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Saturday, July 6, 2019

Figures of Speech In Literature

A figure of speech is the use of a word or phrase, which transcends it literal interpretation. It can be a special repitition, arrangement or omission of words with literal meaning, or phrase with a specialized meaning not based on the literal meaning of the words in it, as in idiom, metaphor, smile, hyperbole, personification, or synecdoche. Figures of speech often provide emphasis, freshness of expression, or clarity. However, clarity may also suffer from their use, as any figure of speech introduces an ambiguity between literal and figurative interpretation. A figure of speech is sometimes called a rhetorical figure or a locution

(a) Irony: Irony in it broadest sense, is a rhetorical device, literary technique, or event characterized by an incongruity, or contrast, between what the expectations of situation are used and what is really the case, with a third element, that defines that what really the case is ironic because of the situation that led to it. The term may be further defined into several categories, among which are: verbal, dramatic, and situational. The term verbal irony refers to the use of vocabulary to describe something in a way that is other than it seems. 

(b) Metaphor: A metaphor is a figure of speech that describes a subject by asserting that it is, on some point of comparison, the same as another other wise unrelated object. Metaphor is a type of analogy and is closely related to other rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via association, comparison or resemblance including allegory, hyperbole, and simile. 

(c) Simile : A simile is a rhetorical figure expressing comparison or likeness that directly compares two objects through some connective word such as like, as, so, than or a verb such as resemble. Although similes and metaphor are generally seen as interchangeable. 

(d) Personification: Personification is attributing human characteristics to inanimate objects, abstract ideas and animals. It can also be defined as the act of representing an abstract idea as a person. For instance you can say; the stars danced playfully in the sky. 

(e) Assonance: Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds to create internal rhyming within phrases or sentences, and together with alliteration and consonance serves as one of the building blocks of verse. Assonance is rhyme, the identity of which depends merely on the vowel sounds. Thus, assonance is merely a syllabic resemblance. 
Assonance is found more often in verse than in prose. It is used in (mainly modern) English language poetry, and particularly important in old French, Spanish and the Celtic Languages. 

(f) Synecdoche: A syncdoche meaning " simultaneous understanding" figure of speech in which a term for a part of something refers to the whole of something, or vice-versa. An example is referring to workers as hired hands. 

(g) Onomatopia: An onomatopia is a word that phonetically imitates, resembles or suggests the source of the sound that it describes. Common occurrence of onomatopia include animal noise such as "oink", "meow", "roar", or "chirp". 

To be continued
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Lonely Days By Bayo Adebowale

Lonely days by Bayo Adebowale begins with the death of Ajumobi, although it was painful because of the permanent separation that comes with it but his wife, Yeremi thanked God for a fulfilled life of her husband. He did not pass on like Aku firewood cutler, who committed suicide and was painfully buried at Iloro. At the time of her loss, people were there with her to console her although most come to humiliate her in line with their custom and tradition tailored with suspiciousness.

After the death of Ajumobi, Yaremi continued her job as taffeta cloths seller at Sagbe market, she was always assisted by her grandson, Woye. She trained Woye to be hardworking person and tells him that hard work does not kill but laziness. As she worked, she laced the work with series of songs to make job less cumbersome. Apart from going to Sagbe market, she was also a good farmer, for she refuses to allow the sudden death of her husband weigh her down. As usual, Yeremi, like others always cooked for her family. At least three meals a day : pottage or porridge in the morning, with cashing pepper soup, fried lobsters and crabs deeper in a red oil garment inside a black cooking pot. Amala or pounded yam in the afternoon, with the tasty Ebola vegetable soup, and the appetite whetting chicken stew. Boiled beans or fried plantain inside a flat griddle, for evening meal, with bush meat, snakes and snails, all dancing a sweet aroma dance in the frying pan. Saying is a way of life in Kufi. This is because woman of kufi were powerful singers. There were songs to express consent and dissent, intimidating rivals and veaing opponents. They sang to put children to sleep, and to rouse husband to action and to attract lovers attention and to seduce concubines. They sang to give praises to men for their wonderful earthly achievement, and to make men's eye turn green with envy against imaginary contenders. 

