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Penghuni Paya Soyinka menumpukan kehidupan dan budaya masyarakat Afrika, tetapi drama ini

merentasi sempadan tertentu kawasan.

Ia memperluaskan sempadan pembaca "pengetahuan, dan menangani ketegangan, masalah, konflik,


bencana, dan perjuangan yang pernah ada dalam masyarakat manusia di seluruh dunia. Penulis drama
melalui imaginasinya yang kuat telah menggunakan bahasa metafora permainan, dan pembaca dapat
memberi gambar an yang mencerminkan individunya pandangan hidup manusia. Pendekatannya bukan
sahaja dari segi sosiologi, tetapi dari manusia. Watak-wataknya yang dibentangkan dalam The Rampers
of Perpetual wujud di suatu tempat dan masa tertentu, tetapi yang secara signifikan penting tema
menonjolkan permainan kepada ketinggian yang hebat. Tulang penulisannya, khususnya Penunggang
Paya, mungkin budaya Yoruba, tetapi bermain cemerlang dalam penandaan dan jatuh dalam aliran
pergerakan antarabangsa untuk kemanusiaan. Sebaliknya, daripada semua tema yang dibincangkan
secara meluas ini beberapa contoh ikatan keluarga yang kuat boleh ditemui melalui kajian luas dan
analisis permainan.

ka focuses the life and culture of an African society, but the play goes beyond the border of a particular
area. It expands the border of readers‟ knowledge, and deals with tensions, problems, conflicts,
calamities, and struggles ever-present in human community across the world. The playwright through his
powerful imagination has made the language of the play metaphorical, and we have got bundles of
images reflecting his individual outlook of human life. His approach is not only of sociological sense, but
of human beings. The characters presented in The Swamp Dwellers happen to exist in a particular place
and time, but the universally significant themes soars the play to a great height. The backbone of his
writings, especially The Swamp Dwellers, may be the culture of Yoruba, but the play excels the
demarcation and falls in the stream of international movements for humanity. On the other hand, out of
all these widely discussed themes some instances of powerful family bond can be discovered through an
extensive and analytical study of the play.

1. . Topic:- Brief Overview in Swamp Dweller Submitted to: Smt. S.B. Gardi
Department of English M.K.Bhavnagar University, Bhavnagar.
2. 2. Nigerian Author Playwright Poet Nobel Prize in Literature (1986) First
African awarded from New Literature Wole Soyinka’s He took an active role
in Nigeria’s political history and its struggle fori independence from Great
Britain. “Even when I am writing plays I enjoy having company and
mentally I think of that company as the company I am writing for.” ‐Wole
Soyinka
3. 3. His Notable Works Soyinka has written a number of plays and poems.
His prominent works are The Jero Plays (1960,1966), The Road (1963), The
Lion And The Jewel (1966), The Madmen and Specialists (1971), Death and
the King’s Horseman (1975), A Play of Giants (1984), From Zia ,With Love
(1992
4. 4. Meaning of Swamp  Swamp is an area of low-lying, uncultivated ground
where water is collected.  Swamp is an area of low-lying well or
seasonally flooded land, often having tress and dense shrubs or thickets.
5. 5. The Swamp Dweller Character Alu Makuri Igwezu Kadiye The Beggar
Awuchike Desala
6. 6. The Swamp Dweller Struggle between old & new way of life Conflict
between tradition & modernity Absurdity of human existence Individual
world Hopelessness, helplessness The play is comparatively short of all of
Soyinka’s plays. It relates a story of a poor family residing in Niger Delta
region. When the play opens we find Makuri and Alu awaiting for their
beloved younger son Igwezu. They fear that their younger song Igwezu
should not go missing like their elder son Awuchick, who had gone to the
city some ten years ago. Both the brothers had left the village to seek
their fortune in the city.
7. 7. It is a play of mood and atmosphere, constructed so as to provide the
audience with liberal opportunity to make comparisons and reach
judgment. Soyinka makes his points through implied contrasts and
comparisons. The Swamp Dweller In the play, There is contrast between:
twin brothers father and son, between mother- in –law and daughter- in-
law, between the Beggar and host, comparison between Igwezu and the
Beggar the final contrast between the Beggar and the Priest Kadiye.
8. 8. The Swamp Dwellers takes a look at the Nigerian society, progressively
moving towards the path of retrogression, degeneration, corruption and
moral decadence. This is a clear manifestation of the Nigerian society as a
class society with all the contradictions and problems inherent in such
society. Igwezu went into city to earn more in life but he can’t accept the
reality of life which is in city. There is starvation for shelter in city, so cold
sophisticated life than village so we can say that Igwezu and Awuchike
both are suffering because of their acceptance or to much exaggeration of
their life. There is Constance struggle or conflict between the old and new
ways of life in Africa.
9. 9. . There is the dialogue that old and children are living in village. It
means that yougs are living in city. It means that yougs are living in city.
Second dialogue shows the reality which lies in city life. In city there is not
any feeling in between human being. Even they don’t know each other if
they are living near. And this is the harsh reality of city life. You will lose
yourself in city.
10. 10. It is an inescapable tragedy of a poor family residing in Delta region. To
me it is the main theme of the play. The play demonstrates a critical plight
of a farmer family, which is same everywhere regardless of region and
country. These farmer families follow some or other sorts of traditions and
customs which becomes the major cause of their suffering. In the swamp
Dwellers, villagers offer valuable gifts to the priest like the Kadiye, in order
to appease the divine serpent of the swamp. Similar is the condition of the
farmers in India, there are thousands of suicide on the part of the farmers
following several customs like dowry marriage animal sacrifice (bali) and
so on. Themes:
11. 11. In The Swamp Dwellers Characters fell into to three groups : First • The
parents Makuri and Alu conservative second • The corrupt priest Kadiye,
who beguils his superstitious followers Third • the two positive individuals
Igwezu and the Begger moving, wondering, seeking and then uncertain
what they have found
12. 12. Realism in Two Ways Tradition Cultural, social, conventional
Nonwestern attitude, Joint Family Village struggles to connect myth and
actuality Modernity take in various elements of the so- called South
African tradition or any tradition A change in society Is it all about
accepting western ideas, culture and forgetting the tradition of one’s own
13. 13. Makuri Alu Igwezu Awuchike Desala Tradition Modernity In his
conversation with Igwezu, the Kadiye asks Igwezu, the Kadiye asks Igwezu
repeatedly about how much money he did make in the town. The Kadiye
thinks that had made enough money to buy the whole village.
