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POWER RELATIONS: ABSENTEE FATHERS, NEARLY ABSENT MOTHER AND THE FORCED PRESENCE OF THE HELPLESS CHILD.
The phenomenon of abandoned children and parent's irresponsibility is at the epicenter of Amma Darko's construction. As a corollary to this, critics have come to review the text from standpoints within the established phenomenal domain. Similarly, the motivation here holds sway within this parameter. However, the objective here is to examine the nature of culture towards children and its attendant role in defining into existence a class order - the adults versus the children. Such class identification signals a hint of marxist structure, a society in which a powerful group dominate and oppress the powerless marginal group. Unlike other previous critiquing that has investigated this phenomenon from a Marxist lens only and moral perspectives, the uniqueness of this study rests on the fact that it draws insight from both Marxism and Cultural Criticsm in the identification of the origin of such socio-phenomenal damage using Amma Darko's Faceless
Keywords: Amma Darko Faceless Cultural Criticsm Marxism
The inquest here railroads on the core objective to provide a sustained argument on the marginalisation of a particular group in the textual society of Faceless. Indeed, as the title suggests, Faceless speaks of the faceless group of the textual society, that is, the children. In Darko's fictional setting, it appears to be an unconscious culture for children to be alienated from a rational sociology of living and from the benefit of basic commonwealth. Coming off from that domain, the analytical adventure here bisects the text with the tools Marxist theory and Cultural Criticsm. The aim of simultaneously harmonising both theories is to remarkably evoke an in-depth understanding of the unconventional portrayal of Marxist classification and the societal attitude towards such dangerous classification. The ultimate aim here is to, by virtue of the findings here, expose certain dehumanizing treatment on children by the exotic adult group and also, to ensure attitudinal checks on the indifference children are compellingly subjected to through Darko's Faceless. The question that should preface the analysis here then is What is Marxism and Cultural Criticsm?
Cultural Criticism has often been misread as Cultural Studies by quite a number of people but they are actually not the same. William Rouster's "Cultural Criticism: Towards a Definition of Professional Praxis" is, perhaps, a well researched handbook that provide adequate exegesis on the subject of Cultural Criticism. For Rouster, he differentiates the two by noting that “where Cultural Studies often appears to elaborate on hidden elements of society, Cultural criticism often openly critizes mainly political elements with the express purpose of changing society” (6). He goes on in his differential presentation by acknowledging that another difference between cultural criticism and cultural studies is that there is a definite pedagogical bent to cultural criticism that is often lacking in cultural studies” (6). The latter description suggests that cultural criticism is more of a literary tool that can be applied in the appreciation of a text. Perhaps, it is to this Rouster provides a working template for the criticism by defining that “Cultural criticism [can] be defined as a pedagogical excercise involving an examination of political elements of society in an attempt to tease out the unconscious Ideologies held by society members with the intention of creating a more enlightened society” (67). Patricia Bizzell glosses over Rouster's submission in her essay entitled, "Cultural Criticism: A Social Approach to Studying Writing", by recognising that, “I think the question of how to do cultural criticism is crucial for our field because I hope it will help us to understand specifically what Ideologies are contesting in the writing classroom and what we can do to foster social justice through our activities there” (226). Advancing forward, Bizzell beautifully captures her understanding of the idea around cultural criticsm by noting:
I think it is important for academics to become culturalcritics, or critical intellectuals as the practitioners are sometimes called, because I hope that the activity of cultural criticism will foster social justice by making people aware of politically motivated ideological concealments. Underlying this hope are two assumptions, that the present social order is unjust, and that becoming aware of how injustice is protected and promulgated ideologically will enable people better to resist and change it. (225)
Cultural critics witness that since culture is crucial to the understanding of cultural criticism and in fact, rests at the very centre of the discourse, it becomes important to hold certain unconscious but harmful behaviours, manners, attitude and all form of unguided political stuctures that amplify the voice of a particular group over another. Cultural critics, to this, aim at abolishing harmful inherited cultures that encodes social imbalances. Arguably, this becomes the reason for Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann's rendition in The Social Construction of Reality when they opine that:
Again, the same body of knowledge is transmitted to the next generation. It islerned as objective truth in the course of socialization and this internalized as subjective reality. This reality in turn has power to shape the individual (67).
