NECO GCE 2023 - LITERATURE I & II ANSWER
Second-Class Citizen depicts ordinary Africans who are naturally blacks, and explores, how the fact of their race inhibits them from enjoying a glorious stay in a foreign land. The title of the novel “Second Class Citizen refers to a substandard, inferior, and black citizen in the novel, the fact that there are second-class citizens and first-class citizens makes racism and identity crisis evident in the novel. The former is associated with the British people, who stand the chance of becoming a partaker of everything the society offers, while the latter which is black (Africans to be precise) have their choices limited. They are not allowed to live with their white counterparts, which is a white dominant community. The blacks are forced to live in slums, while menial jobs are meant for them.
For example, Adah and her family make the theme of racial discrimination and prejudice prominent in the novel as an issue that she tries to avoid all to no avail. Adah’s first encounter with race relations occurs when they are still at Ashdown Street, when she is served a notice to quit the house. It reads “No meandering A solicitor representing their landlord, would like them to quit and give up all claims to the tenancy of their one room. This is not because she had a problem with her fellow tenants or the landlady, as she has done everything to avoid any clash or confrontation with them. Some of the things working against her and the family include: They are blacks. Nigerian to be precise.
Adah has refused to send her children to nursery like everyone else in England. Also, they are Ibos, the hated people because they believe in their own ideologies. The landlady is aware that Adah is expecting a third child and the fact that Vicky has cheated death “Adah is expecting a third child and the fact that Vicky has cheated death “Adah and her husband must go” the landlady affirms. Their search for a new accommodation yields no result. Nearly all the vacant spaces they come across bear an inscription. “Sorry, No colored” no them.
Adah’s house hunting is made more difficult because of racism and identity crisis, for she is black, with two children, and pregnant with another. Race relation has taught her a lesson that her color is something she should be ashamed of. She was never aware of this at home in Nigeria, even when in the midst of whites. As racism is beginning to have a serious psychological effect on her, she vows never to measure up with the white folks-but to live a low lifestyle, and also stop looking for accommodation in a clean, desirable neighborhood. She is now learning to suspect anything beautiful and pure because those things are for the white, not the blacks.
Also, the effect of racial discrimination has made Adah a liar and deceiver such that she had to change her Nigerian-born accent so as to sound like a white lady in order to secure accommodation. Both Adah and Francis still have to visit the white landlady to conceal their black colors and identify without result. It is also the effect of racism that makes Francis burns the manuscript of Adah’s first novel. The Bride Price because he feels that Adah is black, and the writing career is meant for the white alone.
Trudy is a British woman who is a child daily minders. She is introduced to Adah by Babalola, her own compatriot.
Her job is to dress children and take care of them before their parents call for them. She is clean and well dressed and very friendly outwardly, but a dirty woman to the core. Her house, like all the houses in that area, is a slum-a house that has been condemned ages ago. The back yard is filled with rubbish, broken furniture, and very near an uncovered dustbin is a toilet.
The novel delves into the cultural clashes that arise as Adah, originally from Nigeria, navigates her life in the United Kingdom. Trudy, as a representation of Western societal norms, clashes with Adah's cultural background, creating tension and highlighting the challenges faced by immigrants in adapting to a new cultural context
Trudy's character becomes a catalyst for Adah's quest for independence and empowerment. Adah's experiences with Trudy prompt her to question traditional gender roles and societal expectations. Adah's determination to break free from the constraints imposed by Trudy becomes a driving force in her journey toward self-actualization.
Adah decides to visit her children one day unannounced and she meets her two children in the refuse dump area. Vicky is busy pulling rubbish out of the bin and Titi is washing her hands and face with the water leaking from the toilet. A few days later, Vicky fells sick and he’s diagnosed with a virus called meningitis. The chance of his survival is very slim. When confronted to inquire about the outcome of the disease. She lies about it, and the council removes her name from the list of approved child-minders. Trudy therefore, is also a cheat, a liar, and her personality a sort of vulgarity.
(PICK ANY TWO CHARACTERS)
(i) Tally O is Joe’s old friend who persuaded and convinced Joe to consider the business of mines that Kuuku introduced him to. Like Joe, Tally O was very poor, for he tried all available odd jobs until both himself, Billy and Joel take to mining business. His death marks the end of illegal Doga business. He has lived a life full of disaster but had to survive. He once confessed to Joe that his life lacks genuine meaning. He died on the last day of their operation in mine field. Tally O slips and lands himself in a ditch when the guards are after them. The rest members feel it will be dangerous leaving him behind. Someone volunteers to use axe to smash his head to conceal their identity. He dies and they cover him in the hole.
(ii) Ibuk is Mama Orojo’s funny partner in their Illere mission, and also an ally in Mama Orojo’s marriage palaver the officials of the Amen Kristi church.
Mama Orojo complains to her about the lack of progress in their evangelical work in the town and the people they earlier preach to, and it becomes clear to them that the Sahm brotherhood does not want to see them preaching to people they see as potential converts. Mama always reminds Ibuk about the day of their initiation into the Amen Kristi. That day, they kissed the cross. Kissing the cross was an important ritual and every “initiate” accepted Jesus Christ first and the third day is to evangelize. Ibuk is more like a friend who stands as a source of encouragement and strong believe in christ. Ibuk was tragically killed in an armed religious scuffle orchestrated by Sahm Brotherhood.
(iii) Tom Monday is a widower and businessman who hails from Illere, Nigeria. He is the old man that Mama Orojo and Ibuk paid an unintentional visit to during their mission to the evangelical church within the city. He has two kids; one of which is a 28-year-old daughter who is married to a man from the Sahm Movement.
He is fascinated with Mama’s beautiful beauty and grit. He is willing to the marriage of Mama Orojo when members of Amen Kristi do not agree to her marriage because of prejudices based on ethnicity and nationality.
