Making Sense of the “Freedom Scapes” in Ben Okri’s In Arcadia

  •  Majed Hamed Aladaylah    


There is no doubt that one of the unresolved contradictions of representation in postcolonial fiction is that of the relation between the colonizer and the colonized. This issue generates a wide spectrum of critical hues, exploring how present circumstances shape a postcolonial narrative technique. The present paper explores Ben Okri’s In Arcadia (2002), attempts to display this innovative disturbing representation by investigating the narrative experimentation in the novel of Ben Okri. Okri’s novel reflects the dilemma of individual freedom and libration, and the contemporary situation of fragmentation, rootlessness, dehumanization, displacement, and disorientation in a world where man finds himself suspended in a void of meanings. Okri’s response to this dilemma is given by those scapes which become the new responsible creators of their own world by shaping fresh values, lives, and realities, which is reflected in the reshaping of the narrative mode of a postcolonial and postmodern Nigerian novelist, tempered with the narrative form and its representation of the experience of reality. His fiction has subverted the narrative modes of representation thereby dislocating the structure of narrative technique through the juxtaposition of spatial fragments from different situations. Thus, the hypothesis was that it would be valuable to analyze and examine Okri’s narrative experimentation as a contemporary writer, in order to see the extent of innovative progression.

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