Lesson Notes By Weeks and Term - Senior Secondary School 2

The adverse effects of war




TERM: 2nd Term


  1. Exam Reflection Literature- in-English by Sunday OlatejuFaniyi.
  2. Exam Reflection Literature-in-English (Prose and Drama) by Sunday OlatejuFaniyi.  
  3. Native Son by Richard Wright.




The adverse effects of war: The poem, ‘The Dining Table,’ reveals that war has to positive gains to offer a nation or a people. The first thing noted is that war comes with great fear and tension on the people. The uncertainty war brings caused the poet speaker and his guest to cease eating and they had ‘desert tongues’. He realises that ‘the pepper/strong enough to push scorpions/up our heads’ when ‘Dinner tonight comes with/gun wounds.’ To situation led to the closure of schools or rather students deserting schools as noted in ‘Children from Alphabetawith empty palms dine with us’. These children are in the poet speaker’s house instead of staying in school because, ‘When the playground/is emptied of children’s toys’. The whole areas look unsafe for not only students but also teachers who would teach them. War also brings sicknesses and diseases as part of the adverse effects. He recounts that ‘cholera breaks its spell on cracked lips’. During war time, the waters are no longer safe for drink and food scarcity sets in. The people are displaced by war. No wonder the poet speaker cannot find support, so that, he can champion a revolution.  He says, ‘I promise/to be a revolutionary, but my Nile, even/without tributaries comes lazy’. The poet identifies his helpless state as those he wishes to count on for change have also been displaced by the war.


The theme of bad leadership: From the poem, it is deductible that bad leadership is the sole cause for the war in the country. The people had experienced failure in government for a very long time that they could no longer bear it, and they forcefully ejected the government of the day which resulted in a war. The leaders were insensitive to the plight of the children that the ‘Children from Alphabetawith empty palms dine/with us; switchblades in their eyes/silence in their voices.’ The hunger in the eyes of the children has driven them to join the R.U.F. (Revolutionary United Front). They left the school ground due to ‘the playground/is emptied of children’s toys’.



  1. What are the adverse effects of war in the poem?
  2. Discuss the theme of bad leadership in the poem above.



  1. Comment on the theme of effects of bad leadership in Sierra Leone, “The Dining Table”.
  2. Discuss the significance of the poetic devices used in the poem, “The Dining Table”.



Read the themes of the poem in Exam Focus and summarise them.  



  1. The choice of words to create special effects is called A. fallacy. B. atmosphere. C. diction. D. mood.
  2. A long narrative chronicling a family’s heroic deeds is a/an A. opera. B. epistle. C. fable. D. saga.
  3. ........... in drama operates against a character who is unaware of a situation which is known to the audience. A. Verbal irony. B. Dramatic irony. C. Satire. D. Parody.
  4. The use of dialogue creates a/an ............. effect. A. humorous B. poetic C. ironic D. dramatic
  5. One of the following is not a form of poetry. A. Sonnet B. Ode C. Suspense D. Lyric



Comment on the issues raised in Elvis Gbanabon Hallowell’s “The Dining Table”.


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