Themes In The Story Of The Sunna By Wole Soyinka

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Abstract: Wole Soyinka has been acknowledged as one of the most powerful and talented writers of the twentieth century African writers. He is a member of the Yoruba people, one of the three major racial groups in Nigeria. “The strong breed” bears a symbol of elements which form the ritual under pattern of the action in the play. The woman Sunma, the friend of the protagonist Eman is more ready than the man for beginning the journey. Though Eman foresees that the journey may not bring any peace, yet Sunma symbolizes the change that it may bring in their personal lives. But to each character, journey means something different. Thus Soyinka brings out the journey motif, which is not merely the readiness of the ‘lorry’, which is ‘hooting’. It is the heart of the matter of going to the neighboring town for celebration of the New Year’s festival. Key words: sacrifice- journey- retribution- effigy- pathetic- ritual-carrier-festival. Introducing the central figure, Eman, Soyinka dramatizes the need for sacrifice which is the only sure means of expiation or retribution even to one’s own self. The Yoruba, the classical Greek, and the Christian elements are blended together in the tragedy of Eman. A conscious act of expiation is more gratifying than the operation of Nemesis. Human weakness might lead to occasional wavering, but strength of will gives man superhuman determination and courage to face the fate voluntarily chosen. Eman’s sacrifice is reminiscent of Christ’s

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