This post carries out a well-done full summary and analysis of Chibuike Onu’s “A Government Driver on his Retirement.” Reading this post, you’ll learn all you need to know about the poem. It will be of great assistance to you in your preparation for your examination.
Biography of Chibuike Onu
Chibuike Onu attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he studied English Education. He was born in 1984. He hails from Ikeduru in Imo State. He teaches English and Literature in several well-placed schools in Anambra State. Goodnight Africa is his first collection of poems.
Background of the Poem
Chibuike Onu writes this poem on the backdrop of consistent road accidents in Nigeria, and the issue of retirement among the older Nigerians. Older Nigerians tend to feel different types of emotion at the point of retirement. It is either they are wary or they are happy. For the happy ones, there is usually a big celebration and partying to celebrate their retirement.
It is on the course of the celebration that the man in the poem drinks more than necessary, and has an accident.
Full Summary and Analysis of Chibuike Onu’s “A Government Driver on his Retirement”
The persona starts the poem by invoking the retirement time of the “Government Driver.” The persona writes that after many years on wheels, the driver retires home. The poem covers the particular day of his retirement. Then, the persona moves to acknowledge how much work the driver has put in the work.
He goes home at the point of his retirement to begin a celebration. To him, “people should come and celebrate his freedom.” This after 35 years of faithful service to his fatherland. He is still available for further services to his nation.
He is given a car (a symbol of the government’s appreciation of his long work time with them). His retirement, his retirement package (the car), his freedom, and more, makes him go wild in celebration. This wildness in celebration leads him to drinking more than necessary.
Thus, he boozed and boomed in celebration, and this was done excessively. It sends him home in peace.
Themes in Chibuike Onu’s “A Government Driver on his Retirement”
Service and Retirement: The predominant theme in the poem is service and retirement. The government driver having served dutifully for over 30 years retires from service. He is so happy of his “freedom.” This means he has been seeing his job as some sort of chain, and was not totally enjoying it. He is so happy he celebrates more than it is needed.
Alcoholism and Reckless Driving: The poem deals with the issue of drinking and driving. The driver celebrates his retirement too much that he drinks too much. In excitement, and drunk, he drives home. He does not control the way he drives, so he is involved in a fatal accident. Summarily, his excessive drinking leads to his death on the wheels.
The Restriction of Employment: The driver, at the point of retirement, is so happy that he has retired. This is because he was not totally happy while working as a”government driver.” This is what many people who are employed feel about their work. To them, their work does not offer them the needed opportunity and freedom to explore their dreams.
For the driver, he is just happy that he is free to do whatever he likes, and his life and time is now flexible.
Figures of Speech in Chibuike Onu’s “A Government Driver on his Retirement”
Irony: The entire poem is an irony. This is because the government driver, who is not involved in an accident since over 30 years that he is driving, is involved in an accident at the point of his retirement. The persona presents a situation that even life itself is quite ironical.
Paradox: The last line of “And it sent him home/Home to rest in peace” is unbelievable at first. However, prodding deeper, you get to realize that “home to rest in peace” is linked to death. The driver drives himself to death.
Onomatopoeia: The predominant sound device used in poem is onomatopoeia. There several onomatopoeic words used in the poem like “booze,” “boom,”and many others.
Alliteration: There is constant use of alliteration in the poem. Example of the use include “From faithful service to his fatherland,” “Booze boozed his vision and clear judgement,” “He battled with his bottle booze,” and many other.
Consonance: There is also the frequent use of assonance in the poem. Example of the use include “Booze boozed his vision and clear judgement,” “He battled with his bottle booze,” and many other.
This full summary and analysis of Chibuike Onu’s “A Government Driver on his Retirement” will guide you properly in your quest to pass your examination. It is well done. You also have to note that is advised you read the content of the poem when reading this summary and analysis. Success!