Political and Social Instability
Political and social instability in society is a result of poor leadership. Poor leadership on the other hand, leads to other social problems such as hunger, insecurity, injustice and poverty. When the people get fed up, they may choose to forcefully remove those in office through a coup or an uprising. This, in turn, brings about political and social instability through war.
In the prologue, the setting is in the ruins of what was once a thriving Caucasian village before the war (p.7). Everything in the village has been ruined; tobacco is rationed and wine (p.8). The villagers have also lost many people as a result of political warfare. The Goat Herders have been forced to leave their land and go elsewhere on orders from the government.
The effects of warfare are also evident in Nuka where the Governor is confronted with many beggars, cripples and petitioners. A lot of resources have gone to finance the war which has resulted to hunger and poverty among the people. Many soldiers have died with others suffering injuries – this has resulted to many cripples in clutches. To make matters worse, the Governor is contemplating bringing down their houses (slums).
Political instability often affects the poor more than the rich. The singer comments: “when the house of a great one collapses, many little ones are slain” (p.20). Political instability leads to displacement of people as evidenced by the Grand Duke, who has to run and seek refuge in the house of Azdak. Natella also has to run to the capital for her own safety while Grusha heads for the North.
Political instability also creates food shortages as seen when Grusha is unable to get milk for Michael. She is force to pay two piasters for a little drop. The Old Man says, “We have no milk. The soldiers from the city have our goats. Go to the soldiers if you want milk.” (p.31)
Warfare instills fear in people as evident in Jussup. He feigns sickness to avoid being drafted into the army. The Peasant Woman is fearful of the soldiers that she denounces Michaela and betrays Grusha to the Corporal. The Grand Duke, Natella and Grusha run away from the City due to fear after the war breaks.
Political and social instability give rise to many other social evils such as corruption, violence, irresponsibility, negligence of duty etc. Warfare has many adverse effects to people in society. These include: displacement of people, fear, food shortages, insecurity and injustice.
POINTS TO THINK ABOUT
- Who is responsible for the political instability in the text?
- How does political instability cause food shortage?
Religious hypocrisy and deception
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