An Ecocritical Reading of Subjectivity in Helon Habila’s Oil on Water and Kaine Agary’s Yellow-Yellow
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The objective and impetus of this study is to investigate the representations of postcolonial subjectivity and the portrayal of ecological devastation in Helon Habila‘s Oil on Water and Kaine Agary‘s Yellow-Yellow. Both texts succinctly capture the exploitation and struggles of the inhabitants of the oil rich Niger Delta. They also portray the causes and consequences of the characters‘ fight against these injustices. This exercise has sought to study ecological destruction and how it has influenced the characters in the two texts. The study also has interrogated the manner in which the exploitation of oil by multinational oil companies has affected the subjects and natural settings, and how this has led to the displacement and disenfranchisement of the characters out of homes and natural resources. The characters in the texts are marginalised and resort to violence against the government and the multinational corporations as an expression of disaffection and to create an avenue through which they can alleviate themselves from political disenfranchisement to economic emancipation, environmental development, and the protection of their cultural values. Employing the postcolonial theory and an ecocritical approach, the study has addressed itself to the various forms of subjectivity and ecological issues raised in the texts. It has adopted a qualitative research methodology employing the close textual analysis technique to interpret the primary texts. Library materials, articles and journals have been used optimally to interpret the data acquired from the primary texts in a bid to meet research objectives. The findings of this research show that the exploration of oil has far reaching consequences on the human social- cultural fabric, whilst, on the other hand, oil spillages have devastating effects on human, animal, and aquatic life. The study concludes that the forces of subjectivities are responsible for the denial of fundamental human rights and the collapse of infrastructure in the Niger Delta region. The study, therefore, has recommended that further research be undertaken on texts that show the consequential destruction of species, impact on life and the decadence of culture within the region.