Main Article Content

A model dramaturgy for arresting extremis in Zainabu Jallo’s stylistics in onions make us cry

Aliyu Yakubu Abdulkadir


The paper examines the play, Onions Make Us Cry by Nigerian playwright, Zainabu Jallo, in search of a dramaturgy that provides a suitable stylistic model  for playwriting that is reflective of the Covid-19 pandemic. Globally, the pandemic was a totally new experience for most societies. The onset of the  outbreak signaled an apocalypse. Soon, it altered potentially forever the way human society conducts itself, especially in terms of inter-personal  interaction. The present study focuses primarily on aspects of the stylistic representation of the situation of the protagonist in Jallo’s play, Melinda Jindayi,  looking at how the vehicle of language transmits her situation. This exploration aimed to uncover how Jallo’s style can be utilized in dramatic rendering of  characters in the Covid-19 period. The study finds that Jallo’s stylistic psycho-graphic dramaturgy in Onions Make Us Cry richly arrests the frame of  mind of individuals in a situation of extremis. Such a situation is characterized by angst, tension, and loss. Jallo’s rendering of it presents an alternative  approach to playwriting that can be gleaned into in composing drama capable of projecting the new-normal that is Covid-19. Through a content analysis  of the play, the paper concludes that Jallo’s play uses a stylistic approach that can be adapted to arrest the experience, especially in its stylization of  isolation and loneliness.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2971-6748
print ISSN: 0189-9562