Local Imagery, Proverbs and Metaphors in Chinua Achebe’s Anthills of the Savannah

  • MO Akpojisheri


Chinua Achebe in Anthills of the Savannah uses local imagery, simile, proverbs and metaphors which are capable of not only revealing African rich cultural heritage, but also helping in building the African child. In many African cultures, a feeling for language, for imagery and for the expression of abstract ideas through compressed and allusive phraseology, comes out particularly clearly in proverbs. The figurative quality of proverbs, local imagery, simile and metaphors are striking. This paper examines some snatches of Chinua Achebe’s variety of English in his urban novel Anthills of the Savannah. It is discovered that while handling contemporary issues of political corruption and dictatorship, Achebe blends expressions with local colour with the ones associated with educated characters. The paper explores the concept of context of situation associated with Halliday which emphasizes language use. In this model proposed by Halliday, three strata are identifiable: context of culture, context of situation and co-text. Findings from the analysis reveal that certain lexical items only make meaning within the context of the author’s native cultural values and environment.


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eISSN: 1813-2227