For the critics, their sympathy to Cultural Criticism is established under the standing that since culture is reified with beliefs, attitude and values which happen to be central to its domain, then these bodies of knowledge should be checked and harmful aspect excised so that a society free of such harmful belief system can emerge and the society can keep transforming in an effort to maintain the equanimity of viability.
Marxist literary theory cannot be broached in isolation to the movement that informed it. Although, today, there are several ideologies that have come to render different perspectives to it. For example the ideology of Karl Marx is slightly different from that of Lenin; and that of Lukács also takes a departure at some point from that of Althusser. However, all seem to meet at the description of what they stand for. Marxist movement emerged from the philosophies, ideas and beliefs of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles who believe in the equality among people and an egalitarianism of a society. It is revealed that the hatching of the movement became unassailable in the 1920s as a result of the correspondences on theories of Socialism between Marx and Engels in the mid-nineteenth century. For Marxist critics, they are of the irrefutable notion that the functioning of society can only be viable of it distances itself from the structures of Capitalism and class stratification. Citing Karl Marx The Communist Manifesto, they argue that the construct of class struggle shall remain ubiquitous until the hierarchical imbalance is distorted and the domineering/submissive binary is completely excised. Marx details that:
The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle. That in every historical epo h, the prevailing mode of economic production and exchange, and the social organization necessarily following it, from the basis upon which it is built up, and from that which alone can be explained by the political and intellectual history of that epoch: that consequently the whole history of mankind (since the dissolution of primitive tribal society, holding land in common ownership) has been a history of class struggles, contests between exploiting and exploited, ruling and oppressed classes; that the history of these class struggles from a series of evolution in which, nowadays, a stage has been reached where the exploited and oppressed class - the proletariat- cannot attain its emancipation from the sway of the exploiting and ruling class - the bourgeoisie - without, at the same time, and once and for all, emancipating society at large from all exploitation, oppression, class distinction and class struggle (8&9)
Among others, what also stands predominantly evident is the recognition of the stationary and historical place of class in the society. Karl Marx here assumes the position of the opposition between the two antagonist pair but he does this by noting the presence of a class structured society. Drawing from the strength of this, Adebayo Balogun in "The African Marxist Experience and New Perspectives" remarks that Marxism literary theory is “fundamentally anchored on the work of Karl Marx, Marxism is a dominant critical theory born in the middle of the 19th century and flourished tremendously throughout the twentieth century” (21). Through his further rendering on the subject, Balogun is of the notion that social and economic factors are crucial denominators of relationship in the society. He further observes that writer's have, often times, on the notion of Marxist theory, fought for the cause of the oppressed through their writings. He stated that a society where capitalismrules cannot flourish socially and emotionally. He concludes by noting that the interest of Marxist literary theory is usually aimed at identifying the imbalances in the society; it is aimed at investigating the class structure in the society for possibilities in overturning hierarchical placing that such society births. In the application and approach of Marxism, therefore, there is a focus on the ideological content of a work. Marxist criticism examines the nature of power structures within a novel. A Marxist critic, in appreciating a text might asks questions such as: who has power? Who lacks power? What is the relationship between power and wealth? Who is exploited by whom and why? How does power remain constant or shift throughout a work of literature? What makes certain characters powerful or powerless?
