Saturday, June 11, 2016

Themes of “Ambush”

themes of Ambush
The themes in a poem are the recurrent issues that help the understanding of the underlying meaning of that poem. Below are some of the important themes in the poem titled “Ambush”.

Dreams: In the poem, “Ambush” written by Gbemisola Adeoti, the land is likened to all kinds of wild animals such as a hawk, whale and tiger. Each of these animals often throws their preys into fear and chaos. The whale, for instance, swallows other fishes in the sea, the same way the African leaders usurp the people's acess to decent living standards. In the same way, the "land" is also regarded as a hawk that frustrates the people's lives as they run for dear life. As a tiger with sharp teeth, the land, Nigeria chases the people away from achieving their dreams. Being a carnivorous animal, the lion does not enter a bush except that all other animals scurry for safety. As the lion’s appearance in the wilderness portends a great danger to the animals, so do the African leaders, who are indeed lions in sheep clothes. During election, the people are cajoled into voting them into power. But the moment they get there, the people are forgotten. Not only do they also formulate policies that do not only frustrate the people, but also dash their hopes and aspirations.

Difficult situation: From the title of the poem “Ambush”, which means to hide in order to strike someone, an idea of a difficult situation is presented. All the animals mentioned in the poem portend danger. So the land is a metaphor for Nigeria nay Africa and her corrupt and heartless politicians who lay an ambush on their people’s development, swallowing their talents and resourcefulness, killing their dreams. When this happens, the people would fight back, and that would result in tribulation. This is a difficult situation for both the oppressed and the oppressor. Injustice, the popular saying goes, breeds nothing but social unrest.

Corruption: The issue of corruption in the poem may be derived from line 4, in which the land, which could be referred to as the corrupt politicians, is said to be “aborting dreams of a good catch.” When there is corruption in the land, the people suffer the most. Their progress, dreams and struggle would be rendered worthless. Nigeria is a blessed country, a land endowed with natural and human resources. But Nigerians, her people continue to live from hands to mouth, having been deprived of all the basic amenities of life such as pipe borne water, constant electricity and decent shelter. No doubt, this is because the few who govern the people engage in corrupt practices with impunity.

Hopelessness:  Where there is corruption on a large scale, the people become hopeless. Hopeless, they therefore resort to nefarious activities. When the people feel cheated by the people on whom they have placed their trust, they tend to vent their anger through unthinkable means. The recent cases of militancy in Nigeria and many parts of the African continents today is as a result of injustice in the form of hoplessness. They feel marginalised. This hopelessness further extended to the people’s belief system so much that success is attributed to cheating and cutting corners.

Bad leadership:

Even though the poem constantly mentions “the land" there really can be no land without a people, both the leader and the led. Therefore, the land symbolises the rulers, the leaders. How unpalatable that the leader whom the people have chosen to direct their affairs are laying ambush on their progress and happiness. The land (the leader) is a “hawk”, “whale” and “tiger” that terrorises her own people, by “aborting” their dreams through mean policies and insensitivity. Because of this, there is a deliberate act of “halting venturous walk at dusk”. By doing this, the government are “courting unceasing disaster”, for the people would be forced to take up arms against their oppressor. Worse, there seems to be no hope in sight as the land lies patently ahead. Violence begets violence!