14. 14. Critical Thinking Makuri in his words: “Makuri: Dead men don’t go to
the city. They go to hell.” He says so because he wants to so the Alu’s
anxiety over Awuchike’s disappearance. Makuri defends his son’s position
by saying: “Makuri: … Awuchike got sick of this place and went into the
city.” Here we can found Love bond in Alu and Makuri. The famous essayist
Francis Bacon in his, Of Parents and Children emphasizes the importance
of choosing children’s profession by their parents not by themselves.
Bacon says; Let parents choose be times the vocations and courses they
mean their children should take. But we observe in the play that parents
hardly have their control over the sons. Moreover, they are found in the
midst of calamities made by nature two some extent and mostly by their
twin issues.
15. 15. Wole Soyinka not only writes about the Nigerian background in a
sociological sense, but about human beings, who happen to exist in this
particular time and place. He uses his background to add originality to his
art. In Soyinka’s plays one makes contact with the Nigerian Society in a
meaningful manner from the inside, by means of symbols and images. The
Ibaden Magazine records: “The play does not end on a positive note by
showing the villagers casting off their superstitions and marching off to
construct dykes and increase the amount of land available for
farming.”(1959: 27-30)
16. 16. http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/7588/6/06_chapter%20
1.pdf DRAMATIC CONSTRUCTION IN SOYINKA’S THE SWAMPS DWELLERS
Ingole Kailash M N.C. Law College , Nanded.
http://www.reviewsofliterature.org/UploadArticle/81.pdf
http://nasirlost.blogspot.in/2011/01/swamp-dwellers.html Sejal Vaghela’s
Asssignments 2013/15 Riddhi Jani’s Assignment’s 2013/15

17. The Swamp Dwellers


18.

19. The Struggle Between Human Beings and Unfavorable Forces of Nature
20. The Swamp Dwellers concentrates on the battle between the old and the better
approaches for life in Africa. It likewise gives us a picture of the attachment that existed
between the single and southern Nigerian social order. The clash between custom and
innovation is moreover reflected in the play. The play mirrors the socio-customary
design, the string and the sufferings of the marsh occupants and underlines the
requirement for retaining new plans. The battle between homo sapiens and unfavorable
drives of nature is moreover caught in the play. Soyinka presents us the picture of present
day Africa where the wind of progress began blowing.
21.
22. The Swamp Dwellers is a nearby investigation of the plan of life in the separated villages
of the African wide open and an existential investigation of the basic society who
confront rigours of life without any trust or succor. Soyinka tears separated social
treachery, deception and dictatorship. The Swamp Dwellers communicates the
requirement for a parity between the old and the new. Soyinka is not for extreme
glorification of the past. In the play we see Soyinka's campaign against tyranny, lack of
concern and self hallucination. Additionally, in The Swamp Dwellers Soyinka satirises
the selling out of livelihood for the fascination and control in one shape or a different one.
23. The Swamp Dwellers reflects the life of the individuals of southern Nigeria. Their
employment primarily is agro based. They weave crate, till and grow land. They put stock
in serpent faction. They perform demise rituals. They offer grain, bull, goat to conciliate
the serpent of the marsh. Traders from city come there for crocodile skins. They draw
junior ladies with cash. Alu withstands their enticement. Youthful men head off to the
urban areas to profit, to drink packaged lager. Actually the city vestiges them.The Swamp
Dwellers quintessential their wedding at the bunk where the waterways meet. They think
about the waterway cot itself as the ideal wedding bunk. Sudden surge ruin the harvests
tossing life out of rigging.
24. The marsh occupants are friendly. They give stick brew in calabash measures. Fly
debilitation blinds them. Joyful making and drumming both go together in their lives.
Sheep and goats are nourished on cassava. They have confidence in welcome through
drumming. They have confidence in sooth stating. Any endeavor to recover the area from
the bog is thought about a skeptical gesture. Companions who meet after an entire season
enjoy in drinking sessions. The point when the stream is swollen individuals are carried
crosswise over by society like Wazuri. The marsh tenants have confidence in the
faultlessness of Kadiye, cleric of the serpent of the bog. Their conviction is abused by
Kadiye to the grip. Igwezu inquiries Kadiye and his ways. It lets us know of the crash
between custom and innovation in southern Nigeria. Downpour carries them trust. It
carries the wonder of new conception to the area. Water plays the part of both the
originator and destroyer in the life of the bog occupants. Products are without warning
annihilated by the swarming insects.
25. The Swamp Dwellers makes utilize of differentiation, parallelism, humour and
incongruity in a suitable way. Soyinka centers the predicament of the bog tenants in the
play sensibly. The marsh inhabitants are at the leniency of enraged nature unless they
trade off convention with innovation, grip advanced engineering they wouldn't have a
brilliant fate. The Swamp Dwellers by Wole Soyinka is set in a retrograde village of
Nigeria in the Delta locale. Yet the characters of the play regularly have critical face to
face times with the town life. Common to the individuals of a neediness ridden village,
the town is a spot of cash, and sumptuousness to the Swamp tenants. To the more
seasoned era of the marsh tenants notwithstanding, the town is the image of pollution.
Here the state of mind to the city life are basically communicated by Alu, Makuri,
Igwezu, and Kadiye.