Marxist criticism examines commodities, possession that gives power: typical commodities are things such as land money but can also be things such as social position, knowledge, or even a person. Upon this, they examine how commodities bring power and why within a work of literature. Thus, Marxist literary theory and critic seek to find problem relating to capitalism, wealth inequality, class struggle, etc. Some of the key concepts include: Classicism, which is an ideology that equates one's values as human beings with the social class to which one belong; Commodification which refers to an attitude of valuing things not for their utility but for their power to impress other or for their resale possibilities. Hegemony refers to the assumption, values and meanings that shape meaning and define reality for the majority of people in a given culture; Use Value suggests an appraisal of something based on what it can do while Ideologyis a set of belief system or product of cultural conditioning. Dialectal Materialism is a core belief in the Marxist milieu that ideas and concepts about ourselves are fashioned in everyday discourse in the language of real life and are not derived from any spiritual reality. The basis of reality is material, no spiritual reality exists. Other concepts include but not limited to False Consciousness, Dialectal Criticism, Interpellation, Exchange Value, Sign Value, Imperialism, etc.
There is a remarkable point of confluence between Marxism and Culturalism especially because both theories are targeted at birthing an enlightened society that is free from both ideological assumptions and practices that will only subject the society to class imbalance. While Marxism aims at exposing the construction of society into classes, Cultural Criticism is targeted at ensuring that the political structures that advance such imbalances are overturned. This critical essence is the undercurrent that this study aims at investigating in Amma Darko's Faceless. In Faeceless, evidently, the society does not follow the archetypal Marxist structure, instead, the society is ostensibly torn between class distribution according to age - the older versus the younger. In the text, the assumption and beliefs that children are faceless in the society is, arguably, what Darko seems to give illumination to. The novelist underscores that children are the most vulnerable in the society yet they are oppressed by the bourgeois class - the older ones. It is upon this foundation that the analysis here comfortably sits with harmonising of both Cultural criticsm and Marxism.
CULTURAL, STRUCTURE, POWER RELATIONS AND THE MUTED CLASS
Several studies have revealed that children are the most vulnerable in the society. This truth appears to herald the critical discourses raised in Amma Darko's Faceless. The creative-artist reached into the doldrums of the society's emotional quarantine to deliver an issue that can be passed off as being faceless. Critics, through the self-promotion campaign on the irresponsibilities of parents the text affords, have critically commented on the subjugation, exploitation and oppression meted against the muted class in the society - children. Unlike the other age grades, children occupies a place in the society, as identified in the text, as having little or no importance. The textual society regards children without a sense of priority and equanimity, even worse when such child does not hail from a well-to-do family. At the very cusp of such negligence, subjugation, exploitation and oppression are, in a sense, some of the essential vitamins the text keeps afoot for a pragmatic and seamless analysis through a Marxist lens.
Running through the gamut of the text, the reader is rewarded with a clip and clear distribution of society according to age. At the very base of such social distribution are the faceless group which are labelled with a disadvantaged anonymity. Children, as offered by the text, are victims of the facelessness that the society considers them with. The tragic heroine, Baby T, and the other comrades in the congress of such malady, continue to face the battering of child abuse - the anguish of street trading, the disillusionment of sexual abuse, the pain of physical abuse, the trauma of emotional abuse and the depression of psychological abuse - and to pump oxygen into the flaming fire, the death of such children go unnoticed or treated with banality. Through and through, Faceless registers how society inadvertently institutionalises the muted state of children. Tying all propositions put together by the novelist, a critical mind cannot help but hold on to the vestiges of the authorial intention which comes out through the words of Obea, Kabria's first child, which reads "the future promise of any nation can be directly measured by the present prospects of its youth" (75). Yet, this promise which Obea confirms to be the words of one time president of the United States of America, John F. Kennedy, seems not to have any bearing as far as children are concerned. At both the divides of the 'haves' and 'havenots', the children undergo varying degrees of negligence. Whether Fofo or Obea, Odarley or Essie, the children face varying degrees of filth, sin, negligence, and woes meted against them by the supposed exotic class.
