The Swamp Dwellers Background

The Swamp Dwellers Background

The Swamp Dwellers is a play that was written by Wole Soyinka and was published in 1958. Wole Soyinka is a writer from Nigeria, and he was the first African to be honored with a Nobel Prize, winning the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature. Soyinka was politically active during Nigeria’s struggle for independence, even getting arrested later during the Nigerian Civil War.

In this play, The Swamp Dwellers, the main conflict is between the old and the new way of life in the Nigerian society, and Africa in general. In Southern Nigeria, the individual was tightly bound to his society, and with the introduction of more modern ideas, this relationship was not quite as cohesive as it used to be. In addition, the power of nature was also a difficult factor to deal with when trying to survive and build a life and preserve the culture. There are three main categories of characters: parents, corrupt priests and their followers, and individuals who are always moving and changing. In The Swamp Dwellers, Soyinka explores the controversial themes of power, social injustice, hypocrisy, tyranny, and balance for a functional society.

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