26. The more seasoned eras' perspectives to the city are communicated through Alu and
Makuri. Alu and Makuri have two children-Awuhike and Igwezu. Both of their children
headed off to the city for better prospects.
27. Yet Awuchike pulled in by city cuts of all his connection with his folks. This
thanklessness considerably more unites Alu and Makuri's preference against the city. In
the opening scene of the play Makuri states to Alu that Awuchike headed off to the city in
light of the fact that he had go tired of the Swam. In addition, Makuri states that the
junior men head off to the huge town to profit. Anyway a large portion of them overlook
their society and cut their connection with the roots, states Makuri.
28. To Makuri the city is the spot of eternality and defilement. A portion of the occasions
affirm Makuri's perspectives. Case in point, Desala who had run to the city with her
spouse Igwezu left him and ran with Auchike who had more cash. Gonushi's offspring is
a different case of the schmuck of city. He moreover headed off to the city and cut off his
connection with wife and kids. All the Swamp Dwellers think about city as the spot to
profit. This perspective is communicated through the Kadiye. When Igwezu returns home
from the city the Kadiye visits Igwezu's house. Anyhow Igwezu is still outside. The
Kadiye needs to know from Makuri if Igwezu had made a fortune in the city. Consistent
with Kadiye all can profit "in the city".
29. In his exchange with Igwezu, the Kadiye inquires as to what amount of cash he did make
in the town. The Kadiye feels that Igwezu had profited to purchase the entire village. The
point when Igwezu discusses his last limit, the Kadiye doesn't accept it. To him it is
implausible for a man who headed off to city to be in indebtedness or monetary oblige.
Anyway the true picture of city is communicated by Igwezu. In his discussion with
Makuri, Igwezu states that the city is the spot where just cash matters. Cash makes a man
critical and colossal in the city. Additionally individuals without cash have no spot in a
city. In this way we see that the Swamp Dwellers have jumbled emotions about the city.
To the vast majority of the Swamp Dwellers city is the spot of solace, cash and richness.
Yet there are moreover some individuals who have an extremely negative perspective
towards the city life. Still there are men like Igwezu who loathe the city life however is
compelled to head off to the city.
30. The characters in The Swamp Dwellers fell into three gatherings: the folks Makuri and
Alo-moderate, the degenerate minister Kadiye, who dumbfounds his superstitious
adherents; and the two positive people Igwezu and the Beggar, moving, considering,
looking for then after that questionable what they have discovered. It is a play of state of
mind and environment, built to give the group of onlookers plentiful chance to make
examinations and achieve judgment. Soyinka makes his focuses through suggested
differences and illustrations. In the play, there is difference between twin blood mates,
father and child, between mother-in –law and little girl in-law, between the Beggar and
have, illustration between Igwezu and the Beggar and the last difference between the
Beggar and the Priest Kadiye.
31. Two Brothers
32. The most evident differentiation is that between the twins siblings, who resemble the
other indistinguishable yet carry on distinctively Awuchike has left home for ten years
and exists in town. There he bargains in timbers and thrives quick. However he never
thinks about his underprivileged old folks. Furthermore, he doesn't even correspond with
his folks, subsequently his mother feels that, he expired in marsh suffocating, however
his father realizes that he is still vivified in town and procuring cash there. He is dead to
his guardians and family authority/ although, Igwezu is truly inverse to him. He moreover
runs to town with his wife to look for his fortune. He guaranteed that, with first earned
cash, he will send a swivel seat for his father and he fulfills his guarantee. He corresponds
with his guardians and takes care of them. All things considered, Awuchike is unfeeling,
conceited, egoster, emotionless, oblivious, undutiful promotion rebellious towards
guardians yet Igwezu is loyal, loyal towards his folks.
33.
34. Differentiate between Mother-in–law and Daughter-in-law
35. There is a differentiation between the ladies in the gang. Igwezu's mother Alu is devoted
and devoted to his father Makuri. Alu and Makuri lead their marital life in subsistence
level. Makuri makes crate with surges and Alu works at her "adire' fabric. Makuri is
additionally an infrequent barer. All the same, they exist from hand to mouth. In youth,
Alu was extremely excellent. An aggregation of crocodile traders went by the Swamp and
offered Alu to leave for city with them yet Alu checked the enticement and dismissed
their offers. All through her life, she imparts the well and trouble of her spouse and
remains devoted. Makuri never feels tension for her purpose. Plus, she adores the marsh
area and never communicates any wish to leave for city. Be that as it may Igwezu's wife
is switched to Alu. Her condition before wedding was that, she must must be taken to
town after marriage. She doesn't prefer natural life, reckless about Igwezu'sparens.
Furthermore, whenever he starts their urban life, Igwezu's wife abandons him for well off
Awuchike. The differentiating focus between the aforementioned two ladies is that, one is
dependable and dependable to spouse and a different is conflicting and unfaithful, one is
materialistic, a different is straightforward and legit.
36.
37. Homeless person in correlation to Igwezu
38. The destitute of vision poor person offers an observation to Igwezu. The bum loses his
harvests to beetle and leaves his home in Bukanji, strolls to the south passing through the
city, looking for area to develop. Igwezu likewise loses his yields to surge leaves his
home in Swamp and takes shield in town. That is both experience incident yet both are
determined to procure their job by work. They are unlike Awchike and Kadiye.
39.
40. Differentiate between Makuri and theBeggar
41. There is a difference between Makuri and the Beggar. In spite of the fact that Makuri has
visual perception, he can't locate the secret that his family is being boggled, deluded by
the degenerate Priest. Anyway however the bum is denied of visual perception, his
otherworldly light is so compelling and penetrative that, he can catch the greater part of
the Priest out of his voice. This implies that, he can surmise that the Priest is devouring
their brand new trims by method of false customs.
