What Is a Summary of “The Interpreters” by Wole Soyinka?

“The Interpreters” by Wole Soyinka is a novel with no real plot structure. It centers around the dialogue among five Nigerian scholars who have received a formal Western education. The characters discuss the prevalence of corruption and the pitfalls of the Nigerian government and social structure.

The novel “The Interpreters” is set in Nigeria only a few years after the nation became independent. The five main characters have each gone to a foreign country to receive an education and returned with the hope of affecting the future of Nigerian government and society. Each of the characters has a new subjective perspective about the changes the country is experiencing because of the influence of Western education. The characters discuss heavy topics with sharp wit and a little comedy, including the hypocrisy of the university culture, the corrupt business industry, the uneducated politicians and poor media outlets.

Each character is candid and sincere, and each desires a true change in Nigeria’s society. The characters are also very human and flawed. A large portion of the novel is focused on each character’s shortcomings and personal liability, portraying selfishness and superficiality as well as morality and honesty. The central theme of the novel is that change in Africa cannot be thrust upon the continent by an outside force, but must come from the awakening minds of the people of Africa.