In 'Invisible Man,' the theme of Africa disunity is subtly woven into the narrative, reflecting the broader challenges faced by the protagonist, an ambitious young man navigating a broken system that rejects and turns hostile towards him. The narrator's dream to uplift the conditions of the black race becomes a poignant metaphor for the dashed hopes and shattered expectations of a generation aspiring for progress in what they believed would be an increasingly equitable society.
The character of the ex-doctor from the mental hospital serves as a poignant reflection of these dashed ambitions. Despite achieving recognition in France, he confronts the harsh reality that true respect eludes him due to his race. This experience renders him nameless and stripped of dignity, epitomizing the broader struggles faced by individuals attempting to rise above societal prejudices.
Upon joining the Brotherhood, the narrator initially perceives a pathway to recognition. However, he soon realizes that the organization's actions are designed to maintain the status quo and prevent genuine advancement. The irreconcilable differences within the Brotherhood, coupled with racial biases, thwart the narrator's ambitious dreams, culminating in a betrayal that sparks a riot.
The riot at the novel's conclusion underscores the manipulation and exclusion the narrator faces within the Brotherhood. He recognizes that he has been deliberately kept uninformed to incite the riot without interference, highlighting the systemic barriers hindering progress. The narrator's retreat into isolation symbolizes the final stage of his disillusionment, a manifestation of both ambition and profound disappointment.
By secluding himself in the metaphorical hole, the narrator grapples with his ambition in the face of insurmountable obstacles. His temporary withdrawal represents a complex mixture of ambition and the weight of disappointment, showcasing the internal conflict of a character dissatisfied with existing institutions and societal norms. This struggle encapsulates the broader theme of Africa disunity, as the narrator contends with a fractured world that impedes his pursuit of genuine progress.
Mary Rambo is a kind black woman who takes the narrator in and lets him rent a room form her until he joins the communists and moves away. She is a strong black woman who has learned to survive the violence and corruption of the city by relying on her inner resources.
She is very accommodating and she provides the narrator with enough love and comfort when he becomes stranded and homeless. After his harrowing experience at the Liberty Paint Factory, the narrator is grateful for Mary’s kindness and generosity. Mary takes him into her home, cooks for him and nurses him back to health. Even when he can’t pay his rent, she tells him not to worry. She does everything humanly possible to demonstrate her faith in him and also opts to adopt him as her surrogate son.
During this time, the narrator sees, Mary as the Saintly mother figure. referring to her as his anchor and guide, and appreciating her support and generosity. But after he meets Brother Jack and begins to work for the Brotherhood, he sees Mary through different edges. He finally leaves Mary without even saying a word of goodbye, confident that she will survived. Mary is a survivor who represents the courage and dignity of the black women.
Hindley Earnshaw is Catherine’s brother and Mr. Earnshaw’s son. After his father’s death, he inherits the estate. Hindley begins to abuse young Heathcliff. terminating his education and forcing him to work in the fields. When Hindley’s wife, Frances dies shortly after giving birth to their son, Hareton. he resorts to alcoholism. He is smart, calculative and manipulative scheming to elevate his own social status by pressuring a marriage between his sister, Catherine and Edgar Linton, of the socially well-off Linton family of Thrushcross Grange. Hindley’s meanness is enhanced by his love for drinking and gambling.
This habit of his makes Heathcliff gain control of Wuthering Heights, as Hindley mortgages the house to Heathcliff for more gambling money, and his drinking spree makes him more abusive. He neglects his son, Hereton and heats Heathcliff even more. He eventually drinks himself to death, letting Heathcliff run wild with his plots for revenge on Hindley, Edgar and others.
Hindley is a jealous son and the cause of this act of jealousy begins when Hindley’s father, Mr. Earnshaw brings Heathcliff home from the street of Liverpool. Hindley refers to Heathcliff as an imp and a demon, and wishes horrible things on his adaptive brother. This is because Hindley is the heir apparent to the Wuthering Height and he does not want Heathcliff to partake in it, since he does not also want anyone to get his father’s attention.
The theme of the supernatural element is seen in the narrative, imbuing the novel with an eerie and gothic essence. The spectral elements play pivotal roles in shaping the characters' experiences and the overall tone of the story.
The ghostly presence of Catherine Earnshaw lingers after her death, haunting Wuthering Heights and manifesting in the tormented visions of Heathcliff. This ethereal specter symbolizes the enduring nature of love and the profound impact of the past on the present.
The novel opens with Mr. Lockwood's ominous dream, a foreshadowing of unsettling events at Wuthering Heights. This nightmare sets the stage for the supernatural elements that will unfold, captivating readers with a foreboding sense of mystery.
Heathcliff himself, with his mysterious origins and brooding demeanor, exudes an almost otherworldly aura. His connection to the desolate moors surrounding Wuthering Heights contributes to the novel's eerie atmosphere, as if nature itself holds an elemental force that mirrors the characters' tumultuous lives.
As the narrative progresses to the second generation, Cathy Linton emerges as a character with a mystical connection to her deceased mother, Catherine Earnshaw. Her moments of trance-like states and resemblance to her mother suggest a supernatural link, transcending the boundaries of the natural realm.
Superstitions and beliefs in omens permeate the lives of the characters, reinforcing the pervasive sense of the otherworldly. The moors, with their wild and untamed nature, become a character in themselves, representing the primal aspects of the supernatural.
Heathcliff's intense desire for death and reunion with Catherine in the afterlife introduces a theme of reincarnation and an existence beyond the mortal realm. His obsession with being haunted by Catherine's ghost underscores the novel's exploration of a love that defies death.
FORUM POST LOCKED FOR COMMENTING