Saro-Wiwa's "Night Ride"

George P. Landow, Professor of English and Art History, Brown University

Saro-Wiwa's "Night Ride"

Like Achebe's Anthills of the Savannah and Saro-Wiwa's own "The Stars Below," "Night Ride" presents an almost despairing portrait of Nigerian corruption so complete that it seems to prevent any sort of external aid. Note how Saro-Wiwa introduces the gospel parable of the good samaritan.

Someone's about to profiteer from the sufferings of the poor. These are gifts from Norway carried in second-hand vehicles, reconditioned and donated by the people of Great Britain. For Africans dying of hunger and malnutrition. . . .How could you stop people from stealing food and medicines meant for the public? How could you stop them from taking bribes? . . . A man was going from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among a band of robbers. And they beat him . . . If he did not hold himself, he would keel over. And no one would mourn him. Absolutely no one.["Night Ride," A Forest of Flowers, 114, 115-16; second ellipsis in original]

How does this passage relate to the narrator's later discussion of the problems of modernization, and how does the parable position the narrator?.

Postcolonial Web Africa OV Nigeria OV Saro Wiwa OV