Corruption in “In the Shadow of War”
There are many people that possess a clear sense of good and evil. However, in many cases there is no good or evil in decisions: one must base their decisions on chances of survival. Over time, enough suppression of moral can lead to corruption: this can happen whether it is willing or unwilling. In Ben Okri’s “In the Shadow of War”, there are characters that have been forced into these decisions in order to continue living. The theme of corruption is evident throughout the story; this is seen most clearly though the vicious actions of soldiers, the apologetic actions of the ...view middle of the document...
Upon finding her they attempt to scare information from her regarding the whereabouts of the people she has been harboring. When she gives them no information they beat and kill her. Another example of their corruption is when they attempt to pilfer information from the small Nigerian children by giving them money whenever the children offer any information about the woman. It is easier for them to get information from the children because they are easily susceptible to the bribes of the soldiers.
Throughout the story the corruption is evident; one of the key supporters to this theme is the action of Omovo’s father. These actions include the acceptance of the benefits that accompany the trusting attitude toward the soldiers, and the making of apologetic remarks to the soldiers to the soldiers on behalf of Omovo. Because of the trust and tolerance that Omovo’s father exhibits towards the soldiers, Omovo’s family is able to continue living in Nigeria. A benefit of the father’s trust is the protection of Omovo. This protection is best seen when the soldiers bring Omovo home after he falls down in the forest (Okri 973). The fact that the soldiers know who Omovo is and who his parents are is proof of Omovo’s father’s pandering attitude. When Omovo has wine with the soldier’s and makes apologetic remarks he is trying to stay on the soldiers’ good side. The father attempts to keep a good relationship with the soldiers so he can continue to survive.