A broken home and uncontrollable anger in Umar Abdul and Ologwu Ekundayo’s The Broken Moon

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Umar Abdul and Ologwu Ekundayo’s The Broken Moon discussed the psychological effects of a chaotic home on children, Ubaji Isiaka Abubakar Eazy reviews

All novels and no play make Eazy a dull reader, haha! So, today I have chosen to read The Broken Moon by Umar Abdul and Ologwu Ekundayo.

Abdul and Ekundayo based their play, The Broken Moon, on relevant issues in the modern human societies. Those issues include divorce and broken home, the father as a tyrant, disharmony in the family, and of course uncontrollable anger.

Man (a character in the play) comes home one day to find another man in his house and jumps into the conclusion that the man is his wife’s secret lover. He would listen to no explanation and in a fit of rage and furry, he sends the man running out of his house and orders that his wife to leave also.

A broken home and uncontrollable anger in Umar Abdul and Ologwu Ekundayo's The Broken Moon
A broken home and uncontrollable anger in Umar Abdul and Ologwu Ekundayo’s The Broken Moon

Unknown to him, the man he had pursued from his house with a cutlass had come to deliver payment for a contract he had just executed. He lost the money, and also his wife.

Left with his young daughter (Ojoagefu), he goes on to marry one wife after another and creates a destabilized home. Worse still, he takes to heavy drinking and returns home drunk every night.

Perhaps, the worst part is that he represented his wife as a slut and lazy woman to the young Ojoagefu who was too young then to know what actually transpired between her parents.

Combined with the maltreatment from her step mother, she comes to see her mother as the originator of all her troubles and wishes to have her dead!

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The dishevelled condition of her home leaves Ojoagefu distraught and disoriented as she could not concentrate at school, and becomes withdrawn and autistic (she would speak to no one and believes everyone is either talking about or making jest of her).

Unknown to Ojoagefu and her father, the new principal who had just been transferred to her school is her mother who had been sent packing many years back by her father in a moment of regrettable anger and erroneous judgement.

How the family moves towards reunification and forgives each other is left for you (the reader) to find out, hehe!

The play shows us the effects of a broken home. Ojoagefu becomes an unhappy child with an intent to kill her mother because she thinks her mother’s promiscuity led to her plight. Her father also becomes a drunkard while his anger worsens; he also becomes a tyrant. He realised his folly quite late and does not know how to go about seeking out his wife to make amends, or do we assume his ego would simply not let him do the right thing?

Despite the fact that the playwrights harped on crucial societal issues such as divorce, domestic violence, the psychological effect of a chaotic home on children, excessive anger, and harmony in the family, there are some aspects of the play that I am uncomfortable with.

I do not like how its point of recognition was presented. The principal should not have sent her picture to Ojonugwa’s father, they could have somehow mistakenly met in the school. And when the principal discovers Ojoagefu to be her estranged daughter, she should have tried to reunite with her before meeting the father. How she did manage to become a principal is also what we would like to know.

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Also, scheduling the denouement at Ojoagefu father’s house is not ideal. It gives the father character an upper hand, it does not allow him much time to reflect on his misdeeds and show remorse by regretting and asking for forgiveness. It is the man who should be more eager for reunion, not the woman.

Something tells me Man is also a proud character else he would have gone seeking his wife after he realised his folly rather than bottling up his anger and unleashing it in batches on his household.

I also think the characters need to be better defined. Such names as Man, Teacher, Principal, and Woman need to be eliminated for proper nouns that can be used to label the characters.

Did I mention the fact that the play kept faith with the principle of the unity of time even though it missed that of action and place? That is a commendable effort. The series of flashbacks added beauty to the work and showed us quite more than what ordinary telling would have done but I think it would be a better play if the other flashbacks were set aside for the pivotal one; I mean that which depicts the quarrel leading to the separation between Ojoagefu parents and how the mother was thrown out of her home. And this should come immediately after the point of recognition but before the denouement.

Finally, the work needs a little more editing to eliminate few grammatical inconsistencies in it.

Over all, the playwrights made good and relevant thematic selections and I must applaud their zeal and desire towards establishing harmonious relationships in the family, and in the society at large.

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Certainly, you will agree with me that we need less broken moons in our modern societies, right? And if you do not concur, go read the play and return here so we can both play the game of words, haha!

Curtain Falls!

© Ubaji Isiaka Abubakar Eazy

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Ubaji Isiaka Abubakar Eazy

Ubaji Isiaka Abubakar Eazy holds a degree in English language and literary studies. He is a short story writer, copy editor, book reviewer, literary critic, poet, and essayist. He teaches English as a Foreign Language in Hargeisa, Somaliland.

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