BASIC CONCEPTS OF LITERATURE
BASIC CONCEPTS OF LITERATURE
THEORY OF LITERATURE
Is a body of principle that gives a learner the origin development and essential qualities of literature. They examine different definition and treatments with the word literature. They also explain how literary works do differ from other works such as law books, science, mathematics etc.
Literature is a multi – dimensional concept hence there have been various attempts to define the term literature as follows:-
– Literature is the product of human imagination employing language creatively to reflect man’s relationship within his /her environment (shake speare)
– Literature is mirror that reflects the reality of the society. (Nkwera)
– Literature is the use of language in a peculiar way (different from normal language use) in order to reflect social realities through artistic use of language (Gibbon)
– Literature is imaginative and creative writing which uses language and arbitrary assemblage of devices
– Literature is an imitation based on reality of the society.
– Literature is the work of art which use language creatively to express human realities (the universe is the source of these realities to be expressed)
– Literature is the expression of emotion feelings of someone.
Generally, Literature can be defined as any work of art that use language creatively to reflect social realities within the society aiming at educating entertaining, criticizing, conscientious or worming the society? As Literature it use have Universality, artist, work as well as audience
- Key words to consider
– Art (Organization of events, characterization, flow of incidents
– Use language
– Creatively Words
– Social realities
Literature is a product of the society; it therefore attempts to reflect the social activities with an interest to not only entertain but also to educate.
The first intention demands that literature has to be artistic in order to provide entertainment to the consumer, however in order to educate the society, literature must uncover its skills and sexiest ways for remedial changes.
In order to accomplish this opinion the work of art must be accordant of the same society it’s talking about. It’s evident therefore that a goods literary work of art is a product of the society, by the outsides, Since literature aims to benefit the society, it has to work upon the daily activities of the society, infect it must be serious commentary, judge and critic of the society.
Words are the brushes to which a literary artist paints the picture of the society.
In defining the word art, two ideas emerge;
- That art is a skill
- That art is an item or a product of creativity
- Art is a skill
This paradigm argues that are the skill used in making or doing different things e.g. the art of basket weaving, the art of tuning a piano, the art of scoring a goal. In this sense there are many arts, infect there are a many arts as there are deliberate specialized activities for human beings to engage in.
Art is used in many other ways. E.g. useful arts this refers to those arts which produce beautiful objects for everyday use. Decorative arts these are arts which produce items for decorations and also for their own use.
The word art is used more specialized way e.g. it is widely used to mean a painting, a novel, music composition to mention a few such activities designed only to product a work of art are after called fine art.
Creations of art serve different reasons, for example in human life people have created different tools for cutting, digging, and have needs of special satisfactions things worth looking at or worth hearing. Others want memorable things these need are either formal or recoverable interests.
These are found with people who are interested in order; they enjoy patterns of contrast and balances for
Pre – historic people curved the handles of their hunting knifes in regular pleasing patterns objects in our homes are arranged in regular patterns, today we dress up, we wear jewellery and arrange our dresses in certain ways depending on our interests these are examples of formal interests.
Some events and ideas take a very high importance in our religious, social and political life. In different societies people use some formal symbols or ceremonies to make such events memorable, for example, per-historic people used dances and rituals to ensure success at seed time or harvest time, ancient Greeks represented with different symbols, the ideal human politics of strength, courage and beauty in there statues of Gods and goddesses.
Today we mark a marriage with speech songs and ceremonies and therefore give the occasion form in order to mark it memorable.
WORK OF ART
An Aesthetic experience
Works of art result from the formal and commemorative coming together, they satisfy our desires for form and at the same time remind us of something we consider when we experience a work of art we do not feel the two separate interests, they join to create a special experience for us. This is aesthetic experience.
Examples of works of Art
- The great epic poem ODYSSEY appeals to as in a way that unites the two interests into one, it is not only a story about basic human problems and a study of the resourcefulness and adaptability of human nature and it is also a cunningly told with suspense and a climax.
- Vincent van Gogh paintings of the sun flower is not just a formal composition of shape and color, it has a bright vividness that stays in our minds as a kind of symbol of nature busting with life.