Yemi's life had become like fire, she had put to grappled with her daily itinerary and she hardly complaint. Apart from her husband death, Dedewe's husband also passed on. The elders had ordered the village men to begin to beat the purification tune on the face of the sacred drum. 

As customary was made to confess to avoid the punishment of heaven. Dedewe was made to confess to avoid the punishment of heaven. Dedewe was locked up with the corpse of her husband inside a dimly-hot room. Faloyin, the second window, was given libation to lick when her own husband died. They held firmly to her lips, to purge her of all the sins they insisted she had committed. They also forcefully cut her hair and at the end she was looking like a mad woman and in the course of prolonged weeping she had lost her voice. So also Radeke's husband died, she knelt before the dead body and strings if dirges ran out of her dry throat. She was also forced to sang the widow's traditional song if innocence and lamentation. She was finally ridiculed in public places lijela lunatic. 

This novel paints the ugly pictures of widows, especially in Africa. They are different occasions in the market (Sagbe and Oyedeji) and at the backyard of his. The superstitious belief that the dead visit the living at times is common in Kufi. This is true of the situation when Ajumobi's spirit came to cut Yeremi the night she dares for his caring companion in her dreams and on several occasions when she is depressed. It is believed that Ajumobi was not sleeping in heaven and this reassures Yeremi as he appeared to her in her dreams. He is ever there to protect and console her.
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The School Boy By William Blake

I love to rise in a summer morn,
When the birds sing on every tree;
The distant huntsman winds his horn,
And the skylark sings with me:
O what sweet company!

But to go to school in a summer morn, -
O it drives all joy away!
Under a cruel eye outworn,
The little ones spend the day
In sighing and dismay.
Ah then at times I drooping sit,
And spend many anxious hour;
Nor in my books can I take delight,
Nor sit in learning's bower,
Worn through with dreary shower.

How can the bird that is born for joy
Sit in a cage and sing?
How can a child, when fears annoy,
But droop his tender wing,
And forget his youthful spring!

O father and mother if buds are nipped,
And blossoms blown away;
And if the tender plants are stripped
Of their joy in the springing day,
By sorrow and care's dismay, -

How shall the summer arise in joy,
Or the summer fruits appear?
Or how shall we gather what griefs destroy,
Or bless the mellowing year,
When the blasts of winter appear?
A) A Child's Perspective?
The content of this poem seems to be from the standpoint of an innocent child. However the diction and style are quite sophisticated. The speaker uses expressions one might expect in eighteenth century poetry, for example, 'The distant huntsman winds, his horn' and learning's bower'. The poem also uses rhetorical devices such as 
  • Extended rhetorical questions
  • Exclamation and apostrophe
  • Repeating a pattern three times.
The voice of the poem appears much more than of the experienced adult speaker who sees and appreciate the child's artless way of experiencing and of expressing himself

Structure and versification: The five-line stanza rhyme ABABB. The first four stanzas are self-contained. Each presents a point in the speaker's argument or an illustration of it. The fifth stanza differs, by running on to the final stanza. This seems to echo the content. Stanza five begins with the plant's life in spring, which is carried over into summer, autumn (the mellowing year) and winter in the closing stanza. The repetition of the rhyme in the fifth lines creates an echoing effect which gives the verse a regretful tone. 

B) Language and tones of the school boy 
Contrasting states
(i) This contrast with the unnatural character of the school. The oppressive nature of education is highlighted by emphasizing the vulnerability of the child and it associated metaphors of bird and plant. 

(ii) The instinctive inclination of the child to learn is suggested by learning itself taking place in a 'bower' , a natural structure. This also suggests that children learn from nature, from their daily living. 

(iii) The words associated with the effects of education are of negative emotion. 