42. Derelict complexities to the Priest Kadiye
43. The visually impaired poor person additionally offers a difference to the Priest Kadiye. In
spite of the fact that he is viewed as homeless person, truly, he doesn't put stock in
entreating. Rather he trusts in the ethicalness of tirelessness-this is the means by which he
forgets his home and gets in hunt of a cultivable land. The point when the servant of the
cleric gives a coin, the hobo holds his dish upside down. The street dweller is not
superstitious. He can't accept that, there is any heavenly being in the name a serpent God,
who has land. Anyhow, the minister whose head is striking, skin-delicate, looks like oily
porpoises implores his in modern structure. He takes goats, minerals and different
relinquishes offered by the senseless villagers. They offer the reparation to mollify the
God and need security at their lives and crops. Be that as it may the cleric devours when
Igwezu asks," Why are you so large?" He goes out. Notwithstanding, the bum needs to
gain his work by work while the minister gains his business by false snare and
misleading. The Beggar hoodwinks none rather brings ideal perspectives up in Igwezu
however he minister bamboozles all.
44. Differentiate between town and nation
45. Irrevocably there is a difference between town and nation. Life in town is wellspring of
agony, dissatisfaction and thwarted expectation. It is an eagerness ruled spot and just
hard-hearted individuals succeed. Anyhow life in nation is mix & distress and joy. In
village, the family is mixed, individuals are silly, accommodating, equipped for being
bamboozled quite effortlessly. Also, the nation individuals are the manikin at the hand of
nature. Nature shatter their trust again offers the chump a hope.
46. To sum up, through the ordinary characterization WoleSoyika carries to our notice the
disposition, society and life style of Nigerian individuals. Also he indicates how the
generally speaking budgetary development influences the subsistence economy of
Nigeria.
47.
48.
49. Tradition Vs Modernity
50. Tradition and Modernity both are opposite from each others. It was very difficult to tell
that which path that we want to followed. Tradition is good or Modernity is good.
Tradition and Modernity is issues is not new but very old. With the development of
human being this problem was comes to in exist. In the play also we can find the same
problem. Igwezu and Awuchike they both are twins. One is representing Tradition and
another is representing modernity.
51. The Swamp Dweller by Wole Soyinka is a backward village of Nigeria in the Delta
region. But the characters of the play often have important interaction with the town life.
Typical to the people of a poverty ridden village, the town is a place of money, and luxury
to the Swamp dwellers. To the older generation of the swamp dwellers however the town
is the symbol of corruption. Here the attitudes to the city life are mainly expressed by
Alu, Makuri, Igwezu, and Kadiye. The older generations’ views to the city are expressed
through Alu and Makuri. Alu and Makuri have two sons Awuhike and Igwezu. Both of
their sons went to the city for better prospects.
52. But Awuchike attracted by city cuts of all his with his parents. This ungratefulness even
more consolidates Alu and Makuri’s prejudice against the city. This ungratefulness even
more consolidates Alu that Awuchike went to the city because he had go sick of the
Swam. Moreover, Makuri says that young men go to the city because he had go sick of
the money. But most of them forget their folk and cut their relation with the roots, says
Makuri.
53. To Makuri the city is the place of immorality and corruption. Some of the events confirm
Makuri’s views. For example, Desala who had gone the city with her husband Igwezu left
him and went with Awuchike who had more money. Gonushi’s son is another example of
the victim of city. He also went to the city and cut off his relation with wife and children.
All the Swamp Dwellers consider city as the place to make money. This view is
expressed through the Kadiye. As soon as Igwezu returns home from the city the Kadiye
visits Igwezu’s house. But Igwezu is still outside. The Kadiye wants to know from
Makuri if Igwezu had made a fortune in the city. According to Kadiye all can make
money “in the city.”
54. In his conversation with Igwezu, the Kadiye asks Igwezu, the Kadiye asks Igwezu
repeatedly about how much money he did make in the town. The Kadiye thinks that had
made enough money to buy the whole village. When Igwezu talks about his final restrain,
the Kadiye doesn’t believe it. To him it is impossible for a man who went to city to be in
debt or financial constrain.
55. But the real picture of city is expressed by Igwezu. In his conversation with Makuri,
Igwezu says that the city is the place where only money matters. Money makes a man
important and big in the city. On the other hand people without money have no place in a
city.
56. Thus we see that the Swamp Dweller have mixed feeling about the city. To most of the
Swamp Dwellers city is the place of comfort, money and luxury. But there are also some
people who hate the city life but is forced to go to the city
57. ‘The Swamp Dwellers’ focuses the struggle between the old and the new ways of life in
Africa. It also gives us a picture of the cohesion that existed between the individual and
southern Nigerian society. The conflict between tradition and modernity is also reflected
in the play. The play mirrors the socio-cultural pattern, the pang and the sufferings of the
swamp dwellers and underlines the need for absorbing new ideas. The struggle between
human being and unfavorable forces of nature is also captured in the play. Soyinka
presents us the picture of modern Africa where the wind of change started blowing.
58. ‘The Swamp Dwellers’ is a close study of the pattern of life in the isolated hamlets of the
African countryside as well as an existential study of the simple folk who face rigors of
life without any hope or succor. Soyinka tears apart social injustice, hypocrisy and
tyranny. ‘The Swamp Dwellers’ expresses the necessity for a balance between the old and
the new Soyinka is not for excessive glorification of the past. In the play we see
Soyinka’s crusade against authoritarianism, complacency and self delusion. Besides, in
‘The Swamp Dwellers’ Soyinka satirists the betrayal of vocation for attraction and power
in one form or another.
59. ‘The Swamp Dwellers’ reflects the life of the people of southern Nigeria. Their vacation
mainly is agro based. They weave baskets, till and cultivate land. They believe in serpent
cult. They perform death rites. They offer gain, bull goat to appease the serpent of the
swamp. Traders from city come there for crocodile skins. They lure young woman with
money. Alu withstands their temptation. Young men go to the cities to make money, to
drink bottled beer. In fact the city ruins them. ‘The Swamp Dwellers’ consummate their
wedding at the bed where the rivers meet. They consider the river bed itself as the perfect
bridal bed. Sudden flood ruin the crops throwing life out of gear.
