The Dehumanising Mood in Early Nigerian Creative Writing: A Hallmark of Modern Literature


  • Ayila Orkusa



The early Nigerian creative writings are recognised as modern literature not simply for the time of their production but among other prevailing characteristics is the recurring mood. Several  of Nigerian literatureis laced with the dehumanising mood and a systematic reading of certain works here has not proved the contrary.In this paper we follow a synchronic study of mood on some selected works to substantiate this hypothesis (that there is dominant dehumanising mood) in certain texts of Nigerian literature. Narratives in the texts under study capture timehues of Nigerian cultures and circumnavigate around issues that create dehumanising mood. However, dehumanising feeling itself is one of the major quirks of modernism. This work therefore discusses how the texts consistently narrate oppositions and hostilities that sustain dehumanising mood through narrators and some characters who speak for themselves. Although the texts bequeath a fecund legacy of cultural assertion that later corresponds to the global avowal of black dignity/integrity – negritude, dehumanising mood remains constant and marks those works out as modern literature. Thus, attention will be given to some works of Elechi Amadi’sThe Great Pond, The Slave and Flora Nwapa’s Efuru.The argument is sustained under these sections: modernism/modern literature;source of dehumanising mood in the The Great Pond, The Slave and Efuru; stigmatisation and rejection of conventional truth; and the conclusion.


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Author Biography

Ayila Orkusa

Department of English Language and Literature

University of Ngaoundere



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How to Cite

Orkusa, A. (2024). The Dehumanising Mood in Early Nigerian Creative Writing: A Hallmark of Modern Literature. International Journal Online of Humanities, 11(2), 26–52.