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Lwati: A Journal of Contemporary Research

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Language and Theme Symbiosis: A Stylistic Analysis of use of Language in Ifeoma Okoye’s Men Without Ears

CJ Ezekulie

Abstract


Literature has continued to be a vehicle for satirizing societal ills with a view to engendering value reorientation and sanity. This onerous task is achieved through a conscious use of language to subtly condemn vice and commend virtue. There is, thus, a mutual and profound affinity between language and thematic goals. What varies is the style adopted by authors in their art. This paper assesses the salient stylistic peculiarities of Okoye’s use of language in portraying the corrupt practices, moral decadence, vanity and materialism that pervade a typical African state. It reveals that
the author’s stylistic dexterity, evident in her skillful combination of  linguistic and literary devices, is superb. Okoye employs a simple diction, choice registers, connotations, pidgin, repetition, preponderance of  complex and compound - complex sentences, parallelism, balanced construction, figures of speech, idioms, and proverbs to reinforce the themes. The enormous use of titles and aliases and the undue emphasis on their use before people’s name not only speak volumes about vainglory
but also give the work a touch of humour. The language is etched with meticulous detail that enables the reader to visualize in his mind’s eye the loathsome nature of corruption and materialism.



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