Irony as Narrative Tool in Uwem Akpan’s Say You’re One of Them and Wale Okediran’s After the Flood: A Comparative Approach (Published)
The study decries violence in all its ramifications including that perpetrated by nature and its elements, or that inflicted on one another by the characters in the works, or that unleashed on the audience by the authors who appear to be insensitive to readers’ psychology in the fictionalization of violence. It argues that the relationship between art and reality is not imitation which argument the Baroque model sustains, but distortion. And the failure to realize this robs art of its intrinsic value and presents nearly one to one correspondence. The study is somewhat hypothetical and somewhat theoretical in its espousal of the technique of irony, stating that the two works in analysis are shrouded in ironies. It postures that irony has both literary and social functions. The literary function is demonstrated in open contrasting and antithetical phenomena, whereas the social function is manifest in social criticism in which it uses other devices, especially satire to accomplish. In the course of performing this second function, the study shows that the authors have deployed irony in these works to reveal hypocrisy in religious/ethnic ideologies, corruption and quackery, ignorance and primitiveness.
This study examines the image of man in a number of novels by Nawal Al-Saadawi, the famous Egyptian novelist, whose works have aroused a lot of controversy in the Arab world. Throughout her works, Al-Saadawi consistently portrays man in a very negative manner. No matter what his social or educational background is man is at all times the symbol of oblivious tyranny, ruthless cruelty and callous oppression. The man as a father, for example, does not escape her vehement attacks. He is held as ignorant, foolish and tyrannical and sways between absence and presence. What makes her assaults harsher is her skillful employment of irony, paradox, sarcasm and other elements of figurative language. These tools help her in creating an analytical, descriptive language, which allows her to trace the tiny features of man. However, her constant focus on attacking man as a man undermines her literary accomplishments along with her aesthetic attitudes.