A Critical Perspective on the Image of the Environment in Tanure Ojaide’s The Tales of The Harmattan

Kenechukwu Onwudinjo


A lot of controversy has arisen concerning the handling of environment by African writers. While the debate continues on what paradigm is acceptable to African writers and critics of so-called environment, land or nature writings, and whether or not to adopt western originated ecocriticism as a model for African environment conscious literature, since such literature is accused of being too anthropocentric by Eurocentric critics, this essay aims to analyze the image of environment so as to determine the African understanding of environment and demonstrate the appropriateness of the treatment of environment in African literature using selected poems of a renowned Nigerian eco-poet Tanure Ojaide. The essay investigates Ojaide’s representation of the African environment as Mother, Deity and Friend. The essay will take an Afrocentric approach to its analysis and conclusion. It will adopt and apply the aspects of ecocriticism that is suitable to the African perception of environment however, discarding the elements of the theory that may not sit well with African literature. This paper perceives “environment” to mean nature, natural environment, non-human environment or land. 


Ecocriticism, Afrocentric, Eurocentric, Anthropocentric, Environment.

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