(iv) The child's unfettered life is associated with words of energy and pleasure
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The Anvil And The Hammer By Kofi Awoonor

Caught between the anvil and the hammer in the forging house of a new life,
Transforming the pangs that delivered me into the joy of new songs
The trapping of the past, tender and tenuous
Woven with fibre of sisal and
Washed in the blood of the goat in the fetish but
Are laced with the flimsy glories of paved streets
The jargon of a new dialectic comes with the
Charisma of the perpetual search on the outlaws hill.
Sew the old days for us, our fathers,
That we can wear them under our new garment,
After we have washed ourselves in
The whirlpool of the many river's estuary
We hear their songs and rumors everyday
Determined to ignore these we use snatches from their tunes
Make ourselves new flags and anthems
While we lift high the banner of the land
And listen to the reverberation of our songs
In the splash and moan of the sea.
The poet takes the reader to the shop of a blacksmith in order to give a clear picture of the images of confused state of situation to the poet and other things found and brought themselves into. The poet uses two important local instruments to shoe case this - the Anvil, which is an iron block on which a blacksmith put hot pieces of metal before shaping with hammer; is also tool with handle and a heavy metal head used for breaking things. Literarily, the poet see himself as "hot piece of metal" placed on an anvil to be shaped by hammer. The poet plans to undergo panel beating to get to a "new life" a kind of transformation. He wanted to transform from a new way of life because the old one is not pleasing enough but it seems he wanted the two together. The poet ends up feeling sad and unfulfilled.

Themes In "The Anvil And The Hammer" By Kofi Awoonor

  • Unfulfilled expectation
  • New and Old concept
  • The quest for a change.
Poetic Devices In "The Anvil and The Hammer" By Kofi Awoonor
The diction of the poet is both simple and complex. The complexity is more pronounced in the area of meanings and concepts presented by the poet - the Anvil and the Hammer and his in between the two tools. The languages of charge transformation and unhappiness illumination were used vividly in the poem.

  1. Symbols: "The Anvil and the Hammer", "Flags and Anthem".
  2. Alliteration: "the pangs that" Tender and tenuous while we...
  3. Oxymoron: "flimsy glories..."
  4. Onomatopoeia: "whirlpool"
About the poet KOFI AWOONOR
Kofi Awoonor (formerly George Awoonor-Williams) was born in Wheta, Ghana to Ewe parents. His grandmother was a dirge-singer, and much of his early work is modeled on this type of Ewe oral poetry. According to critic Derek Wright, the poetry. "both drew on a personal family heirloom and opened up a channel into a broader African heritage". In Rediscovery (1964) and Petal of Blood (1971), Awoonor uses the common dirge motif of the "thwarted or painful return" to describe the experience of the Western educated African looking back at his indigenous culture. His most famous poem from the first collection is "the Weaverbird". In it he uses the Weaver bird, a notorious colonizer who destroys it host tree, as a metaphor for Western imperialism in Africa. He describes the bird's droppings as defiling the sacred places and homesteads. He also blames the Africans for indulging the creature. 

Awoonor has written two novels. The first, This Earth, My brother....(1971) is an experimental novel which he describes as a "prose poem". In it, Awoonor tells a story on two levels, each representing a distinct reality. The first level is a standard narrative which details a day in the life an attorney named Amamu. 

Awoonor was closely tied to the first president of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah. Shortly after Nkrumah was driven out by coup in 1966, Awoonor went into exile. During the time he was abroad, he completed his graduate and doctorate studies, recieving a Ph.D. In literature from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1972. His dissertation was later published as "The breast of the Earth" (1975). He returned to Ghana in 1975. Soon thereafter, he was detained for his alleged involvement with an Ewe coup plot. The House by the Sea (1978), a book of poetry, recounts his jail time. 

