A review of Sam Abegunde Aris’ novel, The Rainy Day by Adesanya Alabi.
Based on various research studies on how literary imagination and creative development can be used to view opinions, explore options, solve problems, educate people, correct social vices and understand people in their different levels of perspicacity; Sam Abegunde Aris’ novel, The Rainy Day, as explored gives the accentuation of life and meaning in its full sense. As the exposition of the novel is given from the deductive point of view, the author narrates the indispensability of life in the spirit of entrepreneurship. Abegunde tells a story of fraternal concord and discord that occur in the season of life. Thus, he explains how imperative it is for one to learn not to dip the whole ten fingers in one’s mouth in case of the time when nothing will be left to feast on. In this sense, he uses two brothers to illustrate the efficacy of saving in rainy season before the summer comes.
Abegunde’s perception about life is to plan something for the future so as to avoid unwanted asperity of life. As it is well understood that the work of literature is crucial in the sense that it makes every individual have a meaningful nexus with some certain truth of life. Hence, literary work creates an avenue for people to express their ideas and personal experiences. In this sense, most fictional works are products of non-fictional experiences. In this novel, Abegunde, bringing his milieu under focus, postulates his thought by using two brothers, Kenneth and Tony as the main characters of the novel to pedagogically pass a message to his readers. He portrays the main character, Kenneth as an extravagant and frivolous fellow who takes solace in pleasure and always likes to live beyond what he can afford. But he presents Tony, the younger child, as a person who likes his father’s instruction that places more emphasis on saving:
Saving is a good character to imbibe my dear son, especially from the early stage of one’s life. When you save from your young age, you are saving for your future. Not only that, you are saving for the rainy day. My dear sons, it is good to salvage today and save tomorrow. (P.19).
Kenneth and ‘Tony are properly trained by their parents, Johnson and Cynthia; and they are both educated from elementary to university levels. Though their parents are well-to-do and they are resident in a reputable environment in Ikoyi. Despite that their father is perceptibly rich, he still teaches his two boys on how to save and avoid profligacy. However, despite the moral training given to both of them, Kenneth, the eldest child, gives no regards to his father’s training. He easily gets bored when their father begins to give them instructions. The attitude of Kenneth towards his father’s instruction has always been negative. He complains as if his father’s advice is a threat to his personal comfort; he gets bored when he talks to them. This is reflected in his statement while talking with his mother, Cynthia, who always defends him when he misbehaves:
“Mum, thanks for coming back now.” Kenneth was happy his mother had arrived at that particular moment for his father’s gospel of saving was boring him to death. (P.31).
This obnoxious attitude and nauseating propensity of Kenneth become elements of evil which contribute vehemently to his woeful end. Tony becomes extremely responsible though almost dragged along in the ocean of youthful exuberance while in the university; he could have also been trapped in the dungeon of things that are infinitesimally ephemera. But, he quickly regains the right state of his kinesthesia before being wiped out by the tide of frivolous tendency. While they are both in the university, Kenneth chooses the path that has a crack in its final edge, while Tony keeps to his father’s instruction. Kenneth becomes extremely extravagant and always moves in the company of girls, rogues and vagabonds. He becomes a regular customer to club houses and parties:
Kenneth’s association with the club had inevitably increased his taste for almost everything, especially social life. He now attended parties outside campus, he kept numerous girlfriends and he had also started drinking alcoholic drinks. In fact, partying and clubbing had now become his priority over education. He was always busy with the club activities as well as keeping himself busy with ladies. (P.48).
Tony learns to save even from the monthly allowance he takes. They both graduate but unfortunately, they lose their parents; first, their mother, and later, their father. Kenneth depends on his father’s possessions; he dissipates the money his father tries to save for him from his childhood; but he finds himself in the most shocking moment of life when he realises that his father has willed his entire heirloom to outsiders. Kenneth breaks down, his life breaks down and ends empty without hope. Tony becomes a great farmer and also, eventually becomes Commissioner for Agriculture.
To sum up, the didactic nature of this text, teaches every individual to learn how to save so as not to end in penury. This is not restricted to only individuals but also to the nations. It is essential to understand that a nation that refuses to save when things go well should prepare to experience recession when its time comes. A country can be extravagant like Kenneth in the text; is a country where corruption and burglarising of national treasury is a norm, it’s a matter of time, bottom-out will be the consequence.
- Alabi sent in this review from the Cyprus International University, Cyprus.