The Struggle of the Subjugated Inhabitants: 'The Famished Road'

Pallavi Bhardwaj


African literature is primarily a protest literature articulating dissent in opposition to the infringement of the Britishers on the well-knit and cohered ethnic societies mourning the loss of an integrated multi-racial society. African fiction has surfaced as a sort of retort to the Eurocentric account of the Africans as untamed populace dwelling in a murky continent. However, Africans and their society are still living under the distress of subjugation of European imperialism. In the current scenario too the black race is hankering after sovereignty, communal integrity and egalitarianism that literature has sensed profoundly. Nigerian novelist Ben Okri revives the vanished era of the Africans via scrutinizing the muddle of iniquitous slavery, oppression, dislodgment and diaspora of precolonial, colonial and postcolonial period that brings forth the harrowing memoirs of the authors penning down the brutal instances of the said period. Okri’s The Famished Road re-picturises an exceptional veracity of Nigerian history and ethnicity. The writer’s recollections of the unvarying existence of civil war in his place while he was young has a sturdy sway in texting the novel. The work takes one and all to the mythic and implausible facet of African beliefs and lifestyle. The Famished Road is a lighthouse on the mounting deprivation, suppression, hunger and stillness of the underprivileged section corresponded aptly through the title. The novel portrays an asymmetric circulation of socio-political clout among the two thoroughly divergent factions viz-a-viz, the colonizer and the colonized, the affluent and the underprivileged, the white and the black, the politicians and the commoners, and the modern and the ancient. Herein one group seems to overpower the other by virtue of its authority and dominance. The present paper endeavors to comprehend and depict the current socio-political reality of African state through Ben Okri’s The Famished Road by peeping deep into Africa’s traumatized past and accordingly rediscovering and regaining Africa’s personal ethics and customs for an astonishing subsistence.


struggle; paucity; hegemony; autocracy; dearth;

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