Hybridity - A Destination for the Postcolonial World in Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel and Chinua Achebe’s No Longer at Ease

Jesutomi Mary ORIJA


The concept of hybridity has hitherto been treated as a state of being which describes the double identity of a person or thing. Hybridity, which is the quality of possessing a dual identity upon an encounter with a foreign culture, has proven to be unavoidable as cultures interact and are internalized by individual minds. Studying the pattern of economic, intellectual, cultural and industrial growth of postcolonial countries- such as Nigeria, Ghana, America, amongst others, as they relate with other cultures on the international stage, hybridity metamorphoses from simply a state of being a crossbreed to a destination to be reached in order to attain equilibrium of non-identical ideas which now inform the modern mind. The position of this article is to bring to the limelight the aspect of hybridity which seems unrecognized, or rather, unexplored and unappreciated- the advantage of hybridity which provides the opportunity for a peaceful co-habitation of native and western cultures, and to disabuse minds of what Adichie calls the single story. As such, it should be pursued as a height to be attained, well above the dilemma of not wholly belonging to an indigenous heritage nor acknowledged as unwelcome in a foreign culture.
Literary prototypes have portrayed both the good and bad sides of hybridity, with the latter having more references and chances of survival than the former. Literary critics have, however, resorted to cross-culturality as a means of escape from a world ruled by the ‘myth of group purity’ in the words of Ashcroft et al. (2002). From this submission, it is opined that hybridity- in this sense, a peaceful blend of two cultures with the ability to strike a balance between them with natural mastery, is the future of postcolonial worlds that seek stability. It is therefore, a destination rather than merely a state of being. This paper aims at reimagining the negatively coloured concept of hybridity.


Hybridization; Identity; Cross-culturality; Destination; Stability

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/12657


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