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TRAUMA AND LOSS IN ABUBAKAR ADAM IBRAHIM’S SEASON OF CRISMSON BLOSSOM AND SEFI ATTAH’S EVERYTHING GOOD WILL COME
This paper reviews trauma and loss in abubakar adam ibrahim’s season of crismson blossom and sefi attah’s everything good will come. This study makes use of secondary data sources (Novels and previously published works) in order to elicit information that would assist in filling the overarching gap we found in the literature.
Furthermore, we drew on Sigmund Psychoanalysis and Control theories in order to help the study understand the effect of crisis and single parenthood on the emotional and social behaviour of children within the family unit and the society. Overall, this study validates the relevance of Psychoanalysis and Control theories because it illustrates that human nature, historical and cultural differences affected the emotional and social behaviour of children under single parenthood.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Violence is a serious challenge to nationhood and the peaceful co-existence of Nigerians. It has come to be an area of discourse to both literary and non-literary scholars globally. This is because, it is a serious challenge to nationhood and global peace. The fact that insecurity and crises situations such as religion intolerance is likely in existence, personal (social) trauma and loss is the primary focus of this research work. The literature utilizes creative imagination in projecting suggestive possibilities of social realities and emergent issues. Kehinde and Mbipom (2011), assert that the diverse forms of interaction between various parts of a society and its people. African literature constantly reflects an attempt at narrating the African experience, the struggles associated with imperialism and its relics of denigration and oppression and high incidence of political thuggery and uncontrollable violence characterized by wanton destruction of lives and properties; in Nigeria can best be described as warfare which seem to remain visible features of post-independence Africa (Ake, 2001; Abbass, 2008). This accounts for the African writers‟ attempt at foregrounding the tension that exists within the shores of Africa, with the aim of asserting the African nation above all forms and conventions of imperialism and neo-colonialism (62).
The socio-cultural/developmental issues raised by Chinua Achebe and his contemporaries in their novels several years back turned out to be prophecies of our Nigeria of today. This is possible because the writer’s muse/inspiration tends to arise from the emergent issues of his time and environment. Ngugi Wa Thiongo argues that, “Both the writer and his works… try to understand, reflect and interpret” (158), the conflicts of values within and outside Africa, for life and humanity. The use of these works to document or recreate historical events such as colonialism and the Nigerian Civil War has created knowledge and discourse for the younger generation who did not witness these events. In the emergent social realities of various forms of crises and insecurity in Africa and Nigeria in particular, the literary writers “have served not only as chroniclers of contemporary political history but also as advocates of radical social change. Their works thus both reflect and project the course of Africa’s Cultural Revolution” (Lindfors 22).
Therefore, in order to resolving family problems it becomes imperative to look at the problems that leads to break-up (divorce) and the emerging consequences of single parenthood in order to control the crime rate and moral decadence in the society. The problems resulting from single parenthood are large in number. They range from emotional or psychological to physical problems, some of which come in the form of hysteria, violence, pilfering, prostitution, lack of respect for elders and timidity as well as coyness. As a chronicler of the society’s ills, literature had played considerable role, though limited in some ways in reporting the problems of single parenthood, political unrest and its consequences to the development of the family in particular and the society at large. It is in the light of this that Abubakar adam Ibrahim and Sefi Atta raised discussions as per the large numbers of problems resulting from single political crisis and parenthood in their novels: season of crismson blossoms and Everything Good Will Come, respectively. Specifically, these novels dealt with different kinds of single parenthood in order to examine how the children are variously affected. In Abubakar adam Ibrahim’s season of crismson blossoms, crisis situations in Jos single results from migration and loss of contact (2006) while in Sefi Atta’s Everything Good Will Come, single parenthood results from death of one partner in the case of Sherifat and a divorced in the case of Enitan (2005).
