Describe the Character and Role of Poison in Amma Darko’s Faceless

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You will find here a straightforward summary of the relevant points to be used to compose your A-Grade essay on the character named Poison in Amma Darko’s novel, Faceless.

Are you currently studying the novel, Faceless by the Ghanaian writer, Amma Darko?

Are you preparing to answer an essay question on the character and role of Poison in Amma Darko’s novel, Faceless?

Maybe you are an independent learner, WASSCE remedial student preparing for the Nov/Dec Exam or a regular Senior High School or tertiary level Literature student.

 

Then keep reading to discover all the key points you should have in your Literature essay about Poison in the novel, Faceless.

Major aspects of Poison’s character

  • Poison is an experienced street lord. At the time of the novel, Poison has grown from an eight-year-old into a mature street-dweller and  tomentor-in-chief in his kingdom of Sodom and Gomorrah.
  • He carries his name tag, The Street Lord, with a sense of authority and pride.
  • Poison’s build or physical appearance is scary, scar-filled and extremely intimidating.
  • He is every street girl’s nightmare.
  • In fact, in Sodom and Gomorrah, he is Lord. On the street pavements, in the dark and dirty corners, and among the other street children, it is acknowledged, without question, that the fear of Poison is the very beginning of wisdom!
  • Poison gets what he wants anytime, anyhow, anywhere. This is why it is a completely strange occurrence for Fofo to succeed in preventing him from sexually molesting or raping her. Odarley, Fofo’s friend, can only find it an incredible achievement on the part of her friend.
  • He is soft-spoken but ruthless.

Poison’s background

  • As a young child of 8, he was forced to run away from their two-by-four shack (the place he called home) to seek refuge in the streets of Accra.
  • One major reason for Poison’s escape to the hostile world of Sodom and Gomorrah is a violent stepfather.
  • Poison’s stepfather constantly lashed him with a leather belt and boasts shamelessly about his violent behavior.
  • The facial scars that run sharp and diagonal through Poison’s left eyebrow, disrupting his hair-flow are a testimony to the violent treatment he received as a young boy from a brutish father at the place he called home.

The effect of the loveless home background on Poison and other boys like him

  • It is this brutal experience at the hands of a man he calls his father that will transform the young Poison into the ruthless street lord he has become. He wastes no time in assuming absolute jungle power in the streets of Sodom and Gomorrah, visiting the same violence he suffered back at home on his victims, mostly young girls.
  • Once on the streets, the young Poison quickly graduates from stealing car-tape decks to running errands for a brothel supervisor.
  • In fact, by age 15, Poison has mastered the art and trade of pimping.
  • He forms his own gang.
  • He partners with and provides security for influential women like Mama Abidjan and Maami Broni to enable them to perpetrate such illicit activities as child-trafficking and child prostitution.
  • He embarks on an aggresive recruitment of young girls and helps to initiate them into prostitution either through force or by enticement.
  • Now a mature citizen of the street, Poison controls a major segment of the street and makes his presence felt everywhere through illicit activities, intimidation, and outright violence.
  • No one dares flout Poison’s authority. Those who dare to do so have a heavy price to pay. The sad end of Baby T is ample evidence of the extent of Poison’s power and brutality in Sodom and Gomorrah.
  • Like his stepfather, Poison is not ashamed of his wayward behavior. He freely tells others that since his life is not on the right path he will never let those of others be.
  • It is thus easy to conclude that, to the world of Sodom and Gomorrah, the fear of Poison is the beginning of wisdom.

The role of Poison in the development of the plot of Faceless

Here is how Poison, the Street Lord, plays a significant part in the development of the plot of Amma Darko’s novel, Faceless.

  • He has a hand in the death of Baby T.
  • This very important incident in the novel is what marks the turning point in the lives of other street children like Fofo
  • Soon after Baby T’s death, Kabria’s NGO, MUTE discovers Fofo and works to expose the plight of children like her.
  • Poison’s rare interview granted to MUTE and Harvest FM, reveals a lot about life on the streets of Sodom and Gomorrah and the rest of Accra.
  • It is through the activities of MUTE together with the media house, Harvest FM, that we begin to see at least a glimmer of hope for the vulnerable street children of this diseased society.
  • We are also made to realize that all hope is not lost yet. There are still public-spirited institutions like Harvest FM and MUTE that wield considerable power and authority in the society. This is in sharp contrast to the utter helplessness of many government institutions like the police.
  • Together, these two play a major role in unfolding the whole story as they take steps to unravel the mystery and issues surrounding the sad death of Baby T.

The role of Poison in the development of the themes in the novel, Faceless

Here are some of the themes in Amma Darko’s novel, Faceless which Poison plays an important role in developing and illustrating.

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  • The issue of domestic violence. That is his bitter experiences, as a young boy at the hands of his stepfather.
  • Violence in the street or the negative effect of street life on street children. As we have seen, Poison is the very embodiment of street violence. He is just one of those boys, who, having been brutalized at home, decide to take their vengeance to the street.
  • Child trafficking and child prostitution. Poison is a kingpin in the dark world of prostitution in Sodom and Gomorrah. Through his activities, we are made to come face to face with this illicit trade and its devastating effects on both the perpetrators and the victims.

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