The utilization of literary techniques in Flora Nwapa’s Never Again and Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun
This research investigates the utilization of literary techniques in two Nigerian historical fictions: Never Again by Flora Nwapa and Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie. Nwapa and Adichie are two creative writers belonging to two different generations of Nigerian writers. While the former is of the first, the latter is of the third generation. In their two different novels in focus, it is observed that they deployed diverse literary techniques in variegated fashions to achieve the same goal – creating fictional works that deal with the sensitive issues of the Nigerian Civil War. Using new historicism (NH) as its theoretical anchor, this study uses historical-analytic and literary methods to posit that no two creative writers apply literary techniques in an identical manner even when their subject matter is the same. Rather, the deployment of literary tools is usually a function of talent, training, idiosyncrasies, orientation and propensities of a particular author. It is, of course, the patterns of such deployments that create and confer identity and uniqueness to various writers across the globe, such that when a section of the work of a known author is read, his or her name comes to mind. Using New Historicism as a critical searchlight, this paper evaluates compares and contrasts the utilization of literary techniques in the two novels aforementioned. Both writers have utilized literary elements in various ways to foreground and portray the cancerous issues of corruption, ethnicity, nepotism and avarice – the issues that led to the unfortunate and devastating Civil War, and till today continues to limit the progress of Nigeria.
Keywords: Literary techniques, NH, Never Again, Nigerian Civil War, Half of a Yellow Sun