Discuss Let Me Die Alone as a tragedy.
A tragedy is a kind of play that addresses serious issues and creates tension and anxiety in the reader or audience, usually ending in serious misfortune or even the death of the hero or the heroine.
It usually ends up badly with a lot of bloodshed or damages. The hero or heroine can either end up as a tragic hero whose personal mistakes led to his/her downfall or as a victim of circumstance.
Considered from this perspective, John Kolosa Kargbo’s Let Me Die Alone is a tragic play. It is concerned with betrayals, humiliations, murders, human sacrifices, suicide, and desperate quest for power.
There is a lot of bloodshed in every sense of the word. Musa, one of the two antagonists in the play, is involved in quite a number of human sacrifices. He sacrifices the body parts of Yatta’s son and Mama Kadi’s daughter to make Bofima charm which ensures his prosperity and longevity.
Together with Lamboi, Musa also kills Jeneba and harvests her organs for his rituals in order to implicate Yoko and turn the people against her. The evil men are also responsible for Gbanya’s death. They poisoned the unsuspecting chief in their quest to get his throne.
- Q & A: Discuss Gbanya as a remarkable character in “Let Me Die Alone”
- Q & A: How do men behave towards women in John Kolosa Kargbo’s “Let Me Die Alone”?
- Q & A: Comment on Mythology and Dream in Let Me Die Alone
- Q & A: Give an account of the ascension of Yoko to chiefdom in Let Me Die Alone
The playwright portrays both Gbanya and Yoko as victims of circumstance. The both of them want the best for their people but their good intentions are thwarted by the evil duo of Musa and Lamboi.
First, there is Gbanya who is weak and helpless in the face of humiliation by the white governor, Dr Rowe. Whatever power he seems to wield is reduced to rubble by the crushing force of European colonialism.
Then, he is poisoned by his trusted subordinates whose eyes are keen on the throne. He meets his tragic end not only because he is weak and helpless. Gbanya is simply crushed by superior and backstabbing forces.
As for Yoko, her subjects turn against her, controlled by the evil machination of Lamboi and Musa. Then, the white colonialist completes what was started by Lamboi and Musa. The governor orders her to relinquish her conquered territories. These are too much for her to bear. She breaks down emotionally and commits suicide.
Arguably, both Gbanya and Yoko are victims of circumstance. They are swept under by situations beyond their control.
Amidst the bloodshed in the play, it eventually ends on a tragic note with the suicidal death of Yoko. While there is a glimmer of hope that Gbeni will punish the evil doers, the justice whatever form it may take is not exacted in the play.
Finally, it is not a sweeping claim to say that Let Me Die Alone is a tragedy. The play is punctuated by murders, human sacrifices, betrayals and more importantly, it ends with the suicidal death of the protagonist heroine. While Lamboi and Musa may not be able to claim the throne for themselves, they succeed in wreaking havoc on Mende Kingdom.