Awoonor has not written much lately, instead he is spending his time in Ghanaian political activities. Unfortunately, this emphasis seems to have diminished the quality in addition to the quantity of his literary output. His recent works has been compared unfavorably to his r en early material. Derek Wright calls his most recent novel, Comes the Voyager at Last (1992) about an African-American's journey to Ghana, "flat and tired." He died in the Westgate shopping mall attack in Kenya in September 2013.
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Harvest Of Corruption By Frank Ogodo Ogeche

The play, Harvest of Corruption epitomize the various images of moral crisis in our social system. Such as the breakdown of social value, discipline, student's riot, drug menace, religious bigotry, armed robbery, nepotism, moral and spiritual decadence, corruption in many places without respects for creed or age, indicipline society with little or no development and national image almost under intensified scrutiny. The play Harvest of corruption satirically mirrors the contemporary Nigerian society with clear focuses on sexual immorality, bribery, large scale embezzlement in official quarters, drug trafficking and smuggling involving the high and the mighty who are expected to be an epitome of our tradition norms, policy makers and law enforcement officers. 

Harvest of corruption concerns a young university female graduate, Aloho, desperately looking for a job to avoid poverty that is enveloping her family and hence puts herself in the bright side of the society. Her co-travellers, Ochuole, Madam Hoha and Chief Ade-Amaka encourage her wayward ways which eventually claims her life after aborting at Wazobia hospital. Before her death, she dreamt of it and was warned by Ogeyi and that her pregnancy must not be terminated. After that, Ogeyi met ACP Yakubu and revealed so many secret between Aloho And Chief Ade-Amaka. Later, Okputu, Aloho younger brother came from the village to inform Ogeyi of Aloho's demise after giving birth to a baby. Ogeyi Ogar makes sure that the chief was punished for his numerous atrocities. The judge commended Ogeyi for exposing a crime. He sentenced Amaka to 25years, the Commissioner of police and the Chief justice to 20 years, the clerk 5 years while both Madam Hoha and Miss Ochuole got 10 years each. 


Wrong Company: 
The play opens with two young ladies who were school mates. Ochuole, a worldly lady who pursue wealth by all means find herself in the company of a corrupt government official Chief Ade-Amaka. The minister made her the administrative Officer. Their meeting point is the Okpara Hotel, own by another evil woman, Madam Hoha, Aloho, a good christian lady is entangled with them as she met Ochuole who helped her to secured job in the ministryMof External Relations, as a Protocol Officer, Aloho now find herself in a wrong company which affected her faith in God, to the extent that she was used to traffic drug and got caught at the Airport. She also got pregnant for Chief Ade-Amaka, the Minister. 
Official Abuse: The theme of abuse of office is rampant in the play. The minister of External Relations used his office and position to defiled young ladies working in his ministry. The commissioner of police and Justice used their office and position to pervert justice. 
Corruption: The play is centered around this theme. Bribery and corruption is seen throughout the play. 
Drug Peddling: This theme also revovledrround Chief Ade-Amaka, the Minister of External Relations. He is involved in the business of smuggling contraband goods and drug trafficking. Chief Ade-Amaka employed Aloho as his protocol officer and deceived her into carrying cocaine to the USA. 
The Theme of stealing


Frank Ogbeche hails from Yala in Cross-River State in Nigeria in South South Geo-political zone. His post primary education was in Awori-Ajeromo Grammar school, Agboju in Lagos State and in then proceeded to the Federal School of Art and Science, ogoja Cross River State. In 1989, Ogodo obtained his first degree in communication of Art from the universityUof Calabar, Cross River State.
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The Blood Of A Stranger By Dele Charley

In the play Blood of a stranger, playwright Raymond Dele-Charley critiques the exploitation of Africans who finds themselves under a European power. The play open with Maligu, the chief advisor, announcing, from a letter he received, that an unknown white man would be coming to their village. He has of course convinced the corrupt priest, soko, to prophecy that they should welcome this visitor. In a community that has not accepted visitors since the war, this is hard news to take. Visitors to them mean sickness, disease and fighting. But because the people of Mando land believes that Soko has sent been sent this vision from their forefathers, they make preparations to welcome the visitor. Kindo, chief warrior and son of the King, feels something is amiss. He knows that Soko and Maligu are corrupt, and his suspicious when Soko claims to have had visions permitting the stranger entry. The white man, white head, soon reveals to Maligu that his true motive is diamonds. He has lied to the king, giving the impression that he would plant tobacco, build a school and help the village. His real intention is to have the farmers unknowingly harvest the diamonds for him.

