Poverty Eradication and Empowerment for Sustainable Growth in Africa: Insights from Ben Okri’s In Arcadia

Poverty Eradication and Empowerment for Sustainable Growth in Africa: Insights from Ben Okri’s In Arcadia

Author by Dr. Ezinwanyi Adam

Journal/Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Volume/Edition: 1

Language: English

Pages: 131 - 142

Abstract

            This research paper is an exploratory study of Ben Okri’s In Arcadia. The novel is beautifully written in political, mythical and metaphorical language to project the meaning and meaninglessness of man’s life and struggles in a world ridden with poverty and socio-political decadence. The paper elicits through the study of the characters, themes, plot, thought, style, and vision of the writer, powerful teachings of some of the major factors that hinder poverty eradication- physical and psychological; and empowerment of the poor masses for sustainable development in Africa. This factor includes hypocrisy, especially on the part of the government and leadership towards the proletariats as they show no sincerity in keeping their promises of eradicating poverty and improving the living conditions of the masses. Others are economic, political, religious and moral decay, and bankruptcy. The decay has indeed driven many people to abject poverty and deprivation. The homeless are left in the streets and under the bridges. The malnourished are left in the hospitals to die because of unpaid bills. Many are shattered by famine, conflicts and wars. The paper reveals that the scourge of poverty and social decay, though it appears more prevalent in Third World countries, is universal. The approach of practical textual criticism is applied and also, the method of interpretation to present in-depth representations of characters, thoughts and vision of the writer, as well as implied opinions of Ben Okri on how these epidemics can be managed for the development of Africans, as individuals and a people, and Africa as a continent.


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