My objective in this post is to assist you to be able to comment on the use of foreshadowing in the play, Harvest of Corruption.
What is foreshadowing in Literature?
Let’s begin this tutorial by stating what foreshadowing is.
Foreshadowing is a technique an author uses to give hints of events that will happen in the future.
Importance of foreshadowing in Literature
Foreshadowing builds up dramatic tension in a play or novel. This is because foreshadowing, as a literary technique, creates suspense or a deep sense of anticipation.
Comment on the Use of Foreshadowing in Harvest of Corruption
The use of foreshadowing in Harvest of Corruption
In Harvest of Corruption, Frank Ogodo Ogbeche extensively employs the dramatic technique of foreshadowing. The playwright uses foreshadowing to alert the audience about the impending consequences of the actions of characters.
Instances of foreshadowing in Harvest of Corruption
Here are examples of foreshadowing in Harvest of Corruption.
1. Title of the play
The title of the play, Harvest of Corruption, by itself, forebodes dire consequences for anybody that indulges in corruption.
2. Warnings and words of caution
- Ogeyi, for example, warns Aloho of an impending “harvest of corruption” . This is when Aloho insists on following the wayward Ochuole to work in Chief Ade Haladu-Amaka’s office.
You can go with Ochuole or your chief to your grave if you like, just be careful that’s all.
- Justice Odili strongly advises Chief to tread with caution. He is afraid that given his own complicity in the matter, he will be exposed if Chief continues with the reckless manner he goes about his nefarious activities.
- The Commissioner of Police (COP) also warns Chief Ade Haladu-Amaka to be careful. The Commissioner is worried about the increasing negative publicity the minister is attracting. However, just like Justice Odili, the only motivation for the Commissioner of Police to sound this note of warning is to save his own skin from looming trouble.
Chief, I shall try, but you have to be careful. I have sensed the signal and I know the danger sign when it appears on the dashboard.
3. Aloho’s own predictions about her death
On many occasions, Aloho makes statements that foretell her sad end. Take a look at this example.
- “I am tired of this life. I want to go.”
4. Aloho’s dream foreshadows her death
On their visit to Wusa Market, Aloho narrates an ominous dream she had to Ogeyi.
In this dream, Aloho saw a coffin whose corpse she was unable to identify. What terrifies Aloho about her dream is that while she could see that her mother and her siblings were crying she could not cry.
Aloho’s dream clearly foreshadows her untimely death that will come soon after.
The significance of foreshadowing in Harvest of Corruption
The use of the technique of foreshadowing in Harvest of Corruption contributes to the development of the plot.
- The tense and ominous atmosphere in the play is as a result of the playwright’s constant hints at impending danger for the heroine, Aloho. We constantly fear for Aloho and wish she will heed Ogeyi’s warnings and those of her own intuition. But somehow, we only have to look on helplessly with this mood of apprehension as Aloho drives herself to her grave.
- Suspense in Harvest Corruption builds up to a crescendo due, partly, to the use foreshadowing.
Anticipation for a happy resolution
Foreshadowing in Harvest of Corruption is not only about doom and gloom waiting to happen. In fact, it is also about an anticipation for a happy ending.
The audience waits eagerly for the harvest that awaits corrupt, unpatriotic characters who harm vulnerable young women like Aloho.
Indeed, while we watch the action develop to a climax, we cannot help but wait with great anticipation.
The audience desperately waits for the day Chief and his partners-in-crime will harvest the fruits of their actions.
Assessment and conclusion
There seems to be excessive use of foreshadowing in Harvest of Corruption.
The audience can easily foresee what lies in store for the villains at the end of the day. Has this taken away part of the excitement in this drama? Maybe yes.
Nevertheless, let’s not forget the fact that Harvest of Corruption is basically a satirical play. The play speaks forcefully to a serious and urgent matter of public concern – corruption and immorality in high places.
Therefore, the playwright has the choice to employ every weapon in his arsenal to fight this social canker. This he has done through the medium of techniques like foreshadowing.
Here are some related questions you should try to answer.
- Comment on the significance of Aloho’s dream in Harvest of Corruption.
- Examine the use of suspense in Harvest of Corruption.
- Discuss the playwright’s use of two dramatic techniques in Harvest of Corruption.