Apart from being a very gripping drama, the play vividly exhibits key aspects of Sierra Leone history and culture. The white man symbolizes Britain's rape of Sierra Leonean natural resources. In this play, Sierra Leone people are presented not only as victimized, but also as complicit in the exploration of their own people. Through the gifts of "strange tobacco" and alcohol, Whitehead takes advantage of the drugged natives and exploits their resources. With the help of Maligu and Soko, Whitehead also tries to rape Kindo's woman, Wara, but in the end his elaborate plans fail. Dele-Charley clearly makes the point that justice always wins out against oppression.

The play, The Blood of a stranger, is amplified drama. It is about the life and culture of a Sierra Leone village of Mando and an attempt by a white man to capitalize on the people's ignorance to exploit the people of their rich natural resources. The White man used money to manipulate the King's adviser Maligu who influenced the village priest Soko into deceiving for King and the entire village.
The play is set in the village of Mando, old Sierra Leone during the colonial era. This is the period the white men came to Africa with religion and started exploiting the black man's resources.

This play narrates the way some unscrupulous white men invade the villages of some African countries, using some of their elites and hard drug on the people to defraud them on their rich natural resources.

The play also shows the belief of Africans in their gods and how much they respect and fear their gods. As the play begins Soko the village priest and Maligu the King's adviser were seen at the shrine discussing the coming of the White man, which Maligu claimed it was through a letter from his brother in the city.

The invisible letter claimed that a Whitman is coming to the village to engage in tobacco farming. For the people to welcome this white man into their village, of which he (Maligu) will make money from, he contacted the village priest, Soko to execute the plan. He made Soko to agree with him in telling the people that the gods says that the stranger (the White man) should be accepted.
The king agreed with them but the village chief warrior, Kindo did not agree. He (Kindo) puts up a serious argument on what the gods said said about the stranger, but the king (Santigi of Mando) insisted that the white man must be accepted. When the whiteman and his aid came to the village they did not come to greet the king. Kindo was furious about this, and asked the warriors to go and bring them to the palace. The right hand man of the Whiteman, Parker was flogged and Kindo made Whitehead (the Whiteman) to bow and kiss the ground in front of him. Thereafter, the Whitehead and his man were allowed to stay.

Whitehead ordered for gin and hard drug, tobacco and gave the people, which made them to misbehave and the females 
gave in anywhere in the village. Kindo was angry and challenged Whitehead, his defense was that, the females did not reject.Whitehead and Parker went to the king and the king reminded him about his promises to the village. Whitehead told the king to tell the people to work hard for there is no tobacco, his promises cannot be actualized. When the king left to inform the people about what the Whitman has just said, Whitehead used the opportunity to informed Maligu that he actually came for the business of diamond. That he only deceived the people by making them believe it is tobacco, and also informed him of his plan to kill Kindo.

They plan to do false virgin sacrifice, the day Soko the priest was killed by Parker; Kindo found out and killed Parker. Maligu now wore the priest mask to perform the sacrifice, then Kindo came and exposed all their works. The Whitehead and Maligu conspired against Kindo, that Kindo killed Parker during peacetime, so he should be banished. Thus the king sent Kindo on exile. But before Kindo left the village, he told the people about the evil plan against the custom and the tradition of the land. And he killed Whitehead before leaving the village in company of his warriors. 

Colonial interference and patriarchal oppression of women are among the historical and social problems that Sierra Leone have to deal with. The play addresses both historical and social issues that still resonate in the nation today. Though a historical account does present a certain perspective on the past, a dramatization of that history brings out the emotional import of these experiences.

The play truly aid our understanding of 19th and 20th century Sierra Leone. The social, political and historical issues that playwright have grappled with, such as colonial arrogance, the ambivalance of history, the exploitation of African womanhood, and the consequences of modernity. Other themes in play are;

Deceit: This theme is observed in the play when Maligu the King's adviser, a chief and one of the corrupt person in the play influenced the village priest Soko to tell lies to the king and the villagers about the visit of the White man.
His true intention was to exploit the community and enslave the people.

