Theatre and social criticism in African literature: socio-cultural consciousness in Alachi’s “Dilemma of Oko”
Since literature is a creative work that mirrors society, Alachi in The Dilemma of Oko, observes aspects of the social, political, cultural and moral degeneration of contemporary society. He presents them in this play with thorough detachment and clinical dispassion. The play presents the image of a society, whose moral order provides a set of meaning, by which members of society understand their experiences and make sound judgments about what is valuable and important. Deeply influenced by real life experiences, the author portrays the physical suffering and mental agonies which arise from man’s conflict with the hostile surroundings in which he lives. He depicts not only the confrontation between the society and the individual, but also modern man’s total failure to understand either himself or others in the society. The play combines social criticism with the tragedy of an individual victimized by society.
Keywords: Social Criticism, Moral degeneration, Convergence of cultures, foreign phenomena, societal norms, Traditional ethics, Traditional institutions