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Title: 'rHE THEME OF ITALIAN OCCUPi\TION IN MAJOR AMHf.RIC NOVELS AND PLAYS ZELEALEM BANTI JUNE, 1990
Authors: ZELEALEM, BANTI
Advisors: Dr. Amsalu Aklilu
Copyright: Jun-1990
Date Added: 20-Nov-2012
Abstract: The Italian occupation of Ethiopia holds a significant place in the history of the country. Beth Ethiopian and foreign historians have written extensively on the subject. The theme of Italian occupation has also inspired Ethiopian novelists and playwrights. Their novels and plays try to show the causes of the war, the conduct of the war, its political, social, economic and cultural effects, and the patriotic resistance. Some of these literary works also deal with the prevalent situation immediately after the liberation of the country. After identifying the major prenccupations of the works dealing with the theme of Italian occupation this study also attempts to show the differences in the authors' interpretations of some of the issues and events of the war. All the authors cite avenging the defeat at the battle of Adowa as one of the causes of the Italian invasion of Ethiopia. Ar'aya underlines Italian economic interest as the major reason for the aggression; Endgwgtt§c~ g&rr§~6 gives Italy's colenial ambition as the main reason. Sgr§-Koloniyalist mentie~s the Fascist Party's policy as an immediate cause of the war. In the treatment of the conduct of the war the majority of the works concentrate on the battle of May(;gw. Bassa Qetaw and Ar'aya portray the conduct • !III of the war at the battle of Sire, Tembien and Amba'radem - iii - as well. v Almothum beyye Alwasem treats the conduct of the war at the Eastern Front. ygmay{gw Quslanna, Ag'azi and Endgwgt•t•gcc garracc minimise the losses suffered by the Ethionians while exaggerating that of the enemy. They also magnify the role of the Emperor. The majority of the works attribute the defeat of the Ethiopian army to lack of modern ammunition, training and organisation. Endgwgttgcc garrgcc and Ar'aya • • cite the complacent attitude of the older generation as one of the causes of the defeat. The Emperor's flight to Europe is mentioned as one of the immediate political effects of the Italian occupation. Novels such as y~aycgw Quslgnna and Ag'azi • hail the Emperor's fleeing the country as a wise p~litical decision. Ar'aye suggests that the decision was wrong. Addabay and Bassa Qetaw condemn the move and consider it as betrayal. These novels also cite the occupation's international effects as well. The social, economic and cultural effects are reflected in the disintegration of family, hardship of the life ~f the peJple, the widespread habit of alcoholism, the flourishing ~f bars and hotels and the widespread practices of prostitution. Novels such as Addabay. Basse Qetaw and Ng~anngt and plays such as Sgrg-Koloniyalist deal with the issues in greater • length. Y~ayCgw Quslgnna and Ag'azi try to subordinate - iv - the patriotic resistance to the political struggle of the Emperor. On the other hand, Artaya, Bassa Qetaw, Addabay, Najannat, Ennat Al&IDTgnnu, Balca Abba Ngfso, S.gr~-Koloniyalist and Y~lemzat consider the patriotic movement as a force that played a crucial role in the liberation of the country. Similarly, the latter group of works see the period that immediately followed the liberation with pessimism or even with disapproval. Ag'azi, Y&IDaycgw Qusl~nna and Almothum i beyye Alwasem express their contentment with situation prevalent after independence is restored.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/3808
Appears in:Thesis - Literature

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