Tag Archives: rhetoric

Motifs and Patterns in Achebe’s Novels (Published)

This paper examines the novels of Chinua Achebe; Things Fall Apart, No Longer at Ease, Arrow of God, A Man of the People, and Anthills of the Savannah to determine common motifs and patterns running through them. These motifs and patterns are arrived at after a critical reading of the novels. Subsequently, the researchers apply Sociolinguistic Functional Stylistics (SFS) in the analysis of the motifs in the novels. The paper observes that the recurring literary elements and techniques include change in point of view, folktales, proverbs, rhetoric, Igbo (vernacular) words, songs, Pidgin English, prayers, corruption, and in medias res plot. The paper concludes that the motifs and patterns enhance the meanings of the works, add to their aesthetic quality, while the folklore elements give them the outlook of African Literature. Things Fall Apart and Arrow of God are concerned with the pre-colonial and colonial Igbo society, while No Longer at Ease, A Man of the People and Anthills of the Savannah are preoccupied with the developments in postcolonial or post-independence Nigeria. The paper recommends that critics and writers of African Literature should emphasize on the aesthetic, thematic and folkloric qualities.

Keywords: Motifs, Patterns, folktale, in medias res., rhetoric

The Rhetoric of Violence in the Poetry of Don L. Lee, Nikki Giovanni and Sonia Sanchez: A Reading in Ethnic Poetry (Published)

The 1960s in America witnessed an abundance of ethnic poetry authored by young black poets. Most of that poetry was devoted to the rejection of the American culture in favor of the consolidation of an African-American personality independent of White America. This new wave of black poetry of the 1960s and ‘70s was, thus, not only a literature of protest, which gradually turned into violence exercised against white Americans, but also an outcome of a psychological state encapsulated in the internal problems of black Americans. This new black poetry was primarily employed as a catalyst aiming at awakening the ethno-political consciousness of black people. It, therefore, incorporated elements of black culture and mythos, which were meant to enhance the values of the struggle and hence the revolution to be ignited against the American value system. Utilizing the socio-political events of the period as a setting and the “black aesthetic theory,originated in the same decade, the 1960s, as a critical framework, the present study explores the revolutionary poetry of black American poets, such as Don L. Lee (Haki Madhubuti), Nikki Giovanni, and Sonia Sanchez. In this context, the study will argue that the black poetry of the 1960s is but an offshoot of the protest motif in Afro-American poetry first initiated by the black slave poets of the 18th century. So, consequently, the black poets, dealt with in this study, will be contended to make a breakthrough and to pursue, instead, a black literary nationalism, capable of reflecting the aspirations of the Blacks. Their poetic attempts will be argued to promulgate the “black aesthetic,” to revitalize black values and to call for revolution.

Keywords: Afro-American Poetry, Black Poetry, Catalyst, Don l. Lee, Ethno-Political Consciousness, Nikki Giovanni, Protest Motif, Radical Development, Revolutionary Poets of 1960s and 1970s, Sonia Sanchez, Violence, rhetoric, the Black Aesthetic Theory

Rhetorical Diplomacy: A Study of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari’s Speech To the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly- September, 2015 (Published)

Diplomatic texts-oral or written-are usually deemed to be of a high significance. The significance of a diplomatic texts is based on the fact that it comes from the personality of a Head of State (or government or his representative) who is a mouth piece of a country by virtue of the office he holds and his utterances are channeled to influence the official relationship of states. This genre, surprisingly, has been given relatively very little attention by scholars and linguists. This study entitled: “Rhetorical Diplomacy: A study of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari‘s speech to the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly”, is an analytical study of the pragmatic strategies of the President with the aim of determining their effectives in conveying the speakers intentions to his audience. The analysis, carried out in this study, was based on the theoretical backcloth of the Speech Act theory by Austin (1962) and Searle, (1969, 1999). Specifically, the study adopted Searle (1999)’s taxonomy of speech acts which gave primacy not to the types of speech acts, but to their illocutionary points /forces. As a result of this, the utterances were analysed as diplomatic actions taken by the President, in terms of their illocutionary points/ forces and the perlocutionary effects they have on his audience. Our basic findings show that the President made use of expressive, assertive, commissive, and directive speech acts to perform various direct and indirect interactive acts which were found to be diplomatically correct in foregrounding and communicating Nigeria’s challenges and polices to the global community. The data however, revealed no instance of the use of verdictive and declarative acts by the President. The paper concluded that the study of the deployment of speech acts as a strategy in political and diplomatic speeches, contributes to a better understanding of multilateral and bilateral communication and provides insights into presidential outputs in diplomatic meetings.