60. The swamp dwellers are hospitable. They give cane brew in calabash cups. Fly sickness
blinds them. Merry making and drumming both go together in their lives. Sheep and
goats are fed on cassava. They believe in sooth saying. Any attempt to reclaim the land
from the swamp is considered an irreligious act. Friends who meet after a whole season
indulge in drinking bouts. When the stream is swollen people are ferried across by folk
like wazuri. The swamp dwellers believe in the infallibility of Kadiye priest of the serpent
of the swamp. Their belief is exploited by Kadiye to the hilt. Igwezu questions Kadiye
and his ways. It tells us of the clash between tradition and modernity in southern Nigeria.
Rain brings them hope. It brings the marvel of new birth to the land. Water plays the role
of the creator and destroyer in the life of the swamp dwellers. Crops are suddenly
destroyed by the swarming locusts.
61. ‘The Swamp Dwellers make use of contrast, parallelism, humor and irony in a suitable
manner. Soyinka focuses the plight of the swamp dwellers in the play realistically. The
swamp dwellers are at the mercy of furious nature unless they compromise tradition with
modernity, embrace modern technology they wouldn't have bright future.
62. WoleSoyinka‟s play The Swamp Dwellers, the swamp
itself is the physical image of spiritual death. The spiritual death by which the
young sever all family and human ties with the village and indulge in a new kind of life
in the towns is one of the main threats to the society of the village.The Swamp Dwellers
explores the theme of man‟s misfortune set against hostile nature –
physical and human.“Self interest, disguised in
traditional ritual and religious sanctions, encumbers the ground and keeps
the people just above starvation level and so makes them perpetually subservient to
the serpent”
63. The tone of despair which has
been noticeable from the very start gets more pronounced towards the end
especially as it becomes certain that Igwezu‟s voice of protest will be
isolated. Whether it is living with the age-old meaningless traditions of the village
or in the corrupted heartless city, it is the death of the spirit in modern times. “Is it of any
earthly use to change one slough for another?” asks Igwezu, (1958:41). In The Swamp
Dwellers, the city also is a swamp. And
yet each must be experienced, they offer challenge not refuge.
64. Igwezureturns to his destiny in the town, and leaves the Beggar to his in the river
delta. The background is flood and drought. Igwezu leaves the village, but the Beggar
beckons him back, “the swallows find their nest again when thecold in over”
65. Conclusion:We can see conflict of tradition and modernity in the play. Village is
representing tradition and city as modernity. They both are different from each others.
This play is representing those different very well.
66.
67. Characters of THE SWAMP DWELLERS:
68. The characters in The Swamp Dwellers fell into three groups: the parents Makuri and
Alo-conservative, the corrupt priest Kadiye, who beguiles his superstitious followers; and
the two positive individuals Igwezu and the Beggar, moving, wondering, seeking and
then uncertain what they have found. It is a play of mood and atmosphere, constructed so
as to provide the audience with ample opportunity to make comparisons and reach
judgment. Soyinka makes his points through implied contrasts and comparisons. In the
play, there is contrast between twin brothers, father and son, between mother- in –law and
daughter- in- law, between the Beggar and host, comparison between Igwezu and the
Beggar and the final contrast between the Beggar and the Priest Kadiye.
69.
70. Two Brothers:
71. The most obvious contrast is that between the twins brothers, who look alike but behave
differently Awuchike has left home for ten years and lives in town. There he deals in
timbers and thrives fast. But he never thinks of his poor old parents. Besides, he does not
even communicate with his parents, as a result his mother thinks that, he died in swamp
drowning, though his father knows that he is still alive in town and earning money there.
He is dead to his parents and family responsibility/ whereas, Igwezu is quite opposite to
him. He also goes to town with his wife to seek his fortune. He promised that, with first
earned money, he will send a swivel chair for his father and he fulfils his promise. He
communicates with his parents and looks after them. After all, Awuchike is callous, self
centered, egoster, nonchalant, unmindful, undutiful ad disobedient towards parents but
Igwezu is obedient, dutiful towards his parents.
72.
73. Contrast between mother- in –law and daughter- in- law:
74. There is a contrast between the women in the family. Igwezu’s mother Alu is faithful and
loyal to his father Makuri. Alu and Makuri lead their conjugal life in subsistence level.
Makuri makes basket with rushes and Alu works at her “adire’ cloth. Makuri is also an
occasional barer. After all, they live from hand to mouth. In youth, Alu was very
beautiful. A group of crocodile traders visited the Swamp and offered Alu to leave for city
with them but Alu checked the temptation and rejected their offers. Throughout her life,
she shares the well and woe of her husband and remains faithful. Makuri never feels
tension for her sake. Besides, she loves the swamp region and never expresses any wish
to leave for city. But Igwezu’s wife is reversed to Alu. Her condition before wedding was
that, she must have to be taken to town after marriage. She does not like rustic life,
careless about Igwezu’sparens. Besides, whenever he begins their urban life, Igwezu’s
wife leaves him for wealthy Awuchike. The contrasting point between these two women
is that, one is faithful and consistent to husband and another is inconsistent and
unfaithful, one is materialistic, another is simple and honest
75.
76. Beggar in comparison to Igwezu:
77. The blind beggar offers a comparison to Igwezu. The beggar loses his crops to locust and
leaves his home in Bukanji, walks to the south passing through the city, searching for
land to cultivate. Igwezu also loses his crops to flood leaves his home in Swamp and
takes shelter in town. That is both experience misfortune but both are resolved to earn
their livelihood by labor. They are unlike Awchike and Kadiye.
78.