From point of view of the street children, Faceless presents us with the valueless state of the children. The text greets the reader with the rather bizarre way of life of Fofo:
She chose to spend the night on the old cardboard laid out in front of the provision store at the Agbogbloshie market place... The reason was simply that if she hadn't, she would have stood the risk of losing her newly acquired job of washing carrots at the vegetables wholesale market. Fofo would have spent the Sunday night into Monday dawn with her friends across the road at the squatters' enclave of Sodom and Gomorrah watching adult films her fourteen years require her to stay away from, and drinking directly from bottles of akpeteshie... Ultimately, she would have found herself waking up Monday morning beside one of her age group friends, both of them naked, hazy and disconcerted and oblivious to [why]... they had stripped off their clothes and what exactly they had done with their nakedness (1).
The above is indicative of how, being at the class of have-nots, the children are disadvantaged. Fofo, Ordarley and the other street children live their lives at margins as the society pays them no mind. Everyday, they face the harsh vicissitudes of life and its concomitant vices all by themselves. It is hinted that the grand entry of the children into their teen lives is marked off with a 'sack' into the streets. It would be a crass mistake to elude mentioning that young as they are, striding through the early stage of their teen years, they are already exposed to sexual misdemeanors. At the point of agreeing on the need for Fofo's rehabilitation, Kabria hints, "look... our duty here is not to judge or condemn you for your past sexual behaviour. But we must face reality and deal with it because you did indulge in some careless and unwise sex. We can't wish it away and pretend it didn't happen" (179). Apart from this bitter truth, the children are meant to live off their life on the streets stealing. Fofo divulges that "Baby T would say, 'you see? You are letting the foe rule you. Take charge'. And that meant finding money for food through any means possible. Fair of foul. Begging? Stealing? Whatever. I learnt the art of pickpocketing from her. She was a very good teacher" (101). At such young age, the children become exposed to such crudeness of life. The point to note, however, is that these children are compelled to face such crudeness, not out of choice but out of the unattractive sub-position they occupy. These children are compelled, one way or another, to come to compromise with their classification in the society, being the dregs of the earth. As a result, they venture into the streets where growing up fast to attain a distorted maturity is sport. Fofo narrates:
I didn't just get up one day to live on the streets. I always returned home to mother in the evening... And no food. That was more pressing... When there is no food, you don't wait to be asked by anyone to go out and beg. Hunger is a foe and it is overpowering. When it pushes you, you go. It was the same with Baby T... Maybe mother should have asked for help. But from whom? I don't know. Because most of her family members that I know also have children out on the streets. Many of them also had fathers who didn't stay around to be with them and their mothers (101).
The narrative of Fofo underpins the abuse of children - the unfair conscription into child labour. The parents, rather than opting for the option of regulated procreation through contraceptives, takes to the obverse and rely on their children for sustenance. They find solace in giving birth to children so that the children in turn can cater for their irresponsibility and meant to suffer thr pangs of pain and humiliation associated with living off on the street. Without doubt, children become a quick irritable remedy or better yet, pawns in this metaphoric chess board all because of their position as the proletariats in this sense. They are without option, compelled to bear the brunt of parental sins and accept it as normalcy. To corroborate argument with textual fact is to recount the incident that orchestrated the exit of Fofo's elder brothers from the house:
The first night with their new father in the room, the boys did not sleep for one second... They were early risers,which was the norm with them because work at the seaside demanded it. So their absence when the rest woke up caused no uproar. Then the emptiness in one corner of the room caught their attention. It had been where the two bags containing the few belongings of the boys had been sitting. Maa Tsuru could have gone to look for her sons. She decided not to. She had noticed them toss and turn on their mats the whole night through. They saw it all. For how long could that go on? Better let them go. They were no longer kids. The streets had accelerated their growth. It was time for them to be on their own (131).