- Berte Thorvald sen “Shepherd boy” is a delightful marble statue typical of a new-classical style. It vividly shows the beauty of youth just as it captures our imagination thus creating a universe of ideas, works of art may differ widely in the proportions which they combine formal and commemorative interest’s fine arts and literature usually amount to the conclusion that this picture and that poem induce the same mood in a person. The various arts have their individual history and a different internal structure of elements although they are in constant relationship with each other, these relationships are not influences which start from one point and determine evolutions of other arts.
LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
A literary work of art cannot survive or even be proper understood without a thought understanding of the language which is its medium of expression. Its use of language as not to be desired than meets the eye. The literature artist concentrates on the books that are thought worthy of preservation as literature, to be studied for their own sake rather than for their extensive value as guide books or political tracts. The language in these books is used in a peculiar way in order to entertain and educate at the same time. There is a difference therefore in the way language is used in literature as oppose to ordinary language use in at list three aspects:-
- Literature language may violate or deviate from the generally observed rules of the language in many different ways.
- A creative writer can use features of the language of past ages or even borrow features belonging to other non-literary uses of language.
- Literature language is well known for its troops/figures of speech like irony and metaphor and therefore is rich in devices compared to ordinary language.
The result of the above factors is that literature work of art is not a simple object but rather a highly complex organization of a stratified character with multiple meanings or relationships.
BEAUTY AND SIGNIFICANCE
Scholars try to describe the two interests in art as those of beauty and significance, they identify the formal interests with desire to make and enjoy beautiful things. People studying art believe that the formal satisfaction of sheer design and the intensity of the commemorative aspect both contribute to beauty.
BEAUTY AND USEFULNESS
Beauty does not depend on usefulness; works of art such as paintings and music have little or no use apart from their value as works of art. We could use a piece of sculpture to hold the door open although its only real use is that it is the sculpture. Other objects such as cups or chairs are designed to perform special functions yet they too are sometimes considered works of art. They may even be exhibited in a museum if they produce aesthetic experiences.
SOCIAL ROLE OF THE ARTIST
By nature, virtual arts like paintings and sculptures involve more physical manual labour than the literary arts. The sculptor or painter has generally more easily assimilated to the traditions of the skilled manual craftsmanship. The poet has tended to be associated with the realm of religious ceremonies and record keeping within or outside the various religious organizations. All in all artists have a role to educate, challenge, revolutionize, entertain and record, these are enjoyed in all sharpers of the social structure.
LITERATURE AND THE OTHER ARTS
The relationships of literature and the other arts are many and complex, sometimes poetry has used inspirations from the other arts. Likewise other works of art may use themes of poetry. The poets have used pieces of sculptures, paintings or even music more often poems have been written with the intention that music should be added and in some cases poets and composers have been one and the same. It is evident therefore that there are some relationships among the various arts types.
HOW LITERARY ARTS DIFFER FROM THE OTHER ARTS
Although all arts are similar from the artistic point of view that serves both commemorative and formal interests, there are several differences between a literary and the other arts. The differences are as follows bellow:-
Literary works of art are presented using language as there medium of presentation. The language used is not the ordinary language which is artistic therefore rich in artistic devices.
Literary artists use characters to relay their message, the characters are artistic creation of the author or the poet and they are the mouth piece of the writer, through these the authors pass the message to the society. The characters also portray the lilies and shortcomings of the people in the society at a given time.
Setting refers to time and place. A literary work of art is set at a certain given period of time. Setting is therefore basically divided into two. First, the temporal setting which depicts the period when the period when the work of art was set (period) this interim affects the language and all the aspects of culture found in the work of art. E.g.: dark and what there. This is because if the work of art depicts the 1960’s it will also depict the aspects of culture of that period and place including language, dress and music to mention just but a few aspects.
Secondly; due the geographic setting, the author will depict the culture of the society shown in work of art to resemble that of the society were the art is set thus if the work of art is portraying the society of fisherman, this setting will dictate the dressing and all the other details found in the work to fit such a society.
TYPES OF LITERATURE
- Oral Literature
- Written Literature
- ORAL LITERATURE
Is the type of Literature presented through the use of mouth it is the primary to the written genre ie it has been into existence long time before the invention of written form. The clement of Oral literature include Legend myth proverbs, saying, Riddles, folktales, Anecdote, fables
These are the formed stories of the past especially one may not be practically true but of historical troth and perhaps less of supernatural.