79. Contrast between Makuri and the beggar :
80. There is a contrast between Makuri and the beggar. Though Makuri has eyesight, he
cannot detect the mystery that his family is being beguiled, deceived by the corrupt
Priest. But though the beggar is deprived of eyesight, his spiritual light is so powerful and
penetrative that, he can detect the bulk of the Priest out of his voice. This means that, he
can guess that the Priest is consuming their fresh crops by means of false rituals.
81.
82. Beggar contrasts to the Priest Kadiye:
83. The blind beggar also offers a contrast to the Priest Kadiye. Though he is regarded as
beggar, actually, he does not believe in begging. Rather he believes in the virtue of
diligence- this is how he leaves his home and gets out in search of a cultivable land.
When the servant of the priest gives a coin, the beggar keeps his bowl upside down. The
beggar is not superstitious. He can not believe that, there is any supernatural being in the
name a serpent God, who possesses land. But, the priest whose head is bold, skin-tender,
looks like greasy porpoises begs his in sophisticated form. He takes goats, ores and other
sacrifices offered by the simple minded villagers. They offer the sacrifice to appease the
God and want protection at their lives and crops. But the priest consumes when Igwezu
asks,” Why are you so fat?” He leaves Makuri’s house. After all, the beggar wants to earn
his livelihood by labor while the priest earns his livelihood by false bait and deception.
The Beggar deceives none rather raises optimistic views in Igwezu but he priest deceives
all.
84.
85. Contrast between town and country:
86. Finally there is a contrast between town and country. Life in town is source of pain,
disappointment and frustration. It is a greed dominated place and only hard- hearted
people prosper. But life in country is blend & sorrow and happiness. In village, the family
is integrated, people are simple minded, hospitable, capable of being deceived very
easily. Besides, the country people are the puppet at the hand of nature. Nature shatter
their hope again offers the victim an optimism.
87. To conclude, through the typical characterization WoleSoyika brings to our notice the
attitude, culture and life style of Nigerian people. Besides he shows how the overall
economic growth affects the subsistence economy of Nigeria.
88.
89. Igwezu:
90. Igwezu is the son of Alu and Makuri. He is twin with Awuchike. He is the centre of the
play. The Swamp Dwellers is a drama of revelation and Igwezu gets education through
experience both in the city and in the swamp.
91. Igwezu’s discovery of the deficiencies of the village life and the city life constitutes the
primary thematic content of the play. Igwezu plays a pivotal role in the play as a truth
teller. He is a character in the play who has tasted the ups and downs of life both in the
village and in the city. As a swamp dweller he knows how life goes in the southern part of
Nigeria. It is through him Soyinka criticizes the corrupt religious practices of Kadiye.
Familial ties have meaning for him. In that aspect, Igwezu is unlike his brother Awuchike,
a city dweller.
92. As a city dweller for eight months, Igwezu knows the break and bounce of city life. He
knows how people like Awuchike are ruthless in making money. He is a broke in
business. He comes back home. His land is flooded. His hope of getting a good harvest is
blasted. He is betrayed by his own brother. Desala, his wife betrays him. She changes
hand.
93. Igwezu has a frank talk with Kadiye. The talk exposes the serpent cult as a sham. Igwezu
welcomes modernization to the swamp. He is ready for a change of mind. For all his
thinking in terms of modernization, Igwezu does not have the grit to reclaim the land
from the swamp.
94. Igwezu’s experience of life, both in the city and in the village disillusions him. He
reflects critically on his situation. He doubts the value system cherished by the
community. Returning to the city again is like returning to one slough from another. He
decides to entrust the land to the beggar. He rejects the Beggar’s help because he does not
like one blind man leading another.
95.
96. Narrative Style:
97.
98. Dramatic techniques are very
vital in the art of playwriting as they assist in developing and presenting effective
plot structure. Different techniques are used for different plot. Soyinka
has been considered as a master
craftsman in the art of drama. Let’s have a look at one of his important plays from
structural point of view.
99.
100. INTRODUCTION:
101.
102. The play is comparatively short of all of Soyinka’s plays. It relates a story
of a poor family residing in Niger Delta region. When the play opens we find Makuri
and Alu awaiting for
their beloved younger son Igwezu. They fear that their younger song Igwezu shoul
d not go
missing like their elder son Awuchick, who had gone to the city some ten years a
go. Both the brothers had left the village to seek their fortune in the city.
103. The conversation of the old couple has been interrupted with an arrival of a blind
Begger.
This blind begger is a tall and thin Moslem from north Nigeria. Thebegger tells h
is pathetic
story howhe has become blind and how drought in northern part has destroyed the
lives of
people dwelling in that area. However, the begger’s appearance and strong positive
attitude
towards life impresses Makuri and Alu. He tells them that he does not accept char
ity from
irreligious people, and is dying to farm the land. Meanwhile the village priest Kad
iye enters to know if Igwezu has returned from the city. His visit is not out of sympathy
or knowing the
wellbeing of the family. But he wanted to check if Igwezu has made fortune in th
e city, so that he could extract something in the name of God and religion. When he
comes to know that Igwezuhasn’t yet returned, he leaves the hut promising to return after
Igwezu’s arrival.
104. Igwezu returns from the field greatly disappointed by the destruction of his
farm due to flood. The beggerconsoles him promising that his farm will once
again stand, and he will give himself as his bondsman. The Kadiye reenters again, and
inquires if Igwezu has made money in
the city. Igwezu admits that he actually gone into the debts. And hehas pledged hi
s farm as a security for his debt. What is worse, his own brother has exacted this pledge
from him. It is more saddening to know from him that his wife Desala has left him and
become his brother’s mistress. The Kadiya gets ready to shave by seating in the swivel
chair.
