The Elements Of Georg Simmel‘s Theory " The Stranger" in Wole Soyinka’s Play "The Strong Breed"

Mohammad Motiee, Atefeh Lieaghat


 The Strong Breed, is a drama by Wole Soynika, depicts the traditional customs of African tribes which their superstitious beliefs imposed on their life. ‘‘The play is about ritual and superstitious believes which were in Africa society. The theme of this play focuses on scapegoat of societies which to sacrifice one of their own to bring purification for the society. The play begins with the scene which Sunma urges Eman to leave the village before the evening. Since the village had an annual the New Year purification rite; in order to, the wrong doings of the villagers are carried on the carrier, a stranger, to redeem of their sins. Because they believed that the community gains the spiritual strength after the scapegoat of one strange person’’ ( The play moves on Ifada one of the marginal characters, when the elder chooses him, but he rejected to become the carrier. The one is a girl, who was sick, so she separated from the other children because of her sickness that is why she decided to scarify her doll as the carrier. Eman is the main character who was the responsible for carrying the tribe‘s belief as a carrier. Regarding to Simmel’s idea this paper attempts to show the concept of the stranger and how the theory of the stranger will apply on the protagonist. Upon Simmel‘s view stranger is a person or a group which comes today and remains for tomorrow. In fact, the stranger is a concept which by some characteristics in the community obtains the identity. Although from the beginning he / she does not belong to the group of society, after some actions and interactions, become the part of the new society. To Simmel, the stranger is an objective (production) of the society and not the subjective part. Eman is a person who carry the Simmel’s theory willingly sacrificed himself to remove the stranger label from himself. Although he was the teacher of the village, he does not have an identity for the people who live in the village except the concept of the stranger. He believed that he never become the subjective part of that society unless he absorbs himself in the heart of the community. As a result, this feature leads him to remove the cover of the stranger from himself. Indeed, Eman, the main character of The Strong Breed demonstrates the theory of the stranger by Simmel.


Stranger, society, action, interaction, conflict, sacrifice.

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