Missives from Abroad: The Refugee Crisis and Binaries of Contradictions

Henry Obakore Unuajohwofia and Julius Oweifie Babogha
Keywords: Refugee Crisis, Impact, Contradictory metaphors, Equalised, Survival migrants
Tropical Journal of Arts and Humanities 2021 3(1), 33-43. Published: February 28, 2021


The refugee crisis continues to draw the attention of scholars due to the increase of people seeking asylum in the developed nations of the world. This paper is dedicated to the analysis of the impact of the crisis on the migrant and the host. Adopting the psychoanalytic literary theory to analyse events and character‟s personality, and drawing illustrations from the Helon Habila‟s model in Travellers, the paper discovered that through the assemblage of binaries of contradictory metaphors of hope and disillusionment, love and alienation, marriage and separation, harmony and disharmony, and life and death, the impacts of the refugee crisis on the migrant and host are equalised. The impact of the binaries on the duo is highlighted through the motifs of journey, suffering, resilience, adventure, lack and rejection. The beauty of the art in the model is developed through the use of literary techniques of flashback, irony, paradox, allusion, anecdotes and parallelism. At the end, the paper surmised that Habila‟s model is a contradictory message of exile and return for survival migrants based on their circumstances.