Corruption: This theme played out in the life of Soko the village priest and Maligu the King's adviser. Maligu, a corrupt person, played on the hidden secret of the priest, knowing they both have something to hide. Since Maligu was determined to gain something from the whiteman, he influenced Soko to collaborate with him and the white man for monetary gratification in return from the whiteman.

Believe in gods: The theme of over dependent on the gods made the gods so vulnerable to Soko lies in deceit. Maligu knew this fact, that was why he contacted Soko the village priest to hatch a plan and tell the people that the gods say that the white man should be accepted into the village.

Distrust and Fear: The play open by telling us that the people have so much trust in the custodians of the customs and traditions, the king, the village priest and Kindo the village warrior. As Kindo risks being banished from the land for killing the white man, he gave his farewell speech saying

, after which he departed. 
Maligu: He was the King's Adviser and a chief, a corrupt person in the play.

Kindo: He is the chief warrior of the village and the son of the king. He was the one who was against all the plans of Maligu and Soko.

Wara: She is the woman of Kindo. She was the one Maligu and Soko put in the sack and took to the White man's compound. She escaped being raped by the white man.

Santigi: He is the king of the village of Mando. He is the father of Kindo. He was deceived by maligu to support the stranger coming to the village.

Parker: He is a Blackman, the right-hand of the White man, the stranger in the village.

Whitehead: He is the Whiteman himself in the play, the stranger in the village.

1st Man: When the people have been drugged and under the influence of gin, he was praising the Whitehead.

Boko: A warrior in the village loyal to Kindo.

Note: Some characters I wrote here I omitted their roles in the play but in exam condition without writing the role they played you won't get full marks.
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Conservation of Non-renewable Resources

Our supplies of fossil fuels and mine are dwindling fast. These are non-renewable resources as we cannot produce them by any process. Our demand for these limited resources, however, is constantly increasing. To conserve them, we have to

• cut down their wastage 
• find acceptable alternatives or renewable sources of energy and
• recycle them where possible 

Fossil fuels such as coal and crude oil are the most common sources of energy in industries and homes. We can cut down fuel requirement by using improved burners, furnace and engines that burn the fuels more efficiently. Enormous amounts of crude oil are wasted through careless handling and evaporation at oil wells, during transportation and storage and refineries. In many homes, fuel is wasted unnecessarily. All these wattages should be reduced. 

Fossil fuel are destroyed by use, that is they cannot be recovered. Alternative sources of energy include hydroelectric power, nuclear energy, wind generators and solar panels. 
Hydroelectric schemes can only be built in mountainous regions where rainfall and rivers are plentiful. Such schemes involves damming rivers which upset the aquatic ecosystems. 
Nuclear reactions produce nuclear energy. 
Wind generator and solar panels are not very efficient energy producers. However, future schemes for producing solar energy via solar power satellite are promising. Such schemes would provide us with an inexhaustible supply of energy which would also not cause any pollution problems. 
Wood oil, and alcohol (from fermentation of sugar) could also be used as alternative sources of energy. As these are product photosynthesis, they are renewable. However, arable land has to be used to produce the plants which supply these energy sources. This would be a problem as we do not have enough land to produce even our food needs. 

Unlike fossil fuels, most minerals are not destroyed when we use them. We can, therefore recover them for other uses. This is known as _recycling._ 

Metal scraps and metal tins, lids, etc. In garbage can be recycled. Glass too can be recycled from glass container in garbage. To recycle used materials, we have to collect them and sort them. Recycling helps to reduce solid waste, one of the causes of land pollution. 
Many industrial processes like electroplating produce wastes that contain metals. These are now recovered from the wastes as they cause environmental pollution. Their recovery also helps to conserve them as they are non-renewable resources. 

Many minerals which are now considered as non-renewable resources will be classed as recyclable resources in the future. The concentration of these waste mineral resources will be in towns and cities. 
Recycling of all kinds of wastes will be a promising industry. This is because recycling 

• conserves non-renewable resources like metals;

• reduces environmental pollution; and 
• reduces the problem of waste disposal.
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