Scars on Both Body and Mind: Trauma and Rage in Ola Rotimi’s Hopes of the Living Dead

Omeh Obasi Ngwoke, Ene Eric Igbifa


A tendency towards apparently unprovoked rage characterizes the actions of many a leper-character in Ola Rotimi’s Hopes of the Living Dead. This study attempts, therefore, to utilize insights from clinical psychology or, more specifically, trauma studies to seek out the roots of these characters’ paranoia. Relying on insights from such trauma theorists as Sigmund Freud, Cathy Caruth, Esther Giller and Glen Most, among others, the study traces the root of the leper-characters’ reactions to both internal and external stimuli in the colony to which they have been consigned by the authorities to the repressed sense of neglect and discrimination brought upon by their sequestration. The implied contention of this study is that a different, more humane course of treatment for the leper-characters which seeks to integrate them into, and not separate them from, the society of which they see themselves rightly as a part would have averted the all-too-frequent temper tantrums that suffuse the atmosphere of the play.




Trauma; Rage; Paranoia; Stimulus; Literature; Drama; Ola Rotimi and Hopes of the Living Dead

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