105. While shaving the Kadiye, Igwezu asks a series of questions to the Kadiye. He
asks if he
have not offered all valuable gifts to him in order to save his farm and family. T
hen, why his
farm and family has been destroyed. Wasn’t it a responsibility of a Kadiye to prot
ect? In a
moment of anger, he was to slice into the rolls of fat beneath the priestly chin. B
ut some howcontrols himself and allows the Kadiye to fly. Acknowledging the insult
of theKadiye,
Makuriwarns Igwezu that Kadiye may stir up the village against him. Igwezu flees
to the city sensing
the danger from the Kadiye. But while going he advises the blind begger to stay i
n the village and cultivate the land. To the begger’s question. ‘If he will return, he gives
no answers. The play ends with the Begger’s assurance of staying in the village and
giving account to Igwezu.
106.
107. Plot / structure:
108. We have a finely devised plot for the play ‘The Swamp Dwellers’.
This timeSoyinkaemploys a new technique to relate the story. This technique is gathering
information from every
new character in the play. The plot is a simple story of a poor family and their st
ruggle for survival. The story could have taken more pages and time, had it written in an
action format. But with the narrative technique of sharing information it is made short.
Every new character narrates
his experiences with the other characters of the play. While doing this the playwri
ght never allows himself to detrack from
the original story. He successfully manages to bring these experiences into
a fullfleged story with a good beginning a middle and an end. The discussion of the
elderly couple about the where about of their twins constitute the beginning. The episode
of the blind begger provides the middle. And the clash of Igwezu and the Kadiye forms
the end.
109. Unlike the strong Breed, the playwright avoids to divide the plot in acts and
scenes. By
doing this he avoids any sort of interruption in the smooth going story. There isn’
t a single
irrelevant scene or episode in the play. The episode of the Blind Begger is motivat
ing in the completely destroyed situation of Igwezu and his family.
110.
111. Setting:
112. The play is set in the hut
of Makuri and Alu in a village of the Delta region of south–east Nigeria. This re
gion is periodically flooded with waters of river Niger. The description of the hut
with its minute peculiarities adds greater dramatic effect. The inside detailing of the hut –
rush –baskets, ‘a dire cloths and barber’sequipments, reminds one of the ideal pictures of
huts in India. The play opens and ends in this hut. The swamp Dwellers is a realistic
tragedy of the people living in Delta region. Therefore it is shadowed with grave
atmosphere. The play opens with the elderly couple’s worry and scared feelings about the
safty and whereabouts of their twin sons. This serious tone pertains till the endof the play.
Because no joyful or happy things happen in the lives of the characters of the play.
This might be the reason why we don’t find any comic relief in the play. In the e
nd Igwezuleaves the town defeated and surrendered.
113.
114. Themes:
115. It is an inescapable tragedy of a poor family residing in Delta region. To me it is
the main
theme of the play. The play demonstrates acritical plight of a farmer family, which
is same everywhere regardless of region and country. These farmer families follow some
or other sorts of traditions and customs which becomes the major cause of their of their
suffering. In the swamp Dwellers,villagers offer valuable gifts to the priest like the
Kadiye, in order to appease the divine serpent of the swamp. Similar is the condition of
the farmers in India, there are thousands of suicide on the part of the farmers following
several customs like dowry marriageanimal sacrifice (bali) and so on.
116. At the same time the play throws light on the attitude of the village youths.
Through the
character of Awuchicke Soyinka criticizes the village youth for getting lost in to t
he glittering
world of the city, breaking allfamilial and human ties with the village. In the ratra
ce of
prosperity the present youth is turning his back to the responsibilities and moralitie
s of the
society. We find in this play the degeneration of human relationship in the form o
f Awuchike and Desala.
117. The play also questions the efficaciousness of the religious offerings in order to
appease God or divinely powers. The series of questions that Igwezu asks to the Kadiye
really makes one
to think of such religious practices. The question “should mancontinue to grope thr
ough an
absurd existence with blind hope for divine salvation or should he seek other way
s of saving himself” (An Internet Entry).
118. In comparison with Soyinka’s other plays the present play covers limited ra
nge of themes. But it does not fail to make universal appeal. From this we can say that
“Soyinka uses the theatre to make statements of human need and values” (JoleAdedji
127).
119.
120. Entrance and Exit:
121. The technique that Soyinka has used to build up the
plot largely depends on the entries and exits of various characters.
As has been mentioned earlier in the discussion of the plot, the
playwright has used a new technique of story building in the form of gathering of
information
from every new character that appears on the stage. The characters tend to enter a
nd leave the stage in succession. The Kadiye enters and exits, and again re-enters. In
between the two visits of
the Kadiye, Igwezu and the blind begger enters. The dramatist very skillfully bring
s all the characters on the stage in the end of the play. The Kadiye’s entry accompanied
by the drummer and the servant is striking and spectacular on each time. The meeting of
Igwezu and the Beggeris at very appropriate time. In this way entrances and exits are
superbly organized in order to add thematic significance to play.
122.
123. Maintenance of Unities:
124. The swamp Dwellers is probably the only play where in three unities of time,
place, and action are closely followed by the dramatist. The play opens when the daylight
has gone but it is not completely dark, and comes to an end when it is night. It does
nottake more than two hours,
the time that is justly required for its enactment on the stage. The whole action ta
kes place in
Makuri’s hut into which the characters visit in succession one after another. All th
e important actions like Igwezu’s failure in thecity and at the home in the face of crop
destruction, the story
of blind begger; Awuchike’s betrayal of his parents and brothers and befooling of
the villagers
on the part of the Kadiye, are brought together into an organic whole. The interlin
king of the various episodes are successfully brought together making a good story. No
episode or action is unnecessarily imposed, and the different episode of the blind begger
made an integral part of the play. The play is greatly appreciated for its brevity,
simplification and organization.
125.
126. Contrast:
127. The element of contrast exists at every point in the play. It is by this elem
ent that the viewers judge the actions of the characters. The contrast is at the level of
persons and places. The
first obivious contrast is between the twin brothers. Awuchike andIgwezu. Awuchick
e is the representative of new class of Nigeria, who has discarded all ties with the family
and the village.
