Character Formation and Terrorism in Elnathan John’s Born on A Tuesday And Obinna Udenwe’s Satans and Shaitans
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This study explores how character formation has been deployed in Elnathan John’s Born on a Tuesday and Obinna Udenwe’s Satans and Shaitans in the advancement of their discourse on the different propensities for terrorism in literary studies. The study is premised on the knowledge that character formation is an essential literary element, especially as far as delivering the ideas of a literary writer is concerned. The research is grounded on three objectives namely; to investigate the deployment of character formation as a literary technique used to present the different propensities for terrorism, secondly, to explore how the characters have been presented in the texts to illuminate terrorism, and lastly to interrogate how characterization has been used to reveal the sub-conscious undertones of religious extremism in the two texts. The rationale for this study is based on the wide gap of knowledge in regards to character formation and its relationship with terrorism. The study is delimited to two Nigerian texts, Born on a Tuesday and Satans and Shaitans, which are both rich in form and content and fall in the basket of Africa’s contemporary writing on polemical issues. The study adopts the psychoanalytic literary theory, which gives insights into the basic approaches to character formation and revelation of the sub-conscious undertones of religious extremism in literary texts. The study has also employed the New Historicism literary theory as propounded by Stephen Jay Greenblatt, which helps us gain insight on the relationship between the different power structures that shape the various characters under study and the historical epochs of the two texts were crafted in. The study adopted a qualitative research approach. It also utilized library research, which involved textual analysis of the primary texts and the use of secondary data. Purposive sampling was also done to select characters seen to be rich in the aspects named above for the analysis. The study observes that there are several propensities for terrorism that result in acts of terrorism being witnessed in the two texts. Among them, included the notion of religious extremism, the ramifications of globalization, occultism, among others. It was also discovered that the presentation of characters was achieved through contrastive technique. The characters were presented as either belonging to the moderate wing as well as the extremist side of the two antagonistic groups in the texts. Through the contrastive presentation of characters, the aspects of religious extremism were exposed. Furthermore, this study also found out that, through characterization, the sub-conscious undertones of religious extremism, such as undertones of extreme thoughts, verbalizations, and actions, are the main contributors to the terrorism acts witnessed in the two texts. This study concludes that character formation is an essential component in any investigation that looks into the relationship between literature and terrorism and that it functions to aesthetically question and ideologically attempt to explain the interconnectedness between literature and terrorism extrications. The study recommends that future studies may interrogate the narrative and structural choices employed by the two authors. Moreover, other literary theories can be used to widen the scope of criticism of the two texts.