Criticism versus stylistics: an analysis of their areas of overlap and contrast

  • Uche Nnyagu
  • Ngozi Adunchezor
Keywords: Stylistics, criticism, appreciation, literature, linguistic choices


Literature, especially the imaginative type has as its major onus, to delight. However, if the only function of fiction is to delight, then it becomes a mere waste of effort to study it. Literature should be a mirror of the author’s society and so, any literature that does not educate the reader should be regarded as a trivial one not worthy to take the reader’s time. Literary writers therefore, write to entertain but more importantly, to educate. To write the type of literature that would perform the said functions, the writer follows certain laid down rules as well as apply his or her ingenuity to come up with a worthwhile work of art. The researchers in this paper affirmed that though stylistics overlaps with criticism in a number of areas, a great deal of discrepancy exists between them. This paper therefore, showed how criticism differs significantly from stylistics so that the illusion nursed by many that the two concepts are synonymous would be averted.

Keywords: Stylistics, criticism, appreciation, literature, linguistic choices


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eISSN: 2227-5460
print ISSN: 2225-8604