NABTEB LITERATURE (DRAMA & POETRY) ANSWERS
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In the play, Kargbo utilizes various dramatic techniques to enhance the storytelling and engage the audience. The following are the dramatic techniques introduced in the play:
(i) Symbolism: Symbolism is a powerful dramatic technique used by Kargbo throughout the play to convey deeper meanings and evoke emotions. One prominent symbol in “Let Me Die Alone” is the character of the old baobab tree. The baobab tree represents strength, wisdom, and the indomitable spirit of the African people. It serves as a metaphor for the protagonist’s resilience and ability to withstand the hardships of life. The tree becomes a symbol of hope and serves as a constant reminder of the protagonist’s connection to her roots and her determination to survive.
Another significant symbol in the play is the setting itself, the village. The village represents community, tradition, and collective identity. It symbolizes the protagonist’s sense of belonging and the interconnectedness of the African society. The village acts as a catalyst for the protagonist’s transformation and growth. It becomes a space where she learns valuable life lessons and finds solace amidst her struggles. Through these symbols, Kargbo creates a rich and layered narrative that resonates with the audience on multiple levels.
(ii) Monologue: Kargbo effectively employs monologues as a dramatic technique to provide insight into the characters’ inner thoughts and emotions. Monologues are extended speeches delivered by a single character, allowing them to express their feelings, fears, and desires directly to the audience. In “Let Me Die Alone,” the protagonist delivers several powerful monologues, giving voice to her inner turmoil and existential dilemmas.
Through these monologues, the audience gains a deep understanding of the protagonist’s loneliness, her longing for connection, and her struggle to find meaning in her isolated existence. The monologues also serve to highlight the protagonist’s resilience and her determination to persevere despite the overwhelming odds stacked against her. By using monologues, Kargbo effectively humanizes the character, allowing the audience to empathize with her and engage emotionally with her journey.
The character of Gbanja plays a significant role in the narrative, serving as a catalyst for the protagonist’s transformation and embodying various thematic elements. Gbanja’s character is multi-faceted and contributes to the overall development of the story.
Gbanja acts as a catalyst for the protagonist’s transformation. As a young and energetic individual, Gbanja enters the protagonist’s life and disrupts her solitude. His presence challenges the protagonist’s isolation and compels her to confront her fears, desires, and the need for human connection. Through their interactions, Gbanja pushes the protagonist out of her comfort zone and encourages her to embrace life’s possibilities. He represents the vitality and resilience of youth and acts as a contrast to the protagonist’s solitude and resignation.
Gbanja also carries symbolic significance within the play. His name, “Gbanja,” derived from the Krio word for “rebirth” or “resurrection,” signifies his role in bringing about a transformative experience for the protagonist. Gbanja symbolizes hope, renewal, and the potential for change. His character embodies the idea that even in the darkest of circumstances, there is always the possibility for growth and the discovery of new paths.
Furthermore, Gbanja exhibits a duality that adds depth to his character. On one hand, he embodies youthful exuberance, fearlessness, and a zest for life. He represents the freedom and joy that the protagonist has been denied for so long. On the other hand, Gbanja also carries a burden of his own. He shares his own struggles and dreams with the protagonist, revealing vulnerabilities and a shared sense of isolation. This duality emphasizes the complexities of human experience and underscores the interconnectedness of individuals in their search for meaning and connection.
In addition to his role as a catalyst and symbol, Gbanja fulfills the role of a love interest for the protagonist. Their growing relationship provides emotional support and companionship for both characters. The budding romance between Gbanja and the protagonist represents the potential for love to transcend barriers and bring solace and fulfillment. It offers the protagonist a glimmer of hope and a renewed sense of purpose.
In Wole Soyinka’s African drama “The Lion and the Jewel,” various dramatic techniques are employed to enhance the storytelling and engage the audience. Among these techniques are:
(i) Satire: Satire is a prominent dramatic technique utilized by Soyinka in “The Lion and the Jewel.” The play satirizes the clash between tradition and modernity in a Nigerian village. Soyinka uses satire to critique the superficiality and empty promises of modernization, as well as the blind pursuit of Western ideals without considering the value of indigenous culture and traditions. Through the character of Baroka, the traditional village chief, Soyinka employs satire to challenge the notion of progress as defined solely by Western standards. Baroka’s cunning and humorous actions subvert the expectations of the colonial mindset, revealing the limitations and contradictions of both the traditional and modern worlds. Satire serves as a means to critique and question societal norms and values, encouraging the audience to reflect on the complexities of cultural identity and the consequences of blind assimilation.
(ii) Dramatic Irony: Dramatic irony is another significant technique employed by Soyinka in the play. The audience possesses knowledge that is withheld from certain characters, creating tension and adding depth to the narrative. One example of dramatic irony in “The Lion and the Jewel” is the love triangle involving Lakunle, Sidi, and Baroka. The audience is aware of Baroka’s ulterior motives and manipulative tactics in pursuing Sidi, while Lakunle remains oblivious to them. This creates a sense of anticipation and suspense, as the audience awaits the moment when Lakunle discovers Baroka’s true intentions. The dramatic irony enhances the comedic and dramatic aspects of the play, as the audience is privy to the hidden agendas and conflicts that drive the plot. It also serves to highlight the contrasts and conflicts between different characters and their varying perspectives on love, power, and tradition.
