African Research Review

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A Semiological Irony in the Life of Man: an Assessment of Lawrence’s the Colossus of Rhodes

E Chukwu


Language is a channel for expressing literary imagination; without language there will be no literature. Caraline Lawrence’s text, The Colossus of Rhodes, demonstrates this reality via language elements. Making use of linguistic signs – words and sentences -, she gives a picturesque parallel
contest between minors, and a gangster kingpin selling kidnapped children into slavery. This kingpin likened with gigantic human material artifact, the
Colossus of Rhodes, considers himself invincible past as the erectors of the colossus consider it impregnable. Nevertheless, the kingpin meets his
waterloo at the hands of these minors just as the material colossus  succumbs to earthquake, a natural disaster. This situational irony forwarded in readable language is laced with some other literary techniques – parallelism, symbolism, paradoxism, reversal of situation, and mode of narration - made possible by words and sentences to elicit pleasing disposition of man. This piece of writing therefore strives to point out that words and sentences (semiotics) encapsulate the associative use of language impossible to be projected without obedience to the linguistic levels of word formation (morphology), of arranging words sequentially (syntax) and of using words meaningfully (semantics); levels fully realized whenever any of these grammatical units – morpheme, word, phrase, clause, sentence - is distributed contextually.
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