'Blind Trust', a Universal Theme in Maurice Udom's The Golden Home - Onyeji Nnaji
Literature is the true reflection of the society. At such, works of art are used to explicate the society with the primary intention to inform readers and thereafter initiates changes in the concerned society. That is one aspect of the healings which literature and other works of art bring to the society. I believe that this was the purpose Maurice Udom set out to achieve in this Playtex as she explores blind trust as central theme in the play.
The play began with the popular domestic chores that characterized the early hours of the day inside Ette Idung's study room. Akpakpan was being advised to clean the room for daily activities. Later on, the reader is made to know about an agreement document which Odudu was trying to amend. The document was about the proposed compensation by an oil company to Ette Idung's family over oil spillage. This was the base of the trust in every member of the family to become rich.
As the central theme of the play, the playwright dramatized the get-rich-quick syndrome that has overtaken our society through the glutinous behaviours of the characters in the play. Nobody was left out in this uncontrolled quest for riches, except Grace. Ette Idung's desire to change his living standard and move to a place where he could compete with ex-government officials made him blinded to cross-check the content of the bag of dollars brought to him by the company agent. When Odudu demanded that they inspect the box (p.92), he refused. Finally, he was disappointed beyond recovery.
Lady Akwanwan was another character overtaken by blind trust. The promise of compensation by the company agent made her to develope the thought of renting a new apartment for her lover, Sugaray. Believing that she has a fraction of the company's money made her to think less of her husband and diverted her love and attention towards the guitarist she met in a wedding. Just like her husband who eventually became resolved to divorce and marry Nkponam (the widow), she was getting prepared to live a wayward life too.
The play x-rays the unpredictable desires of every members of the family to change standard of life. They all had admired looters and corrupt officials in different economic positions in Adia Awoditank community. They love the lucre enjoyed by the corrupt officials in their society and had wanted to swim in affluence too.
The most disappointed of all was Aladima, the gate keeper. As a show of greed, Aladima schemed the fire that would set the entire family ablaze. He became a momentary matchmaker to the family members who were dreaming to fall in love. He did all these in order to divert everybody's attention from his evil plans. With such matchmaking intention he acquired gifts from his mistress and lots more.
As was said, greed does not have limit, Aladima's greed pushed him to lure the company agent to divert some of the money and replace them with fake currencies. He pressed harder and convinced the gullible man by telling him that there is no honest person in their society (p.78); not even his master. He suddenly became revived when he realised that he had been paid with a rough coin. Aladima realized that he had blind trust when it became obvious that the company agent had played smartness on his intelligence. All his craft ended in mirage.
In conclusion, the playwright was skillful enough to play out the reward of human greed that popularized our Nigerian society. Everybody wants to become rich overnight, the source of the riches notwithstanding. Amidst this inferno that has infected our society, the play shows that there are still good ones; although they are very few. Grace was one of such. She was very calculative, meticulous, conservative and careful in all her doings. Where she makes mistakes she immediately apologizes.
Grace was the moral conscience of the society. She was the voice of conscience and represented the playwright's voice. Her boldness speaks for her as she reminded her father of involving in a corrupt practice on page 53. When everybody was stating what the dollars would be used on, it was Grace who suggested that it be saved. She was a clear prove that, though the society is deeply decaying, it has not died completely.