Drama and communication: interrogating the topos of relational conflict in Ama Ata Aidoo’s Anowa
Integral to the discourse of relational conflict is the nexus between drama and communication. Social relations thrive in spoken dialectics and colloquies which find adequate expression in drama/theatre. Communication at various levels often require interpretations (both cognitive and perceptual) of social interactions. Thus, conflicts on interpersonal level ensue. This essay, critical and textual, attempts a fully interpretive understanding of the literary and social dynamics that exist in Ama Ata Aidoo’s play. The causes of relational conflict in society are examined. The essay also attempts an indepth exploration of the critical theory of alterity, an aspect of postcolonialism to interrogate Aidoo’s dramatization of relational conflict. Equipped with this theoretical insight, the essay carries out character evaluation in order to understand Aidoo’s portraiture of relational conflict. Using Aidoo’s Anowa, three factors are identified which have continued to brew this type of conflict, whether between a couple or among members of a family. This essay concludes that esteem, control and affiliation are principal causes of relational conflict.
Keywords: Relational conflict, esteem, control, affiliation, incompatibility and literature