This work focuses on the metaphysical approach as portrayed by Amos Tutuola’s The Palwine Drinkard and D.O Fagunwa’s The Forest of God. This study shows how metaphysics was used in the two plays. Metaphysics is based on the use of myths, gods, medicine and use of god like creatures. The novels are used to show these facts. This research x-rays the existence of the metaphysics and its role in reality which has become a pre-dominant factor that has gained prominence and importance from time immemorial, and how writers have tried to project this concept in their literary engagements. In an attempt to establish this argument, the researcher explored Amos Tutuola’s The Palm-Wine Drinkard and D.O Fagunwa’s The Forest of God. These novels depict and explore the idea of the metaphysics in various manifestations and they are rich in the metaphysics and are rooted in the mythology and traditional African belief of metaphysical. Metaphysical is the belief that there are beings, forces, and phenomena such as God, angels or miracles which interact with the physical universe in remarkable and unique ways. This research is aimed at re-emphasizing the concept of the metaphysics which has become an inseparable part of most of the works written by Africans, and bring to limelight the relationship it has with the human world and how both have exerted their influence on each other.

1.1 Background to the Study
The word “metaphysics” is derived from two Greek words “Meta” which means “after” and “physika” which means physics (or nature). Metaphysics literally means after nature or after physics which deals with things of the mind, soul and other things outside this world.

The in-depth meaning of metaphysics is not known because people often, mistake it with similar meaning in contexts.

Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy. Its definition may not be as definite as one could know. However, there are different types of definition of metaphysics by different scholars like Aristotle, Democritus and Plato.

The Oxford dictionary (1995: 533) states that metaphysics is “the branch of knowledge dealing with the nature of existence, nature of truth and that of knowledge”

Aristotle in his Understanding Metaphysics (1903:170) defines metaphysics “as the four elation of all sciences as it is the science of being with the natural world and beyond”. In Aristotle’s case the word “beyond” refers to the supernatural world or realm. Metaphysics could also be the integration of the natural world of man with the other world of the unknown according to Aristotle, it is the science of reality.

The two novels under study Tutuola’s. The Palmwine Drinkard and Fagunwa’s The Forest of God are elemental case studies of metaphysics as they have it in them, elemental case studies of metaphysics from the beginning to the end. In their own unique way, these two writers express their aesthetic visions through their characters which emanates from a common stock of tradition, the Yoruba metaphysics mythology and collective, apprehension of the universe.

Abiola Irede in Tradition and Yoruba Writers (1975: 79) comments on Fagunwa and Tutuola that: The significance of their work is this inherent in the symbolic framework and connotation of their novels. A simple but valid interpretation of Tutuola and Fagunwa’s pattern of situation in their novels suggests that man stand a dynamic, supernatural, moral and spiritual world lived in by obscure forces and this of course is a mythical representation of the existential condition of man as expressed in Yoruba thinking.(79) Tutuola and Fagunwa’s personal beliefs of metaphysics was transferred to their use of characters like in the Forest of God we have Anjonnu – Iberu, the gnome of the ant hill, Death and so many more while in The Palmwine Drinkard we have the Incomplete gentleman, The half-bodied baby, Dance, Song and Drum and other characters. The use of charms which he used to prove his power in The Forest of God, his beliefs in ghosts and also the turning into a bird, the talking trees all portray the metaphysics in this novel. Although, they both use almost the same thematic basis for their works, Tutuola failed in the literary tradition of which Fagunwa was a forerunner as most of the things in The Palmwine Drinakard are direct translation from Yoruba to English.

1.2 Scope of the Study
This study is limited to Amos Tutuola’s The Palm-Wine Drinkard and D.O Fagunwa’s The Forest of God. Occasionally, references will be made to other texts in an attempt to gain extra insight into the workings of the metaphysics in the African society.
1.3 Statement of Research Problem

Over the years, several writers and critics of African literature have explored the concept of the metaphysics from different perspectives. This research will examine Amos Tutuola’s

novels – The Palm-Wine Drinkard and D.O Fagunwa’s The Forest of God – as a depiction of African world view where reality is more than meets the eye and the world an experience of life beyond physical sensory perceptions.

1.4 Research Questions
1. How can the metaphysics be defined?

2. How does the metaphysics manifest in Nigerian fiction?

3. How is the metaphysics used by Amos Tutuola in The Palm-Wine Drinkard and D.O Fagunwa’s The Forest of God?

4. What is the author’s attitude to the metaphysics in the texts?

5. What is the significance of the metaphysics in the texts?
1.5 Research Objectives

1. To proffer a comprehensive definition of the metaphysics.

2. To show how the metaphysics manifests in Nigerian fiction.

3. To illustrate vividly how the metaphysics is used by Amos Tutuola in The Palm-Wine

Drinkard and D.O Fagunwa’s The Forest of God.

4. To examine the attitude of the author towards the metaphysics in the texts.

5. To explore the significance of the metaphysics in the texts.
1.6 Significance of the Study

This study is of significance in many ways: it will contribute to an understanding of cultural perspective of the metaphysics, as rooted in the African belief system. Also, this study will be of immense benefits to scholars in the field of African literature. Moreover, this study will spark up further studies and research into the African belief system in which the metaphysics is a high point of such African belief systems. This is indeed a research that keeps Africans connected to their root.

1.7 Methodology of the Study
The method of gathering information is based on texts that have been written on this subject by several critics, library and internet resources as well as personal analyses of primary texts based on the understanding of the African society and the metaphysics.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 42 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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