Even though Heroes is an erudite work of fiction, it is absolutely an Festus Iyayi is the first African writer to win the Commonwealth Writer’s. Festus Iyayi () is one of the pioneer of social realism in African novel. Besides Violence (), The Contract (), Heroes (). Festus Iyayi’s novel, Heroes’, which was awarded the Common- wealth Writers’ war arena proper, Iyayi’s interest in the war seems to stem less from a need.

Author: Bashura Dosho
Country: Iraq
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Politics
Published (Last): 11 March 2017
Pages: 402
PDF File Size: 12.3 Mb
ePub File Size: 8.30 Mb
ISBN: 961-2-63490-873-1
Downloads: 55158
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Arakinos

Skip to main content.

Festus Iyayi Biography

Log In Sign Up. Advanced Literary Text Analysis. Bola Sotunsa ed taiwo nolas-alausa P. Our task in this essay is to use Marxist theory to help enrich our reading of literary works, to help us see some important festue they illustrate which we might not have seen so clearly or so deeply without Marxist theory. Heroes, chronicles the experience and events of the civil war in the defunct Midwest region, formerly Bendel state, and now divided into the current Edo and Delta states.

Iyayi gives a graphic presentation of what he sees and experiences and x-ray the Nigerian society along its fragmented class structure. Through this medium we view the human as well as the economic relations of different classes to one another, the character of the family and household, the conditions of labor and leisure, the attitude of man to nature, the culture of each age as it arose out of these general conditions of life and took ever changing forms in religion, literature and music, architecture, learning and thought.

This study of man and society emboldened and encouraged philosophers like Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to find possible means of understanding the society and resolving its many problems. The doctrine of Marxism The doctrine of Marxism is one which herors believed to have stemmed from the writings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

Festus Iyayi

It is a political philosophy, economic and social world view based upon a materialistic interpretation of history, a Marxist analysis of Capitalism, a theory of social change and an atheist view of human liberation. The doctrine of Marxism is viewed from three basic aspects which are: The dialectical and Materialist concept of history, the critique of Capitalism and the advocacy of Proletarian revolution. For Marxism, getting and keeping economic power is the motive behind all social and political activities including Education, Philosophy, Religion, Government, the Arts, Science, Technology, the Media and so on.

Marxist analysis of human events and productions focuses on relationship among socio economic classes, both within a society and among societies and explains all human activities in terms of the distribution and dynamics of economic power.

Ann Dobie also asserts that the moving force behind human history is its economic systems, for peoples lives are determined by their economic circumstances. Marxist methodology dictates that theoretical ideas can be judged to have value only in terms of their concrete applications to the real world. Festu agrees that in capitalist society, an economic minority the bourgeoisie dominate and exploit an economic majority the proletariat. Marx argues that capitalism is exploitative, specifically the way in which unpaid labor creates an arrangement of transitory serfdom.

He arranged that while the production process is sociological, ownership remains in the bh of the bourgeoisie.

Louis Tyson in her book Critical theory today posits that the differences in socio economic class divide people in ways that are much more significant than do differences in religion, race, ethnicity and gender. Unfortunately, the hedoes is often the last to recognize this fact. They usually permit differences in religion, race, ethnicity and gender to separate them into warring factions that accomplish little or no social change.

From a Marxist perspective, it has become increasingly difficult to liberate the proletariat today because the bourgeoisie exploits ideology in maintaining themselves in power and ensuring that the people are perpetually subjugated. Marxism believes that an ideology is a belief system that is a product of cultural conditioning which is enforced on the society by a privileged few.

We shall briefly examine a few of them: It is assumed that people at the top of the social scale are naturally superior to those below them, more intelligent, more responsible, more trustworthy, and more ethical. Whereas people at the bottom of the social scale, are naturally sightless, lazy and irresponsible. Therefore, it is natural and right that those from the highest social class should hold all the positions of power and leadership because they are naturally feetus to such roles and are the only ones who can be trusted to perform them properly.


Is an ideology which keeps poor people fighting wars against poor people from other countries.

It is a system that prevents poor people from bonding together to improve their condition. Is an ideology that helps to keep the fesus poor satisfied with their lot in life or at least tolerant of it, much as a tranquilizer might do.

Religion emphasizes that the poor, if they remain non violent will find their reward in heaven.

A person is exploited if he or she performs more labor than necessary to produce the goods that he consumes; likewise a person is an exploiter if he or she performs less labor than is necessary to produce the goods that he or she consumes.

It is a matter of surplus labor, the amount of labor he performs beyond what one receive in goods. Exploitation has been a socio- economic feature of any class society and is one of the principal features distinguishing the social classes, the iyaui of one social class to control the means of production, enables its exploitation of the other classes. Denies the estrangement of people from their humanity. Under capitalism, the fruits of production belong to employers, who expropriate the surplus created by others and so generate alienated laborers.

Alienation objectively describes the workers situation in capitalism. Marxism and literature For Marxism, literature does not exist in some timeless, aesthetic realm as an object to be passively contemplated.

Since human beings are themselves product of their socio economic fesths ideological environment, It is then assumed that authors cannot help but create works that embody ideology in some form. The literary work input lend to reinforce in the reader, the ideologies it embodies or 2.