128. The people like Awuchicke leave the village to lost permanently in the city.
They holdnofamilial or cultural responsibilities of any sort. Awuchike has
been living in the city for last
tenyears. And has prospered as a wealthy timber merchant. But hasforgotton his fa
milial duties towards parents. Even severe than this he is morally degenerated in the
pride of wealth. He feels no hesitation at seducing his own brother’s wife. Nor does
he feel shame in taking pledge from his own brother for the loan.
129. On the other hand we have a pure innocent character of Igwezu, for whom
family and
village matters a lot. In adverse situation, he too leaves village to try his hand at
making his
fortune. But he never for a moment forget his village and parents. As soon as he
earn little money in the city, he sends a barler’s chair for his father, which he had
promised while leavingthe village. Moreover, like a responsible family member he
performs all religious rites that were
required by the religion and tradition. He would never have left his village, had hi
s wife notinsisted for.
130. Similar is the contrast between the female characters.Igwezu’s mother and w
ife.
Igwezu’s mother remained loyal to his father despite various temptations from the
visiting traders. She is the ideal family woman, with a feeling of care for all family
members. Contrasting to this character is the character
of Igwezu’s wife. She deserts her husband and involves in the
act of infidelity with her brother-in-law. The glittering world of city tempts Igwezu
’s wife to break the familial bond of marriage and become a mistress of someone else.
131. The most important contrast that figures out in the play is between the blind
Begger and the Kadiye. The devout muslimbeggre denies the religious value of begging
insisting as he does on a scheme of self –help that leads him to search for land where he
can farm. The Kadiye is an opportunist, who is always on a quest to extract from the
people even in their adverse situations. The pot –
bellied Kadiye rich and prosperous figure who has liking for wearing rings in the
finger. He befools the poor and innocent villagers in the name of religion.
132. The final contrast is between the bitter hopelessness of Igwezu and calm co
nfidence of the begger. Both have experienced the similar conditions of failure in the
life. Igwezu surrenders to it, while the begger takes it as a challenge. The positive stance
of the begger motivates Igwezuto come out of his riddle and try again for good. The
draught and flood also form contrast in the play.
133.
134. CONCLUSION:
135.
136. Soyinka’s concern through most of his plays, seem tobe the age-old customs and
rituals. As a avowed reformer he discusses the issues with a view to bring about social
change. Unlike Vijay Tendulkar society is at the centre for Soyinka in his plays. The
swamp Dwellers is not an exception to it. The basic idea for the play was a news that
oil had been found in marketable a
quantities in the Niger Delta This provided the playwright with a theme how easy
money can
bring social changes whatever may be its source. The fleet of the rural youth to th
e cities severing all human ties also forms the concern of the play.
137. Although the source of he play is a news in the newspaper about the discovery of
oil and
its impact on the people, still the playwright cannot think of the Nigerian society
devoid of
customs and rituals. Here he talksof the farmer’s divine ritual of offering valuable
gifts to the swamp serpent as a security of farm and family.
138. Through this the playwright throws light on the in effectiveness of such rit
uals and the
selfishness of the religious priests like the Kadiye,who exploit innocent people in t
he name of religion.
139. The play is the tragedy of poor farmer family, who are destinied to suffer.
The picturethat ha been presented in the play is universal, appealing to the plight of
Monsoon all farmers in the world. In India we have a no different situation, for Indian
farm is largely dependent on man
soon rain. We have a contrast of two different conditions of nature in the play –
draught and
flood. Igwezu and his family suffer due to flood, where as the blind begger faces
the consequences of draught.
140. There is a controversy among the critics about the end of the play. Most o
f the critics access this play as not ending on a positive note. Some successfully assert
that the play does not offer solution to the problems raised. The Ibaden Magazine records:
“The play does not end on
apositive note by showing the villagers casting off their superstitions and marching
off to construct dykes and increase the amount of land available for farming
141. But this
view of these scholars is contradictory for certain reasons. The play obliviously en
ds on a positive note. The blind begger’s ending speech is a kind of inspiration for the
completely broken characters like Igwezu. The Begger:
142. “The swallows find their nest againWhen the cold is over,
143. Even the bats desert dark holes in the trees and flap wet leaves with wings of
leather.
144. There were wings everywhere as I wiped my feet against your threshold. I
heard the cricket scratch himself beneath the armpit as the old man said
145. to me.....................
146. I shall be here to give account
147. The begger in the play is the mouthpiece of the playwright who not only i
nspires the villagers to face adverse situations but also guides on how to solve the
problem of flood with the help of land
reclamation. He offers his valuable suggestions on the self-help not relying on the
external forces. By not offering solution the playwright might intended to retain the
seriousness of the play. The playwright probably left it to the readers and viewers ofthe
play to understand what and how they like the end of the play, “What Soyinka wished
to convey by his ending of
the swamp Dwellers is not absolutely clear: it is an ambiguous code”. But
the playcertainly struck the positive note offering. “The ideal of individual love-act-
of-courage in the effort of saving humanity whenever such an individual possesses the
will and the resources”
148. Wole Soyinka mostly rely on ritual and traditional sources for writing the play but
this does not make his play traditional, rather this trend of writing play goes beyond the
border and gets universal recognition in perspective of humanity. The playwright uses
the raw materials of myths and certain formal properties to furnish the play producing
something new and sometimes entirely unexpected. Although the play sometimes
exposes banal elements of human affairs, it gradually unravels the dramatist’s inner side
and the universal complexities humans face across the globe. The banal elements which
have stitched the play ultimately portray love for trends and tradition love for stability of
human beings and love of family, the extended family. The dialogues exchanged in the
play demonstrate strong family bond and love yearned by the chief characters.
149.
150. The Swamp Dwellers makes use of contrast, parallelism, humor and irony in a
suitable manner. Soyinka focuses the plight of the swamp dwellers in the play
realistically. The swamp dwellers are at the mercy of furious nature unless they
compromise tradition with modernity, embrace modern technology they wouldn’t have a
bright future.

Minat Terkait