The above bare witness to the earlier claim. The children cannot but sheepishly pay the ransom for being tenants in the room of the womb which they occupied for nine months without a single rent. All these and more exacerbated the wailings of Fofo as she laments, "why? Mother, why? What life have you been able to give those of us you already have?... These two at your feet are already going hours without food. Only time, and they will also be venting out onto the streets to fend for themselves. You grew too used to living off the sweat of your children, especially Baby T" (159). This clearly marks the veracity of the earlier maintained notion. Baby T, like so many other children, products of misguided sex, become the sufferers of untold attrocity against nature, against children, against life. In her case, Baby T is forced into child prostitution. Much to the chagrin of the reader, her mother, Maa Tsuru, permits this reality, with little hints of resistance because of the profits it yields.
POWER RELATIONS: ABSENTEE FATHERS, NEARLY ABSENT MOTHER AND THE FORCED PRESENCE OF THE HELPLESS CHILD.
Rational deductions point to the direction of absentee fathers and undisciplined and unsympathetic mothers in the dysfunctional discomfiture of a child. In almost all the presented cases in the text, the parents' lack of interest and only fulfilment of sexual pleasure stand as an unshaken mace in the hand of such dysfunction. For the fathers, their conventional role in a traditional African society shamefully provides them with the excuse of being absent from the fulfilment of a parenting role. As explained by Ms. Kamame, the guest on Harvest FM's GMG show, anchored by Sylv Po, one of the factors that hold sway in the scenario of vagrancy in children is the factor of absentee fathers coupled with distorted beliefs. To place it in the exactitude of her words, "like the incidence of absentee fathers, ignorance, distorted beliefs and perceptions, and most depressing of all, the instances of sheer irresponsibility and misplaced priorities" (108). Ms. Kamame theory holds true in the fashioning of the street Lord, Poison. Poison, being a product of a dysfunctional home which follows the formula of absentee father and a nearly absent mother, grows up as an incurable abuser. He is a perfect example of the creed 'hurting people hurts other people'. Narrating the precedence of his adulthood life, the narrator relays:
Poison ran away from home at the age of eight to hit the streets. Home was a two by four room in a compound house in an Accra inner-city, which he shared with his mother and stepfather and five siblings. He was an extremely shy boy, very soft spoken nd covered from head to toe in scars gained from several years of lashes with a man's leather belt at the stepfather's hands. The stepfather used to boast that he delighted in whipping Poison for the joy of it. His mother was always compelled to look helplessly... Poison landed in a bad company on the streets... Within days, he had mastered in car tape-deck thefts... After three years of stealing car taped-decks, Poison became bored... He desired change... By age fifteen, Poison had mastered the intricacies of pimping enough to have a go at it on his own... Next was the fight for control and a share of the streets. Then he embarked on an aggressive recruitment of girls to own (170).
Two things are particularly striking about Poison's record . Firstly, the fact that despite the unattractive circumstances of his mother, she went on procreating at least eight children for an incapable man and she herself being less capable. Secondly, the absentism of his father as well as incapacitated position of the mother give room for Poison's earned resumé.
It stands to reason that the inability of parents to take responsibility and be deliberate in controlling childbirth, especially in a case where they do not posses the wherewithal in parenting a child, is the root of the brewing problem of the street child phenomenon. Once brought forth into the world, it becomes soely the mother's responsibility to cater for the children both morally and emotionally and in so many cases, even financially. From the beginning of the story, it is noted that Maa Tsuru's first husband cajoled her into marrying him even without having any source of income. Once in Maa Tsuru's house, this husband, Kwei, set out to establish his 'male' figure in the house by having her pregnant. The marriage leads to four children without the faintest plan on how the children will survive. The travesty of union between Kwei and Maa Tsuru show how inconsiderate they are towards the offspring they intend to bring forth. With the knowledge of their financial state, they still go ahead in procreating. The rationale behind such inconsiderate financial disposition boils down to the power the 'couple' weilds. From a pragmatic and Marxist perspectives, they sit at the helm of affairs and the children, the vulnerable, the one whose rights, priviledges, considerations, welfare and opinion amount to nothing, as in the case of the proletariats, are meant to accept this peril without hint of resistance. The parent-bourgeoisie themselves walk out of the awful circumstance they create for their 'subjects'. Typical of the upper-class, they send the children to hunt, that is, enslave them and collect the proceeds from them. The text bears witness on how Maa Tsuru feed off on her children (The boys, Baby T and Fofo).