However, the scores of war and crises situations on victims is the trauma of loss, whether human or material. In addition, the survivors of these crises live with the after effect memories of theses unpleasant experiences. Certainly, these experiences adversely affect the victims’ lifestyle or perception of life. This paper interrogates the lingering psychological consequences of conflicts and how the characters survive and overcome the trauma of such crises in the novel, Born on a Tuesday which focus on Boko Haram insurgency in Northern Nigeria. Against, these different forms of political crisis and single parenthood, we observed from the literature that limited studies had attempted to compare and analyse the novel (season of crismson blossoms), Enitan and Sherifat (Everything Good Will Come) and how they respectively impact the emotional and social behaviour of children within the family unit and the society. Hence, this is the gap this study intend to fill in the literature. More so, in an attempt to fill this gap we draw on the psychoanalytical theory (Sigmund Freud) and control theory (Walter Wreckless). More specifically, the key objectives of this study include to examine: the causes of the characters’ emotional and social behaviour; why individuals react differently in identical circumstances; the alternative measures to remedying the problem of fixation arising from a skip off a stage in the psychological development of an individual and the psychoneurosis of the characters to underscore the existentialist view that there is an essential human nature, or set of defining human features, which is innate, universal, and independent of historical and cultural differences. Hence, this research rk aim at trauma and loss in Abubakar Adam Ibrahim’s season of crismson blossom and Sefi Attah’s everything good will come.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The novel received many critical reviews and is seen by many as a departure from northern Nigeria’s norm, with German broadcaster Deutsche Welle describing the author as a northern Nigerian “literary provocateur for daring to speak openly about female sexuality, breaking a taboo in the deeply conservative northern Nigeria. As the theme of the novel centers around the sexual emancipation of Hajiya Binta, who lives in a society where women are denied the right to sexual desire and certain activities, the book has drawn interest and reviews from many women writers and feminist activists, including Indian writer Namita Gokhale, Sudanese author Leila Aboulela Ivorian novelist Veronique Tadjo, and United Kingdom-based writer Zoë Wicomb, the inaugural winner of the Windham–Campbell Literature Prize (Pan Macmillan,2018).
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVE
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The work is significant as a resource for understanding the psychological landscape of Northern Nigeria, which until now, has appeared impenetrable. It also demystifies the culture’s feminine construct, which has always seemed as unflappable to those outside the culture. The significance of Everything Good Will Come lies within the historical perspective Sefi Atta uses to look at her character’s life. By being based in a true Nigerian culture and political atmosphere, this fictional story has relevance to the time period in which it is set. This relation between fact and fiction gives the reader insight to how likely and the effect politics could play a role within each character’s life. Although the focus is on the middle and upper classes, the unsettled government of the 1970s through 1990s is still well represented. The history of this novel follows Nigeria through a civil war and into the Second and Third Republic, all times of different political powers but connected through the character’s lives. The author also has credibility for writing about this time period because much of her life experiences paralleled those of Enitan. Born in 1964, Sefi Atta was only seven years in 1971 when the novel begins.Her childlike perspective of this time is seen in the novel by having Enitan’s character at a similar age, aligning Sefi and Enitan’s ages and developing their perception as the novel progresses. Both women also receive their education abroad in England and then return to their native homes. Although their majors differ, Enitan and Sefi’s perspectives of being a Nigerian abroad would be quite similar by experiencing the same “culture shock.” In an interview with Ike Anya,
Sefi even acknowledges similar characters in her own life, stating “every Nigerian knows a Sheri.” She also recalls experiencing similar situations such as dealing with her mother’s traditional belief that “women must fulfill their duties as wives and mothers, no excuses,” a viewpoint that conflicted with not only her own but Enitan’s as well.The parallels between the Sefi’s and Enitan’s lives allow the novel to have a realistic foundation and give accurate insight to the history and culture of this time period.
The generation Enitan represents was born in the late 1960s, so is younger by comparison with those in many other novels of similar genre, giving Atta’s book a unique perspective. The main difference lies in the different political atmosphere each generation faces. Rather than living through colonialism, those growing up in this timeframe face the aftermath of it. In terms of this generational representation, Atta states: “I consciously did not hold back as I wrote and ended up with this very personal chronicle of post-independent Nigeria.” This brings up the issue of political instability as a repercussion of colonialism by showing Nigeria at a time of political flux. The argument against colonialism is discussed by the characters: “Uncle Alex blamed the British for the fighting ‘…Come here and divide our country like one of their bloody teacakes (Atta, Sefi, 2008). Because of this blame on the British, this novel has more significance in its publication locations: the United States, England, and Nigeria, all of which have become united through colonization, which brought western culture into Nigeria. The idea of universalism is shown that by the fact that lthough the women of these countries may seem very different, they all face many of the same issues. At this time, England and the United States were seen as more progressive in gender ideals by women having the ability to maintain independence, but they still faced discrimination in the work place as Enitan did in her father’s firm. All three countries are also faced with infidelity and race discrimination, issues that make this story relevant beyond Nigeria. To combat these issues Atta shows the negative effects and allows her main female protagonists to gain independence in the conclusion of the novel. This positive outlook on a woman’s ability to become self-sufficient and successful against family and political strains of this time contributed to this novel receiving the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa (The Lumina Foundation, 2011).
1.5 SCOPE OF STUDY
This research work deals with the trauma and loss in abubakar adam ibrahim’s season of crismson blossom and sefi attah’s everything good will come
1.6 RESEARCH METHOD
The primary and main source of information includes articles, Journals, internet materials and other written research work.
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