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The comparison of ‘The House of Hunger’ and The Interpreter”
The theme in the house of hunger though hard to easily identify is a spoiling with the imbalances in existence at the time, equally a suspicion of the future. The author does not want a temporal solution and practically demands that the problem is recognized and dealt with accordingly. ‘I sent you to University,’ she said. ‘There must be big jobs waiting for you out there.’ ‘Tell that to Ian Smith,’ Peter butted in maliciously. ‘All you did was starve yourself to send this shit to school while Smith made sure that the kind of education he got exactly what has made him like this.’ The old man died beneath the wheels of the twentieth century. There was nothing left but stains…… And the same thing is happening to my generation. ‘The interpreter brings out the theme of social rebirth where customary and forcefulness takes the center stage and the author’s life-long involvement in social and political activism is a clear evidence of this. There is still the aspect of retaliation and spiteful which the author through use of the different narrative technique is able to bring out well. ‘Metal on concrete jars my drink Lobes”
In the house of hunger, the author uses vivid description widely.’ The underwear of our souls was full of holes and the crotch it hid was infested with lice. We are whores; eaten to the core by the syphilis of the white man’s coming.’ The use of imagery is also evident, ‘I could not have stayed on in that ‘house of Hunger’ where every morsel of sanity was snatched from you the way some kinds of birds snatch food from the mouths of babes.’ The author use of these words like ‘soul’ and ‘underwear’ is to clearly show how this real situation is intimate to the ‘ghetto” as he calls them. Flashbacks used here are away the narrator tells of his memories, ‘I did not know where I was going and I did not care. I was carrying in a plastic bag all my possessions in the world…..’
The interpreter, use of imaginative style is shown with significance, the smartness and liveliness of members of this group and their mostly uncompromising but often egocentric and tangled involvement at the limitations of the political life of the new nation. These are the graduate who had come from abroad and had been in the middle-class level and they are so full of themselves. Through the use of the various characters the reader is able to follow the narration, Bandele, Egbo, Kola, Sagoe, and Sekoni are the educated elite and other characters are given minor role though collectively complete the narration. The key characters serve as a type who allows the novelists to sightsee the extravagances and growing disenchantment of the educated in a composite character drawn from the group of the elite who inhabited the culture of the cities. The road incident which later results in death is a metaphor which implies the present political and social situation in Nigeria, and what it would cost to see the desired progress and development in the future.
The two books though in their own peculiar way was a prophetic connotation for their respective nations and the authors used their position as writers to confront their present situation and provoke questions which later show changes though not as direct as it would be expected. The road metaphor, unplanned and thus with full of surprises, like the potholes which later lead to the accident. The same situation is to become true with Nigeria in their postcolonial progress. The style gives the author the chance to advance entrance to his character’s insensible levels of responsiveness. The aforesaid circumstances shaped individuals who were irritated but worse annoyance both at ancestral and state levels was unkindly subdued to find expression in works of narratives.
The Interpreters touches on features of the ethical order of the new founded class of intellectuals with features of social disorder like exploitation in political ranks and unbending elite, unashamed social climbing, reactions of various settings and pretence and averageness among middle- class specialists. Women in the elite group are standing out which is not viewed well by some, ‘I hope you all live to bury your daughters’. ‘Just be careful. When you create your own myth don’t carelessly promote another‘s, and perhaps a more harmful one’ This characterization is used to clearly show the effects of the narration.
The title of the book, ‘The House of Hunger”, which clearly shows the state of the nation, and not just ordinary food shortage which was destroying post-independent Rhodesia at the time. Reasonably it implies a more far-reaching and metaphoric hunger of the soul, that thirst and vacuum within the national awareness, aiming for more but held back by shortage and corruption. Through his personal experience, the author is clearly able to show the state of the nation and his lack of interest to stay in the ‘house of hunger’, this follow of perception emphasizes the absolute disorder in the nation.