To add fine bearing to a good argument is to also consider Maa Tsuru's second 'union'. Not much different from the first, Kpakpo, her new man has no source of income too but delight in engaging in acrobatics capable of bringing forth children. Not only that Kpakpo is without work, he is also without a decent living. The question that this immediately presents is how can such an irresponsible father take care of his need, let alone his seeds? The narrator exposes that "from one moment to the next, Kpakpo became a floating one-room landlord without accomodation. Maa Tsuru bacame his convenient and readily available solution. All who thought that Maa Tsuru would get rid of Kpakpo after the truth about him came out were to be disappointed... She didn't. It turned out that she was pregnant... Kpakpo still did not have a job" (133). On the part of Maa Tsuru, she herself acts in the position of a tyrant and oppressor. Despite her experience with men, she still subcumb to the entreaties of a jobless Kpakpo and goes as far as making the marriage fertile. This, indeed, carves out the Marxist ideology that can be engaged in reviewing the episode.
It goes beyond Maa Tsuru's ordeal, hints on some other families also suggest similar deductions. The inference could be that the textual society is one in which parents take up the oppressive position in bringing forth a child into the world, either to establish their fertility or make a boastful statement that advances their irresponsibilities. Whether here or there, the truth still remains that this oppressive demeanour strikes a negative rippling effect that either the parents are oblivious to or feign oblivion about. For example, at Naa Yomo's family house, Vickie and Kabria overheard two ladies commenting on an issue. Valourising her husband's procreating might, one of the ladies brags "I wanted three children. His stubbornness has brought us six. And he still won't [stop]..." (85). Naa Yomo herself confesses that " I bore eleven children into the world... Do you know how many of my children I have buried? Five" (87). Although, the text does not establish the circumstance under which the children died but going by the description one can correctly predict that lack of welfare and not natural occurrence sent the children to their untimely death. Naa Yomo does not also fail to tell the reader of her good father who by her standard of child bearing was an honourable man. She pontify "this house was built by an honourable man, for his twelve sons. I am the daughter of one of those twelve sons" (89). It appears that in the scheme of child creation by the parents, the children's welfare does not hold sway in any way. At the hairdressing saloon, around which Baby T's body is dumped, the owner of the hair dressing saloon also adds up to the case study here. She laments to Kabria:
I am here to work and make my chop money for the day. See all the apprentices too? They are all expecting something from me by the close of the day, on top of which I also need to save something to cater for my daughter, her upkeep and education is all upon my head... Not one cedi do I get from the man who fathered my little girl. The only thing that man ever gave her was his last name. It cost him not a pesewa. Yet he made sure that I paid for it. He came and quaffed six free bottles of beer at my expense. Six! Bought soely from my sweat and toil. Afterwhich he did the disappearing act from our lives, never to return again (61).
Adding the pieces together go to emphasise that children are the disadvantaged position in the society. Their demands and social welfare are considered with utter levity. Absentee fathers, nearly absent mothers often breed helpless vagrant children. From Naa Yomo's neighbours, to Naa Yomo herself (however partial); to Naa Yomo's grandfather, one can conclude that these families do not have the means to take care of the children they seem to boast about yet delight in their numbers. The saloon boss is also not an exemption for we are told of how she so much focuses on her work and perhaps, leaves her children to the mercy of fat for training and guidance.