Keywords: Diplomacy, Speech Acts., rhetoric

A Study on Aristotle’s Rhetoric Applied to Industrial Communication (Published)

Mastering Industrial communication is of paramount importance to all professionals who are active in current industries. I strongly believe that engineers’ job is not a single man’s show. Professionals from various fields work together for a common goal at industries. The effective process of communication is pivot to effective management. When more than two individuals work on one task, definitely they need a common understanding and is possible only with appropriate communication. But mere words spilled out of lips may not be effective in current industries as they are involved with so many complexities in functioning. ARISTOTLE’S THEORIES OF RHETORIC, can be applied to the industrial communication to improve the skill of speaking and writing of the personnel at industries. With the help of Aristotle’s three persuasive appeals of Rhetoric i.e. Logos, Ethos and Pathos the industrial communication can be made more effective and with right combination of these three appeals a speech can be intensified and made more powerful than a missile. In this paper I would like to throw some light on the effectiveness of the three appeals of Rhetoric to improve the art of using language that can leave a positive impact on the employees at Industries. Aristotle’s Rhetorical appeals are profoundly influential in making the individuals realize the facts of TRUTH at work in the areas of Motivation& Training, and Problem Analysis etc.

Keywords: Ethos, Logos, Pathos, rhetoric

Language Use in Political Advertising- A Rhetorical Discourse on “See Who Wants to Be President of Nigeria” (Published)

Effective communication is essential in consensus building and public opinion. Language as the vehicle for thought expression generates feelings which are exploited for political gains in an electioneering campaign. It means that word choice and their purposes are explored in political communication to secure a berthe for asserting justifications in a political context. This discourse, therefore, analyses how “See who wants to be President of Nigeria,” was used, through political advertisement, to expose incompetence and ignorance as unacceptable in a decent and democratic society, like Nigeria. It is an exercise in political communication, using language and word choice as the becon for the rejection of a candidate in Nigeria’s presidential election of April, 2015.

Keywords: Advertising, Discourse, Language use, rhetoric


Change and development are embodied in the principle of dialectics and the aesthetics of violence. Gahlia Gwangwa’a, Mathew Takwi and Bate Besong in their poetry write with the conviction, orientation and consciousness that if something is not done, society will slowly but surely drift to the precincts of insanity. The radicalism and the rhetoric of violence reflected in their poetry attest to this. From this standpoint, this paper sets out to demonstrate that Gwangwa’a, Takwi and Besong in their respective collections, Cry of the Destitute (1995) People Be Not Fooled (2004) and Disgrace: autobiographical narcissus, (2007) express anger and frustration with regard to the dismal and abysmal state of socio-political affairs in Cameroon which culminate in the rejection of the neocolonial political systems. The argument of this paper is predicated on the premise that third generation Anglophone Cameroonian poets like Gwangwa’a, Takwi and Besong are radical and revolutionary in their poetic works because they use their poetic works to protest against victimization, oppression and lack of social justice in the Cameroonian society. They are as angry as they are impatient. Their poetic works are artistic missiles and arsenals that embody the rhetoric of violence. Drawing largely from the socialist realism of Lukacsian-Marxist artistic paradigms, this study underscores the fact that Gwangwa’a, Takwi and Besong’s poetic vision aspires to explore and capture the reality in the Cameroonian society. Thus, this study reveals that this poetry has made conscientisation, revolts and violence its campaign themes to overcome the impedimenta that have made life a real drudgery and nightmare.

Keywords: Anger, dialectics socialist realism and violence, rejection, rhetoric