Eg:- Wangu Wa Makeri (by Bukenya)…..:
These are stories originated in ancient time esp. with focus in idea or belief about the early history of mankind encounters experience as of supernatural . Power and super being creature’s that had power more than human being. It tells the origin of life, create and the meaning of life
These are short stories not based on fact often with animal’s cheater that conveys a moral message. People and inanimate objects one sometimes the central figlire. Fables have to do with supernatural or unusual incident.
These are short, interesting and amusing story about a person or errant. It is a narrated incident based on the life of an important person and should lay elements of truth.
Are long narrative poem in an elevated style presenting characters of high position in adventures forming an organic whole through their relation to a arbitral heroic figure.
These are puzzling questions, statement or descriptions especially one intended to test the cleverness of those within to solve them- E.g:- my house has no door “- An egg, We are tree in our family”
These are short narration chanced down through oral tradition, they are popular stories; passed from one generation to the next. These explain / tell the things come to existence the way they are eg. The sun and the Moon (by Bukenya)
These are phrases or a statement that expresses something about life that most people believe is wise and true. This induces Idioms and prunes.
Are phrases or sentences in which their meaning is not clear from the creaming of its individual word. Thus it must be learnt as whole unit
– Hit the nail on the head ie go straight to point
– Breaks ones back ie to over work someone
-Take French leave ie to leave without permission
– Beauty is on skin deep ie don’t judge by appearance.
Are short artistic wise. Sayings which are meant to worn or educate.
– Birds of some feathers flock together
– Stitch time same nine.
– Every dog has day ie every one has/he/her success ahead
– A bird min hand is too worth in the bush.
Comment on the status / position of Oral Literature in Tanzania today.
2. WRITTEN LITERATURE
Is the work of art expressed through written form. It emerged after the invention of written so it is the second to Oral literature.
Written Literature has three GENRES:-
- Plays/ Drama
a) THE NOVEL
Is a long work of prose from fiction that contains character in the form of plot normally presents life basing an history and culture of the society in which it is set. It also defined as A long narratives in which characters and events are imaginary. Though events contained in Novels are fictions, they are said to have verisimilitude (realism this is due to the act that incidents that are found in the Novel have some relationship with the real life as experienced by the human being. A person who writes a novel is called, NOVELIST.
A novel (from French Novella Italian novella new) is an extended generally fictional narrative, typically in prose, Until the 18th century the word referred specifically to short functions of love and intrigue as opposed to romances which were epic – length works about lose and adventure. Novels are generally between 60,000 – 200,000 words or 300 – 1300 pages in length.
During the 18th century, the novel adopted features of the old romance and became one of the literary genres. It is today define as must by its ability to become the object of literary accusation demanding artistic merit and a specific literary style, the early novel was basically any story told for its spectacular or reveling instincts. The original environment living on with a typical frame setting – was the entertaining conversation. Stories of grave incidence could just as well augment sermons
Collection of examples facilitated the work of preachers in need of such illustrations. A fable could illustrate a moral conclusion; a short historical reflection could does the same. A competition of genres developed. Tastes and social status were decisive, if one believes on the medieval collections. The working classes loved their own brands of drastic stories, stories of clever cheating, with and the ridicule leveled against hated social groups.
FEATURES OF A NOVEL.
– Novels are presented in narrative form
– They are written in chapters unlike plays which are Written in acts and scenes and poems which are written in stanzas and verses.
– Navels are meant to read silently, quite contrary from plays which are meant to be performed on stage or poems to be sang.
– A novel has a point of view ie the angle from which the story is told.
b) PLAY / DRAMA
Drama is a work of art is written for the purpose of being acted on stage. Another scholar has defined drama as story telling that uses actors / actress before people’s eyes.
A, person who compose / writes a play is called a PLAYWRIGHT
FEATURES OF DRAMA /PLAY
– When in scripts, drama shows its setting through stage direction which tell the readers when and where something happened. It also shows where and when characters enter and leave,
and it shows different mood of characters
– Drama must have dialogue. ie conversation or speech of two or more characters speaking to each other.
