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The World Is Not Enough: How Nigerian Folk Poem, ‘Hunger’ Reflects The Nigerians’ Life

914 words - 4 pages

'The World is NOT Enough':How Nigerian Folk Poem, 'Hunger' reflects the Nigerians' LifeBy : Asvergi Varativoni112011033Nigerian folk poem, hunger, reflected a socio-cultural issue of how Nigerians live their life in poverty. It could be seen clearly in every single line of the poem. Let's take a closer look to the lines. The title, 'hunger' itself could mean two things. Literary hungry, a feeling that you need food to fill in your stomach; and it could also mean a desire to get something because hungry is a desire too. The question now is what desire? desire to be freed from poverty. Thus, the main focus here is poverty that is symbolized by hunger. If we see the social condition in Nigeria, www.ruralpovertyportal.org notes that "… poverty is widespread in the country and has increased since the late 1990s." further more, bbc.co.uk added that "poverty has risen in Nigeria, with almost 100 million people living on less than a $1 (£0.63) a day…" Imagine how they life with less than $1 a day. What stuff can they get with that amount of money? Therefore, the poet is trying to define Nigerians suffering toward this poem.The first and second lines carry a symbolism meaning about people who rely on God due to their hard condition, poverty - 'hunger makes a person climb up to the ceiling and hold on to the rafters'. Ceiling is something that located above us; it symbolizes the God's place, up there watching us. Then, 'rafters' which is part of the ceiling that those people hold onto give a meaning to the poem that those people hold on to God.The hunger makes them 'lie down' that is mention three times in the poem. 'it makes people lie down but not feel at rest - unable to stand - and count the rafters'. 'lie down' here means that those people have already surrender, they have given up, not knowing what should they do to escape from poverty. Meanwhile, 'count the rafters' means something related to God. It symbolizes their feeling, they try to be patient waiting for God's help to get them out of the poverty. But God seems to be slow.Ninth until 17th lines show us that poverty make them willing to do anything, even break the rule and disobey the norms. It also implies that hunger, poverty, could happen to anyone, it doesn't take into account your religion or gender. 'when Moslem is not hungry, he says, we are not forbidden to eat monkey.' It is an irony since in Quran, indeed the Moslem are not allowed to eat monkey. Thus, it means that when hunger comes, no matter what the rules and the norm says, it doesn't matter as long as they could satisfy their hunger. Thereafter, breaking the rules and disobey the norm is...

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