The Social Consciousness of Postmodernist Literature: A Case of Imbuga’s the Return of Mgofu
Felistus Kaingi Kuvulya; Dr, Geoffrey Mugubi

Literature plays a paramount social function in transforming our society. Despite Francis Imbuga being a postmodernist advocate and his popularity in telling the truth laughingly having flourished in Africa and abroad his play The Return of Mgofu has not received much scholarly attention. This is despite social transformation of postmodernist drama being the subject of reference for societal corrective measure. The study interrogates the social consciousness of postmodernist literature in Francis Imbuga‟s play The Return of Mgofu. The study is grounded on the premise that the postmodernists have sensitised individuals and groups to thrive in artistic expression. Postmodernists proposition that there are no distinctive ways of literary presentation by artists. Therefore, this unique transformative role of postmodernist literature is a critical study especially when it comes to the genre of drama. The study on social consciousness of postmodernist literature in Francis Imbuga‟s play The Return of Mgofu was guided by postmodern literary theory. The study objective was to underscore the relevance of Imbuga‟s play The Return of Mgofu to the contemporary society. The study employed qualitative research paradigm which involves data collection procedures that result in open ended non numeric data. This was analyzed using non statistical methods. We employed a design of intrinsic case study which is intended to bring forth an intrinsic nature of a particular case in which, Imbuga‟s play The Return of Mgofu itself was of great interest to the researcher. This was supplemented by a method of content analysis to collect secondary data concerning Francis Imbuga‟s play The Return of Mgofu. This was done imaginatively in order to internalize Imbuga‟s drama as the main source of data of the research. Consequentially, research revealed that social consciousness in Imbuga‟s play The Return of Mgofu exposes existential crisis. Imbuga being the artist is powerless and he plays within the chaos which is the only course against defeat. Social consciousness was mainly identified through Imbuga‟s idiosyncrasy of tending to tell the truth laughingly. Upon which, the study concluded that literary knowledge and truth as commended by artists is as a result of social, historical or political reasons which are contextual since these are constructed to varying degrees depending on the inspiration of the artist. The study attempts to fill the Lacuna existing in social consciousness of postmodernist drama.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijll.v6n1a13