Habila Analysis

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As stated by Korte, the “fictional representation” of journalists “has unfolded in a wide range of modes”. It is the emphasize of “positive and negative stereotypes” this paper set its main focus on. The “figures with an aura of adventure, romance and heroism but also professional recklessness” (cf. Korte) get introduced through the characterization of Rufus and Zaq and maintained during the whole storyline. The two characters embody the conflict between the idealistic and disillusioned point of view on the human rights and environmental abuses as journalists since, as Korte states, “audiences flooded with images and news bites from wars all over the globe and on a daily basis seem to be in particular need of a personal interpreter” which…show more content…
I wanted to carry the reader into this landscape that 's being destroyed and show the people who are also being destroyed. The big people—the oil companies and the government—they are in the back-ground. You have a sense that they are there, always pulling the strings. But I wanted to draw attention to the environment and the people who are living on that land and who are really suffering. (Habila in Zerza, 2011)

Habila verbalizes that the setting of a plot in a certain region leads unstoppable to the questioning of the political background (cf. Zerza), and “to do anything else would be lying, escaping reality. And if it happens to inform people of political situations, then it is all good.” (cf. Habila in Zerza, 2011). Even if it was not primarily required, the actual happenings as well as the political background “dominates” the story (cf. Zerza), bringing to light the “destructive consequences” the extraction of oil has caused in the Niger Delta in reality since 1956 (cf. Madubuko). Madubuko expresses the “environmental degradation and destruction of the people 's primary means of livelihood” caused by the “leaks from oil pipelines, gas flaring and acid
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Through this, Underwood apprehends the hypothesis to a level where the use of fiction gets necessary to express the facts in a fictional manner to, as Korte states, “let readers participate in the fictional correspondent 's perceptions, thoughts and feelings” to enlighten the reality. Therefore, as introduced through the previous paragraphs of the novel Oil on Water by Helon Habila, the use of journalist characters makes it possible for the reader to illuminate the actual happenings in the Niger Delta in a way where the characters are genuine and realistically stereotyped into positive and negative points of view to reinforce the conflict between idealism and disillusionment incurring to the people in the politically troubled background of the Niger Delta, connecting fact and fiction to express the sadness behind the destruction of this once “beautiful place” (cf. Habila in
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