The social vision in Robert Serumaga's works
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An examination of Robert Serumaga's works reveals that he has geared them towards imprinting a specific social vision on his readers to serve as a corrective to the rampant social problems he exposes. The core of his social vision is in sincerity~ commitment to social issues, and moral uprightness. This thesis attempts to illuminate Serumaga's social vision as portrayed in his works: Return to the Shadows, Majangwa, A Play and The Elephants. Serumaga is concerned with how individuals should respond to the moral decline of society. He portrays society as the extension of the individual. Individuals, therefore, carry the responsibility of creating a better society through coming to terms with their environment and transcending the limitations that fetter their development. Serumaga elucidates t~ese limitations by de 1ving into the psychologies of his characters seekinq to understand the meaning and effect of Ur~ealthy manifestation of human conduct. Serumaga diagnoses the major problem in society as that of people failing to face the reality of their existence ,preferrinq to escape in various ways. He suggests facing reality as a prerequisite to solving personal and social problems. This thesis explores the negative effects of the rampant resort to escape and belief in illusion, rather than facing- reality. The portrayal of different sections of the society such as intellectuals, soldiers, ordinary people and artists, is studied. In his portrayal of these sections of society, Serumaga throughoutadvocates for a more socially meaningful and selfless commitment to one's vocation in society. His vision is of a mighty effort of will on persoaal and societal weakness in order to overcome. He also demonstrates that a strong will enables individuals to realise social stability and life-fulfilment as they are able to continue confronting the world in their restless search for coherence even in an immoral society. The joy of life is realised in the struggles of man to understand himself by living up to the realities of his experiences in life. Within the understanding that individual actions accrue from and take on a social dimension, Serumaga bases his vision of a better society on resolution of internal conflicts in man. Such a resolution will subsequently lay the foundations for a life of sincerity~honesty and altruism, reflected in the social action of individuals. His vision is of an internal moral and spiritual transformation, which will in turn change the external environment. Serumaga envisages positive social change on a large scale in the efforts of morally upright and dedicated individuals, who will educate the rest of the society towards initiating positive change. In the final analysis, Serumaga's social vision falls short of embracing the whole society collectively and dynamically to serve as a pointer to solutions to the problems he has portrayed in his works. His emphasis on the educated elite leading the society in any struggle, :excludes the ordinary people as a potential revolutionary force in themselves.