Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Kenneth Clarke, Robert Johnston, Ronald Nash

Degree Program

Department of Philosophy & Religion

Degree Type

Master of Arts


One of the two aims of this research was to elucidate from a philosophical perspective a selected body of Nigerian fiction. The second objective has been to investigate the dominant themes of the two selected novelists and relate them to existentialism.

The most essential theme was found to be colonialism and its disruption of the African culture. It was implied in the works of the novelists that authentic African culture was dislocated by British imperialism in Nigeria. The use of force and other features of power was manifested in the takeover. Through various literary devices and innuendo they suggest that the social values of their people had been altered to the advantage of the Europeans. They, however, blame the Nigerians as well for their lack of will power to stabilize things. One of the most important findings is the fact that man will always seek his well-being first before caring for others.

The philosophy of the existentialism in whose light the African situation has been analyzed points out that power is the underlying factor in all human situations. Since power determines who gains the upper hand in life’s struggle the existentialists alert man to the notion that everyone has his own existence to guard. To relate this idea to the Nigerian situation, it then means that the Nigerian has his destiny to guard. This is found to be the coded message of the Nigerian novelists to their people.


African Languages and Societies | Arts and Humanities | Comparative Philosophy | Philosophy | Religion