INFLUENCE OF ACHEBE’S STYLE IN THINGS FALL APART ON AKACHI ADIMORA-EZEIGBO’S HOUSE OF SYMBOLS

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ABSTRACT


This study is a stylistic analysis of two novels: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and House of Symbols by Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo both of which were written in the 20th and the 21st centuries respectively. The stylistic insights that we get from literary texts can differ from one writer to another. This is because every writer is faced with a wide range of linguistic options from which he/she makes choices of words to pass his/her message to the reader. The study identifies the linguistic properties employed in the texts under study and analyzes them to find out how these have added to the meaning and overall message of the works. The pluralists approach suggested by Leech and Short (1983) forms the main theoretical framework of the study. The cohesive tools each author uses to unite parts of the text are examined. A detailed description of the language used in the two texts is undertaken and the linguistic associations which the styles of the two writers reveal as they relate to meaning and message in the works are looked into in order to provide the reader with a greater insight into the texts. Achebe’s work is compared with that of a more contemporary female writer from a similar background to reveal the stylistic features of their writings. The research shows that there is similarity in the issues treated by the two authors and this has influenced their style which is also similar. Being a library based research, both primary and secondary data are gathered through content analysis of relevant literature from the library, the World Wide Web, and other relevant sources. Actual analysis of the texts is undertaken in chapters four and five respectively and the summary of findings and conclusion are contained in chapter six. The analysis reveals that a lot of parallels can be drawn between the works of the writers. Thus, Akachi Adimora–Ezeigbo has been influenced by Achebe’s style of writing.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page
Table of Contents
Abstract

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background of the Study
1.1.1    A Brief Biographical Sketch on Chinua Achebe
1.1.2    A Brief Biographical Sketch Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo
1.2       Statement of the Problem
1.3       Aim and Objectives of the Study
1.4       Significance of the Study
1.5       Scope and Delimitation

CHAPTER TWO
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1       The Nature of Language
2.2       African Literature and the Language Issue
2.3       The Concept of Influence in Literature
2.4       The Domain of Style
2.5       Approaches to the Study of Style
2.6       The Concern of Stylistics
2.7       Foregrounding and Style
2.8       The Notion of Mind Style
2.9       Textuality
2.8       Overview of Achebe’s Things Fall Apart
2.9       Overview of Adimora-Ezeigbo’s House of Symbols

CHAPTER THREE
THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK AND METHODOLOGY
3.1       Theoretical Framework
3.2       Methodology

CHAPTER FOUR
LINGUISTIC STYLISTIC ANALYSIS OF ACHEBE’S THINGS FALL APART
4.1       General Features of Things Fall Apart
4.2       Cohesion in the Text
4.2.1    Conjunction
4.2.2    Cross Reference
4.2.3    Lexical Cohesion
4.2.4    Substitution and Ellipsis

CHAPTER FIVE
A COMPARATIVE STYLISTIC ANALYSIS OF ACHEBE’S THINGS FALL APART AND ADIMORA-EZEIGBO’S HOUSE OF SYMBOLS
5.1       General Features of House of Symbols
5.2       Cohesion in the Text
5.2.1    Conjunction
5.2.2    Cross Reference
5.2.3    Lexical Cohesion
5.2.4    Ellipsis

CHAPTER SIX
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
6.1       Summary
6.2       Conclusion
            Works Cited


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Language is vital to human existence. Without language, the world would have been nothing but a boring place. It is the medium through which humans communicate ideas, ideologies, feelings, thoughts, etc. to others. According to Leech and Short, language has been regarded both traditionally and in modern linguistics, as a system for translating meanings in the speaker’s mind into sounds or, conversely, for translating sounds into meanings in the hearer’s mind (5). McArthur sees language as “ a human system of communication which uses structured local sounds and can be embodied in other media such as writing, print and physical signs” (12). Sapir defines language as a purely human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotion and desire by means of a system of voluntarily produced symbols (7). To Chomsky, language is a set of (finite or infinite) sentences, each finite in length as set of physical patterns that are arbitrarily combined to make the communication process effective(13). From Chomsky’s definition, it is obvious that language consists of several elements each with a different way of operation but combined together to produce unlimited constructions. Therefore to Chomsky, language is a functional element used by humans for the purpose of communication. All these definitions show that language is essentially for communication and it is a major identity of the human race.
According to Halliday (1973), “language performs invariably in all human cultures; it is the enabling means by which literature finds expression” (21). Sapir (cited in Akpan, 2008) sees language as “the medium in which literature is transmitted just as marble or bronze or clay is the material of the sculptor” (1). Robins (cited by Syal and Jindal, 2010) is of the opinion that: “Language is a symbol system based on pure or arbitrary conventions infinitely extendable and modifiable according to the changing needs and conditions of the speakers” (3).
This definition tells us that language is a combination of accepted symbols put together to form words and meanings. Language is purely human. Animals communicate in their own ways but it is only humans that communicate using verbal language. That is why Sapir cited in Syal and Jindal defines language as “a purely human and non– instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desires by means of a system of voluntarily produced symbols”(3).
From the above definition, we also learn that language is not inherited, like other traits; it is “non–instinctive”; children learn the language of the people around them. Syal and Jindal (5) list seven characteristics of language as follows:
1)                  Language is a means of communication.

2)                  Language is arbitrary.

3)                  Language is a system of systems.

4)                  Language is primarily vocal. Speech is primary, writing is secondary.

5)                  Language is human.

6)                  Language is a form of social behavior.

7)                  Language is a symbol system.

In their explanation, language is a medium of communication between humans. It is arbitrary as there is no inherent relation between the words of a language and their meanings. It is a system of systems as sounds are arranged in an established order to....

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