The dialectics of setting and humour in Chukwuemeka ike’s toads for supper, the naked gods and the potter’s wheel

Patrick, Charles Alex (2012)



The study identified the different types and uses of humour in Chukwuemeka Ike’s Toads for Supper, The Naked Gods and The Potter’s Wheel. It examined the interplay between the setting of particular scenes, events, encounters and humour in the novels. In addition, it discussed Ike’s use of setting as an element which initiates the main backdrop for the stories. This was with a view to examining the impact the settings in the novels have on the characters and the choices they made as the stories unfolded. The study made use of both primary and secondary sources of data collection. Primary source included a close reading of the three purposively selected novels based on their strength in illustrating and demonstrating the points relevant to the topic of the study. Secondary sources included books, journal articles and the internet. Henri Bergson’s theory of humour was used as the theoretical framework for evaluating Ike’s use of humour. The research showed that Ike deployed humour for correcting certain human failings rather than for mere entertainment. It was also revealed that what was humorous in one setting might not be in another due to political, economic, social, geographical and cultural differences. The results also revealed that the characters were influenced and shaped by their settings; a character grew, changed and evolved as he grappled with the natural or social environment, especially when he alternated between the rural and urban settings where social and cultural orientations were different. The study concluded that the impact of the settings on the characters was observed in the way that their attitudes and behaviours were altered under different customs and conventions and adopted different habits, fresh insights and new expectations at the end of the stories.