Autobiographical Perspetives of Exile in East African Drama: An Analysis of Three Plays by John Ruganda
Njogu, Jackson Gikunda
Muriiki, Anne Kinya
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East Africa has undoubtedly been scarred by upheavals of various kinds, ranging from terrorism, tribal wars and political violence. The conflicts have often been between individuals, clans, tribes or systems, but there have also been conflicts within the individual which often lead to alienation or physical removal from the society. This paper critically examines John Ruganda’s representation of exile and a search for restoration in three of his plays. The texts selected for this analysis are Covenant with Death, (1973), The Floods (1980) and Shreds of Tenderness (2000). Each of these texts represents a decade of Uganda’s history as well as Ruganda’s personal experiences in his writing career spanning three decades. This paper argues that the life of an author is intricately related to literary outputs, and consequently, the texts under analysis can be read as one story the same way the dramatist lived one continuous life. The central focus is the playwright’s addiction with the theme of exile which is also a personal experience. The various dimensions of exile are explored through constituents of alienation, political causations and physical dislocation. The paper adopts a structural analytical approach proposed by Anne Gagiano, complemented by the linear model of Isaac Yetiv.
- Humanities