The experience of the hairdresser, being irresponsibile towards her children, is also the case with Kabria's husband, Adade. Although, they live a tolerably fair life, but Adade's case can also be akin to the case of absentee father. The reason for such conclusion on Adade despite his effort in providing for his family can be recollected from Ms. Kamame's enlightened opinion on Sylv Po GMG programme. Ms. Kamame opines that:
It is not only the father who refuses to acknowledge or take responsibility for his child, but also the father with a narrow perception of fatherhood, who sees his role as fulfilled so long as he has paid the school fees, placed food on the table and put clothes on the child's back... But the child in the latter case may not necessarily end up in the streets to beg in order to survive, while the child in the former case, is likely to (112).
With this template as a guide, even with lesser damage, it is clear that Adade is also an absentee father. His behaviour of not establishing a cordial relationship between himself and the children cannot go unnoticed. In the house, he plays the role of the traditional patriarchal figure, one akin to a god-like immortal. The consistency in this even brings the children to the state of Ideological conditioning. It becomes counter-intuitive to them that a father should provide for their needs. It makes the children wonder on the correctness of their mother, Kabria, in going out to attend to office duties and not wait behind to receive their father when he comes back from work. Through the text, one notices the shock that this act sparked in Adade. It reveals:
He never really got over that night he arrived home and found that Kabria had gone out. A night that Ottu rather audaciously had told him to the face, that, well, they had all agreed in the car on their way home from school that, if they needed something which any of the children would normally have asked to be carried out by Kabria, well, they would ask Daddy to do, because he was to be both 'Mummy' and 'Daddy' in one for that night, as Mummy had so often had had to be in Daddy's absence. For this reason, Adade, who was used to having his briefcase taken from him at the door on arriving home, while he strode in leisurely to slump on the sofa and moan about how tired he was, Kabria's ever ready to listen ears, found himself having to take care of not only himself but the children too (199).
This makes unassailable the remark that the distribution of roles in the family, in a traditional Afriacan setting also accounts for the helplessness of the child. The aggression of power from the father forces the innocent child into believing that it is abnormal for a father to attend to their needs. For them, it becomes a customary reasoning to acquiescence that a father is a father because it ought to be his nature to be absent. Fashioned out of a Marxist dynamics, the ideological conditioning is successful at the indoctrination it gives to the children. If the 'upperclass-and-lowerclass' formula is anything to go by as evidenced in the text, then the onus is up to aggregate such formula to 'father and children' maintaining such matrix.
The text, Faceless, has been able to breed a breeding ground for one to explore the trajectory of power relations as it appeals to a Marxist temperament. In a bid to establish the complex infrastructure of power, Faceless presents two classes of people. However, unlike the orthodox Marxist register, the distribution of people here negotiates a divergent bend; it is a distribution based on age. The children are seated at the base of the society and forced, oppressed and impoverished just so as the agenda of the upper-class (the adults) can be advanced. The text brings this phenomenon to bare from various prismatic lens. It is upon the lens of cultural practices that this analysed phenomenon wrests its strength from. Through the social practices and economical fabric of acceptable behaviours, one is able to accurately render that the prevailing attitudes of the textual society towards children have orchestrated this class disorder. In the end, an unwavering notion is established which expresses that the society dismisses or, at denial, ignore best behaviours in order to satisfy their erroneous selfish bourgeois desire of the older people.
Berger, Peter and Thomas Luckmann. The Social Construction of Reality. New York: Doubleday, 1976.
Bizzell, Patricia. "Cultural Criticism: A Social Approach to Studying Writing". Rhetorive Review, 1989.
Darko, Amma. Faceless. Ghana: Sub-Saharan Publishers, 2003.
Marx, K. and Engels, F. The Communist Manifesto. New York: International Publishers Co., 2014.
Rouster, Williams. "Cultural Criticism: Toward a Definition of Professional Praxis". ERIC, Mar, 1996.
- Quote paper
- Nnadube Ejiogu (Author), 2021, The faceless State of Children. A Cultural and Marxist Analysis of Amma Darko's "Faceless", Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1011232