Humanising the Dehumanised: Collective Pedagogy in Nwamuo’s The Prisoners

Ameh Dennis Akoh, Charles Ukim Adora


The question of a convenient equipoise between the artist and his immediate society has for long dominated the field of sociology of literature. This has become increasingly unavoidable in dictatorial regimes. For leftist writers, the basic essence is to ‘unsettle’ the already settled and indeed defeatist or fatalistic mindsets of the oppressed class. Consequently, the essence of the education their literature offers is towards the goal of liberation: indeed, the practice of freedom is central to this theory of action. In this wise, the paper is a study of The Prisoners, a play written by one of Nigeria’s second generation playwrights. The paper observes that our chosen playwright belongs to the Left and he adopts the principle of collective pedagogy, which involves collective teaching and thinking through together among the vectors of revolutionary change. Again, it is observed that the playwright’s personal experience of the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970) coupled with his working experiences and social rapport with the rulers and the ruled in Nigeria or elsewhere may have conditioned his conceptualisation of the play. Thus, the essence of investigating Nwamuo’s The Prisoners is to highlight the implications of collective pedagogy in enhancing social change and development in the society.Keywords:  Humanising; Dehumanised; collective pedagogy; freedom, humanity Résumé:  Toutes les sociétés humaines, quelle que soit son apparence primitive, est régie par un code de lois. Ces lois donnent un ordre et un sens à leur vie et servent de contrôle social et du développement global de la société. Certaines sociétés négligent les droits naturels et civils de leurs citoyens, en particulier les femmes et les enfants, parce qu'elles pensent que les droits des femmes et des enfants sont suffisamment protégés par leurs maris et leurs pères. Mais les traitements inhumains infligés aux femmes et aux enfants, voire par leurs maris et les pères ont mis en évidence les erreurs et les problèmes de considérer que les droits des femmes et des enfants dans la société sont protégés. Le présent article examine donc les dangers posés de considérer les droits des enfants comme acquis dans la société et les efforts déployés au Nigeria, à fin de protéger l'enfant pour un développement global et durable de la société.Mots-clés:  enfants, droits; droit de survie; droit de development; droit de participation; droit de protection

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