Shades of Diasporic Experiences in London: A Reading of Samuel Selvon’s the Lonely Londoners and Buchi Emecheta’s Second-Class Citizen (Published)
In recent times, given the rising spate of economic crunch bedeviling many African states, there has been a surge in migration to developed countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, etc. Often, the migrants travel out with lofty expectations about these foreign lands but get disappointed and end up doing debasing jobs just to survive. Many scholars have engaged diasporic experiences as an evolving concept in postcolonial literature but there is yet more room for exploration especially in the Nigerian context where the ‘japa’ syndrome seems to be gaining frightening momentum. Thus, this paper, adopts a postcolonial theoretical framework in examining the dimensions of diasporic experiences portrayed in Samuel Selvon’s the Lonely Londoners and Buchi Emecheta’s Second-Class Citizen. Selvon and Emecheta, in their novel, portray the dreams, aspirations, and expectations of immigrants as well as the dynamic experiences that completely alter their lives. The study, therefore, in the examination of the primary texts, highlights the myriads of problems encountered by immigrants in the novels; some of them include climate change, racism, accommodation, employment, taxation, the high cost of living, and discrimination. The essay concludes that foreign climes like London are not beds of roses and shows that immigrants are sometimes, subjected to conditions that may be worse than their experiences in their home countries. The paper recommends that the British government and indeed nations that have attained the status of developed countries, intensify efforts to reduce the plethora of problems encountered by immigrants living in the United Kingdom.
Citation: Wosu O.O., and Chikere O. (2023) Shades of Diasporic Experiences in London: A Reading of Samuel Selvon’s the Lonely Londoners and Buchi Emecheta’s Second-Class Citizen, Global Journal of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Vol.11, No.2, pp.22-32
Keywords: Buchi Emecheta, London, Samuel Selvon, diasporic experience, immigration