It might invite the reader to criticize the ideologies it represents. The following questions are offered to summarize nearest approaches to literature: Does the work criticizes or invites us to criticize oppressive socio economic forces?

Does the work reinforce capitalist, imperialist or other classist values? How does religion function in the text to keep a character or characters from realizing and resisting socio economic oppression?

Therefore depending upon the literary work gy question, we might ask one or any combination of the questions above to interpret the literary work. His family lived on little means but instilled in him strong moral lessons about life. He was educated at the Kiev Institute of National Economy, where he studied economics and at the university of Bradford for his postgraduate studies. He fesfus a career as lecturer in economics at the University of Benin in As a member of staff of the university, he became interested in radical social issues, and a few years after his employment, he became the president of the local branch of ASUU, a radical union known for its upfront style on academic and social welfare.

He rose to the position of the president of the national organization inbut inthe union was briefly banned and Iyayi was detained. He was later removed form his faculty position. Today, he is a member of many literary organizations and works in the private sector as a consultant. He is a post Nigerian civil war writer and widely known for his radical and revolutionary stance on social and political issues.

His style of writing is realistic in nature and tends to depict the social, political and moral environment and system both the poor and the rich live and work in. Through the use of such narrative techniques as flashback, simple diction, bitter tone, irony, juxtaposition, symbolism e. It is a society which is based on violence, injustice, brutality and herooes. A place where greed and corruption of the privileged few and iywyi class have created a big golf between the few wealthy and the majority of the poor masses, thus creating a society woefully lacking in proper human and economic relations.

Osime Iyere, a journalist and political correspondent of the Daily news witnesses the horrors of the feetus war on the two fronts. The activities of the story revolve around him and through his lens Iyayi sees and comments about the war. The class structure is sharply divided in this novel not only along socio economic lines but also in the civil service. The military typifies this example as evident in the activities of the officers as against the loyalty of the rank and file.

Power grows out of the barrel of a gun And out of bags of money. Have gun and You have the power to kick a man in his stomach and below the belt……. The rank and file do all the jobs while the officers collect all the glory. Corporal kolawole is a big example of this travesty of justice. He disagrees with his superior officer, a Major on matters of procedure in front of his men. Heroess got punished and was demoted in rank.


Few months afterwards the Major was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. Corruption and exploitation of the masses is very evident in Heroes. In present day Nigeria, corruption is a virus that has eaten deep into the fabric of the society. Iyayi lament that even before the war, corruption was in the very breath of the Ministers and Presidents and Businessmen, Politicians, Traditional Rulers, Church leaders and Army Generals all reeled in it.

They steal the people blind and employ the wealth of the masses fewtus further impoverish them. Brigadier Otunshi who represent a microcosm of Senior military officers who enjoy comfort at the battle front and does not bat an eyelid when sacrificing his troops is seen in the company of the army paymaster Major Dantari, an ally who he needs in his stead to deny his people their rights.

He sends them to the battle front few days before pay day and does not mind sacrificing them all in as much as he smiles to the banks: He sells our arms and kills our men and collect money from both sides. They are corrupt and do not care about the safety of their troops and are ready to sacrifice them for their own well being. It is revealed that the officers at the front live a life of peace and ease.

They enjoy heroed wives, attend parties and have an abundance of expensive meals. They also have access to beautiful women. The war became a profitable business for many as the elites demonstrated fstus unquenchable thirst for money.

They take blankets meant for the displaced and injured in the war and sell these in markets in Kaduna, Kano and Lagos. The dry milks meant for the starving children are seen in supermarkets in lagos. Osime paints the picture thus: Corruption is everywhere, sell your arms to your enemy and collect the money and put it in your pocket…….

Festus Iyayi Biography – Nigeria, Violence, Contract, and Novels – JRank Articles

He sends the children of other people, the husbands of fstus women and wives of other men into battle so that he can get married. Brigadier Fetsus trivializes the purpose of the war when he boisterously announces that they intend to capture Onitsha as a wedding gift for the Head of State. Onitsha will be our wedding present to the head of state Pg Like any Marxist work, Heroes depict class struggle and the imbalance in the society between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.

Aside the civilian contractors in agbada who are always seen in the company of military officers lobbying for contracts, senior military officers are presented in such a way that one is able to observe that the society Iyayi depict encompasses classes of groups which are antagonistic to one another.

While the senior military officers are united in their pilfering and happy with the looting aided and abetted bg the civilian contarctors, the poor are united in their misery, in their poverty and in their patriotism. They view the war as a call to national service and take excessive pride in killing and maiming people who few months earlier they regard as their brothers and sisters. The have been blinded by patriotism and led against their conscience to maim and kill one another. What has happened is that we are all caught up in the fight between elephants, elephants fighting for more space, more power, more money.

Pg So the war that the rank and file soldiers fight is not theirs. The killings they undertake in the name of patriotism is unnecessary as they eventually get nothing from it than misery, despoliation and agony.

The two protagonists; Ojukwu and Gowon, have never known hunger, never known want and have much more in common than what they have with the ordinary soldier who erroneously believe he fights for the unity of his fatherland.

All is however not lost as Iyayi believes that the chain must be broken, the circle must stop, the society must be born again.