‎ A Neocolonial Study of Hybridity and Identity in Wole ‎Soyinka's the Interpreters

Bahman Moradi, Fazel Asadi Amjad


Wole Soyinka, the first African Nobel laureate in literature in 1986 is mainly famous for his plays. However, one of his novels, the Interpreters (1965), has been praised and criticized for stylistic and ideological problems, by some critics. The title of this novel draws the attention of many readers to these interpreters. The interpreters of the Soyinka's novel are five intellectuals who have returned home after independence of their country. The critical views of these characters -interpreters- is clearly evident from the widespread corruption and other social problems in most Nigerian sectors and institutions. The identity crisis throughout this novel can be recognized as a cultural mix and in some cases a biological one. The psychological problems of social identity, any identity crisis and hybridity, as well as the term "colonialism" are the main concerns of this study. Neocolonialism was analyzed as a more controversial term compared to other dominant terms, postmodernism and postcolonialism. After describing neocolonialism and its relation to literature, the study addresses the characters in the novel and discusses the concept of hybridity and identity issues in their lives. Post-independence Nigeria as a background to this work clearly illustrates the identity challenge and hybridity in Soyinka’s characters. Not to be mesmerized by western culture and amalgamate it ineptly with of one’s own, as well as highly valuable political intervention of literature to reflect psychological problems of supressed societies would be regarded as a significant finding of such researches. 


neo-colonialism; identity; hybridity; colonizer; colonized

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