writers and critics of African literature from different perspectives. This study however looks at the tragic as a mode of experience. The influence of fatalism on the characters in the selected texts suggests that man is helpless before external powers that determine his destiny. The actions and inactions of the characters bring them to the fulfillment of their destinies. Amadi in the selected texts presents the supernatural as a force that regulates the activities of men within his fictional world. The researcher’s examination of concepts such as the quest myth, fatalism and determinism brings to the fore the relationship between the tragic and the supernatural.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page
Abstract
Table of Contents

CHAPTER ONE: BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
1.1 Introduction
1.2       Statement of Problem
1.3       Objectives of the Study
1.4       Significance of the Study
1.5       Scope of the Study

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

CHAPTER THREE:  RESEARCH METHODS
3.1       Theoretical Framework
3.2       Research Methodology

CHAPTER FOUR: THE TRAGIC AND THE SUPERNATURAL IN THE SELECTED TEXTS
4.1       The Influence of the Supernatural in The Concubine and The Great Ponds
4.2       The Tragic and the Supernatural in The Concubine and The Great Ponds

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
5.1 Summary
5.2 Conclusion
WORKS CITED


CHAPTER ONE

1.1         GENERAL INTRODUCTION

Tragedy and the tragic can hardly be discussed as independent variables. A brief review of tragedy is necessary to introduce the tragic concept. The tragic and the supernatural are both recurring themes in African literature. Tragedy is used in the mundane sense to refer to situations that induce fear and sympathy. In this regard, an auto crash is referred to as tragedy thereby making tragedy a close synonym for accident. This mundane conception of tragedy is responsible for loose expressions such as human tragedies, domestic tragedies, highway tragedies etc

Tragedy in relation to literature, involves actions that go beyond accidents and strange coincidence. Aristotle in The Poetics presents tragedy as

an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude, in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament….with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions…(27).

Aristotle goes further to state that: “tragedy is an imitation, not of men, but an action and of life, and life consists in action, and its end is a mode of action not a quality…” (27).

The plot of the Aristotelian tragedy has two major parts: the reversal and recognition, and “the scene of suffering” (32). Aristotle posits that:

A well constructed plot should, therefore be single in its issue, rather than double as some maintain. The change in fortune should be not from bad to good, but, reversely, from good to bad. It should come about as the result not of vice, but of some great error or frailty, in a character… (33-34).
M. H. Abrams in A Glossary of Literary Terms on the other hand is of the view

that tragedy is “broadly applied to literary and especially to dramatic representations of serious actions which eventuate in a disastrous conclusion for the protagonist” (371). Tragedy as an experience of life transcends the Greek and Roman views on tragedy as involving men of high social standing whose fall from royalty and power induce sympathy from their loyal subject. The tragic hero in contemporary literary productions is that character whom the author chooses for the tragic experience social status notwithstanding. The tragic however consists of all experiences that limit human happiness.

Richard L. Rubens in “Psychoanalysis and the Tragic Sense of Life” is of the view that:

The central, defining characteristic of the tragic sense of life is its insistence on the balance between the striving for rationality on the one hand, and the recognition of the underlying irrationality of existence on the other (2).

Rubens’ opinion on the tragic sense of life provides a functional definition of the tragic. This “insistence on the balance between the striving for rationality on the one hand and the recognition of the underlying irrationality of existence on the other” shapes the scope of the experience of the tragic hero. It is this search for rationality in a seemingly irrational situation that builds up the tragic myth.

This myth makes the tragic hero to push beyond his limit as a mortal being. The tragic myth also sets the tragic hero on course to explore territories that are a reserve for the supernatural and the man of courage. Rubens further states..... 

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 52 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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