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Let the Sleeping Dogs Lie: A Discourse Analysis of Myth in Achebe’s Fiction

Ngozi Anyachonkeya


Myth is a linguistic component. Features of myth are replete in every speech community, in the literatures of every land and clime. It is also a salient feature of the culture of a people. As a cultural element, myth straddles ideological and sociological culture of every speech community. We yield to the mythic issues of our culture willingly or unwillingly. Like-akaraka-predistination in the Igbo world view, myth cannot be erased from the psyche of a people, no matter their religious fervour or profession of faith. A study or a reading of the literature of a people is an investigation into their linguistic heritage, since language, we assert, exists basically in literature. In the light of the above, this essay attempts to excavate mythic features documented in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and No Longer at Ease. In doing this, it will probe to ascertain the author’s motivation through authorial comments and pronouncements. The outcome of our speculation will enable us to reach an informed guess whether the author’s advocacy on the mythic issues espouses let the sleeping dogs lie, that is, let the status quo remain.

LWATI: A Journal of Contemporary Research, 8(4), 107-117, 2011

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eISSN: 1813-2227