Monday, May 24, 2010



A satire is a literary composition which exposes the follies and vices of a given society by ridiculing such bad practices with the principal aim of correcting them.

Violence is not only a satire on the government and its agencies but also on general human dirty engagements. For instance, the sharp gap between the poor and the rich was x-rayed through the drama performed in the hall of the hospital, which as a matter of fact is a common practice in Nigeria.

In Chapter Twenty-one, Civil Servants/Government functionaries drink and talk about the high cost of living and how quick and big money can be made. This is another way Festus Iyayi implicitly expose an ugly trend in most African States especially Nigeria since the environmental setting of the story, Violence is Benin City in Edo State, South – South Nigeria.

Going to the people’s discussion at Freedom Motel, it is obvious that their orientation is extremely poor. They believed the best way to make quick fat money is by stealing it from the public treasury and of-course the government induces the act of looting.

The moral bankruptcy as illustrated through unguided and senseless sexual engagements of Obofun family satirizes immorality and moral decadence in our society.

The attitude of the Nurses towards their patients in the story and the unlimited opportunities the police created for themselves to extort the docile public through harassment, brutality and pretences are indices of satire.

The novelist, exposes the injustice in our system. The case of Papa Jimoh who was locked up for three days in a cell for committing no offence and was not compensated by his employers is a textual example.

High handedness in marriage is also satirized. In this century that everybody calls for gender equality, many African men still treat their wives as if they (wives) were objects bought with their money. See how Idemudia’s father beats his wife almost to death just for telling him to go to the Police Station so that his son could be released by the Police. With this, Iyayi is writing to correct the unhealthy male chauvinism or domination in our society.

The ability of the writer to expose the imbalances between the poor and the rich, the exploitative nature of the rich, the corruption in the system and moral decadence among our people are proofs that Festus Iyayi’s Violence is a social cum political satire.

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