An Angle of Seeing: Pornography and Profanity as Pharmakon in Darko’s Beyond the Horizon and The Housemaid

Philomena Abeka, Charles Marfo, Lucy Bonku


What strategies does a female writer develop to overcome her anxiety of correcting the moral decadence in her society? Inappropriate as the use of pornography and profanity must have always seemed, Amma Darko has managed to put some positive and meritorious spins on them and seriously use them. In this paper, we examine how in two books, Beyond the Horizon and The housemaid, Amma Darko strategizes to use pornography and profanity as remedies; that moral cleansing can be achieved by the strategic use of immoral pictures and language. This strategy traces back to Aristotle’s age-old prescription that catharsis must be the final achievement of curtailing tragedy. In this paper, therefore, we observe how the use of pornography and profanity can contribute to the cleansing of a society whose moral fibre is engulfed in decadence. Furthermore, a near-laser analysis of the relationships between (catharsis-based) pharmakon, pornography and profanity as given in the books in discussion is done.

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