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MODERNISM AS A FAILED UTOPIA: A POSTCOLONIAL CRITIQUE OF WOLE SOYINKA’S DEATH AND THE KING’S HORSEMAN AND NGUGI WA THIONG’O AND NGUGI WA MIRII’S, I WILL MARRY WHEN I WANT

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Abstract:

Ever since becoming a hegemonic cultural project erected on the foundations of self-acclaimed Western cultural legitimizations or superiority, modernism has been fiercely criticized for failing in its civilizing mission in Africa and in the introduction of corruption. African literature, especially its modern dramatic expressions, internalizes many examples and instances of the failure of the modernist project, with the ascendancy of poverty and/or deprivation, and the cultural and spatial domination of Africa and Africans. Of the lot, Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman and Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Ngugi wa Mirii’s I Will Marry When I Want have been selected as thesis plays that provide explications on the status of modernism as a failed utopia. Our study relies on in-depth textual analysis pinioned on the cultural theory of Postcolonialism.

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