Internal Dialectical Contradictions in Soyinka's Novel: Acquisitive Physical Appetites and the Quest for Spiritual Values
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All things contain within themselves internal dialectical contradictions, which are the primary cause of motion, change, and development in the world. Dialectical contradiction is not about simple opposites or negation. For formal approaches, the core message of dialectical contradiction constitutes the opposition between the objects involved in a directly associated context. For purposes of this study, the contradictions in the societies depicted in Soyinka’s two novels shall be the primary sources of illustrative data. Of all the dualities that run through Wole Soyinka’s literary writings and reflect his shifting balance between the creative and destructive sides of life, one of the most instructive sets of contraries is the alternation of materialism and idealism. These two drives figure prominently in both the comic and tragic sides of Soyinka’s artistic vision in the novels, Season of Anomy and The Interpreters. They reflect the sometimes contradictory energies that drive his writing: the human needs to enjoy life to its fullest as well as to transcend it to a higher stage. This study argues that Soyinka uses these conflicting drives to celebrate and satirise the human appetites for love, power, money and glory by depicting the growth of appetite as either a vice or a virtue. The physical appetites are usually associated with egotism, while the spiritual drive is connected to self-sacrifice, social commitment and artistic creativity. The continuous flux between these two forces of appetite and sacrifice produces the dramatic tension in Soyinka’s works.