Proletarian ideology in selected Nigerian plays: A critical analysis

  • Kester Nnaemeka Dibia


The focus of proletarian drama is on members of the working class and by extension, the masses. The research therefore, explores the ideological contributions, from the leftist perspective, espoused in Irobi’s Nwokedi, Cemetery Road and Nwadigwe’s Udoji. The justification behind this research work is hinged on the fact that not much critical attention has been paid to the selected plays from the standpoint of proletarian ideologies expressed in them. Therefore, this research work aims at contributing to knowledge in this direction. The research is mainly concerned with attempts made by the aforementioned Nigerian playwrights to use art to advance the cause of the downtrodden with a view to sensitizing and mobilizing them to come together and combat an oppressive system that holds them captive. Case study and content analysis approaches of the qualitative research method are adopted by the researcher. Primary sources of data include Nwokedi, Cemetery Road and Udoji. The secondary sources are books, journals, magazines and newspapers. It can be correctly said that the Marxist ideology of a classless society provides the foothold for the thematic and ideological viewpoints of the playwrights whose works have been used in this study. Marxism holds that the masses who Karl Marx refers to as the “exploited class” are “locked inevitably in conflict” with the bourgeoisie who exploit the masses since they own and control the means of production. Finally, the research work recommends responsible leadership as a duty that the leadership class owes the masses in order to bridge the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” in the society. The researcher also concludes that drama is an indispensable tool for mass conscientisation, mobilization and transformation .


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2006-6910