Sidi, a central character in Wole Soyinka’s African drama “The Lion and the Jewel,” is a complex and multifaceted character whose traits contribute to the thematic exploration of tradition, beauty, and the clash between modernity and the old ways.
Sidi is initially portrayed as a young and beautiful woman in the village, and her physical attractiveness becomes a defining aspect of her character. However, her sensuality goes beyond her appearance alone. Sidi exudes a certain allure and confidence, utilizing her charm and wit to navigate her relationships and assert her agency. Her sensuality becomes a source of power, influencing the dynamics between herself, Baroka, and Lakunle.
Sidi embodies traditional values and represents the preservation of the village’s cultural heritage. She is deeply rooted in her customs and resistant to the encroachment of modernity. Sidi values the traditional way of life, including the customs, rituals, and gender roles of her community. Her character reflects the tension between the old ways and the influence of Western ideas brought by Lakunle. Sidi’s resistance to change is evident in her refusal to conform to Lakunle’s ideas of progress and her unwavering commitment to the traditional values she holds dear.
Sidi exhibits a playful and mischievous nature throughout the play. She enjoys the attention and admiration she receives from Baroka and Lakunle and takes advantage of the power dynamics between them. Sidi uses her charm and cunning to manipulate the situations to her advantage, playing with the desires and expectations of the male characters. Her playfulness serves as a way to assert her agency and challenge the limitations placed upon her as a woman in a patriarchal society.
As the play progresses, Sidi undergoes a transformation, moving from a naive and innocent young woman to a more self-aware and assertive individual. Through her interactions with Baroka and Lakunle, Sidi gains a deeper understanding of herself and the world around her. She begins to question the traditional customs that limit her freedom and starts to challenge the oppressive expectations placed upon her. Sidi’s growth symbolizes the potential for personal liberation and the rejection of societal constraints.
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In August Wilson’s play “Fences,” the theme of racial discrimination is a significant and pervasive element. Set in 1950s Pittsburgh, the play portrays the struggles and experiences of African Americans living in a society characterized by systemic racism and segregation.
One prominent aspect of racial discrimination in the play is the limited opportunities available to African Americans. Troy Maxson, the main character, was a talented baseball player in his youth but was unable to pursue a professional career due to the color barrier in major league baseball. This barrier serves as a powerful symbol of the institutional racism that denied African Americans access to certain professions and opportunities solely based on their race.
The play also explores the unequal treatment of African Americans in various aspects of their lives. Troy faces discrimination in employment, experiencing limited job prospects, lower wages, and a lack of promotion opportunities due to racial bias. Additionally, the character of Cory, Troy’s son, faces barriers and prejudice in his pursuit of a college football scholarship. These instances highlight the pervasive racial disparities and systemic bias that African Americans encountered in education, employment, and other areas of life.
Another dimension of racial discrimination depicted in “Fences” is the internalized oppression experienced by the characters. The play delves into the psychological impact of racism, illustrating how it can lead to self-doubt, anger, and strained relationships. Troy’s own experiences with racism and his unfulfilled dreams contribute to his bitter outlook on life and his strained interactions with his family. The play examines how the internalized effects of racism shape the characters’ identities and influence their behavior and choices.
Furthermore, “Fences” explores the generational effects of racial discrimination. The play highlights how Troy’s experiences with racism and his subsequent worldview impact his relationship with his son, Cory. Troy’s fears and disappointments shape his parenting approach, leading to conflicts and strained connections between generations. The character of Gabriel, Troy’s brother, represents the sacrifices and challenges faced by African Americans who fought in wars but were often overlooked and marginalized upon their return.
Troy Maxson, the central character in August Wilson’s play “Fences,” is integral to the thematic development of the story. His character embodies several themes and contributes to their exploration throughout the play.
Troy represents the struggle for personal fulfillment and the pursuit of dreams. As a former baseball player who was denied the opportunity to play in the major leagues due to racial discrimination, Troy carries a deep sense of bitterness and frustration. His relentless pursuit of personal fulfillment, despite the obstacles he faces, drives the narrative and sheds light on the human desire for significance and dignity.
Moreover, Troy’s character highlights the consequences of broken dreams. His unfulfilled aspirations and lost opportunities have left him disillusioned and resentful. This bitterness manifests in strained relationships, particularly with his wife, Rose, and his sons, Cory and Lyons. Through Troy’s character, Wilson explores the ripple effects of broken dreams and the impact they have on individuals and their interactions with others.
Troy’s character also reflects the generational effects of racial discrimination. He carries the weight of his own experiences with discrimination and strives to protect his sons from similar hardships. However, his efforts unintentionally perpetuate a cycle of unfulfilled dreams and strained relationships. Troy’s character offers insight into the challenges faced by fathers in providing guidance and support while navigating the historical injustices that impact their families.
By examining Troy’s character, Wilson delves into broader themes of aspiration, the complexities of relationships, and the enduring consequences of historical injustices. Troy’s journey serves as a powerful symbol of the individual’s fight against adversity and the lasting impact of unfulfilled dreams. His character’s significance lies in its ability to provoke reflection on universal experiences and shed light on the complexities of the human condition.