Tenor of Humanism Re-reading Feminity in the Drama of Tracie Utoh-Ezeajugh
AbstractThe first time I read Tracie Chima Utoh-Ezeajugh’s Forest of Palm Trees, as well as, her other works, I became attracted to the tenor of temperance that she applies to her treatment of the Woman issue. Throughout her dramatic opus, Utoh- Ezeajugh exhibits a profound proclivity towards the reiteration of humanist agitation (rather than feminist) which aims at rechannelling literary emphasis to more debilitating phenomena
in contemporary society other than the re-inscription of gendered disputations. Hence, her Cauldron of Death treats the issue of HIV/AIDS, Forest of Palm Trees treats that of the vexing issue of revenue/derivation sharing formula in Nigeria, while in her Nneora, an African Doll’s House she re-works Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and makes her Nora (Nneora—mother
of all) to remain in her husband’s house after their quarrel so that both of them can jointly tackle other far more oppressive forces in both their family and society. I wish to posit in this essay that Utoh-Ezeajugh’s social consciousness as a writer holds gargantuan relevance for the unification of both men and women in the fight against global malaise such as hunger/
poverty/famine, HIV/AIDS, human trafficking, wars, promiscuity, and other sundry problems. This unity has become extremely relevant because the quest for better living condition for all humanity is one that essentially involves men and women. This paper is not geared towards suppressing instances of gendered oppressive tendencies in contemporary living, but is aimed at buttressing the need for multilateral tackling of issues as Utoh-
Ezeajugh’s dramatic oeuvre portends.