– A play must have a conflict that makes it going. These conflicts passes through stages such as exposition, rising action (complication/ confrontation), Climax (point of no return ) , falling
action, resolution (denouement / deinu: mo/
– Most modem plays have elements of realism that means what an artist say/do related to everyday experience.
– The stages of a play have something that characterizes the mood of the play. Normally a song that is sung all over the play is to affect the emotional of the viewers or readers. The choice
of tithe song will depend on the subject matter of the play.
– Plays have many theories like novels do.
Terms used in Drama/play
- Scene: Which can be defined as the smallest unit in a play? a scenes has one major event. Thus a play is made up of scenes which combine to form act.
- Act is a major division of a play made of Scenes sometimes you may find a play which has neither scenes nor acts.
Each act is made up of more than one scene normally the end of one scene normally the end of one scene or act is marked by a curtain
- Curtain: When the actors/ actress leave the stage they go behind the curtain. The rising and the lowering of the entrain marks the beginning or end of the scene or act
- Stage direction: These are words that are introduced before any action in a play with the intention of making readers imagine they are viewing the actual performance on stage. They show the setting of an act or a scene. They also show the mood of the actors/actress. Stage directions show leaving and entering of characters.
NB: Stage directions are normally directed by using the words in italics so as to make those word unique.
TYPES OF DRAMA / PLAYS
There are four types of play, as shown here under
Is a play deals with a serious action. Tragedy plays present terrifying events and existence suffering. The source of tragic plays comes from royal (events presenting kings and Queens and
great person. Also tragic plays deals with Noble person.
It has hero / heroine who becomes engaged in a conflict, experiencing great suffering and finally dies or is defeated or punished in other words we can tell it a play that end sorrowful.
This type of play is aimed to make people laugh. It is argued that comedy come into existence because tragedy was considered to be threatening so Viewers could not learn because they could
concentrate in pitying the hero/heroin suffering due to tragic action.Thus they introduced comedy to make people enjoy instead of tragedy.
Comedy achieves the purpose of laughter by employing wit (cleaver/amusing) and humor (funny usually has happy ending.
– Comedy ridicule the weakness of human nature
– Comedy criticize and aims to correct human conduct
-Usually comedy is exaggeration in nature.
-Comedy arises from improbable people placed in probable situation.
iii) Tragic – Comedy:-
This is a Mixture of tragedy and comedy it is play that employs a plot like that of tragedy but ends happily the way comedy ends. In tragic comedy it is the denouement that show happiness. Thus tragic– comedy has both feature of comedy and those of tragedy only because there are aspects that appeal to laughter and those that appeal to sadness or pity.
iv) Melo drama:
It is kind of drama which uses musing to heighten events and it uses stock characters (characters taken from the past) .
The major aim of melodrama is to present confrontation between god and evils. Also it aims to make human being do good things which are acceptable in the society.
Usually in melodrama there is violence on the stage and usually the good one win.
v) Mixed form.
This is a contemporary type of drama which includes all the types mentioned. This has been so due to development and changes and it is because of the freedom of form, freedom of style as well as freedom of techniques.
HOW TO WRITE A PLAY:
– Make sure that your play shows characters who are talking to each other. That means a play must be in dialogue form.
– As it is in scripts. It must be supported by stage direction so that readers my know where various incidents take place.
– Stage direction will help the reader to see that the character enters or leave the stage.
NB: Words that shows form stage direction are normally in italic form and in brackets These words help the reader to understand what/when & where the events takes place in the play.
- When the play/drama is performed on the stage; Stage direction is replaced by actual activities that the viewer can see and heard. Example things like closing and opening the door, coughing can be seen and headed.
– Know the type of play you are composing
– Before all you must have an idea ie all about the play
– Make sure your play have all the features of being a play.
- What are the features of a play?
- Differentiate comedy from tragedy
- What is the difference between a novel and a play?
- Plays are said to have more power of educating; criticizing and building awareness in their respective society and the world at large than other literary genres Do you agree?why?
(From the Greet “poles – making or creating) is a form of art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in additional to in lie because of ostensible meaning.
Poetry may be written independently, as discrete poems, or may occur in conduction with other arts, as in poetic drama, hymns or lyrics.
Poetry and discussions of its have a long history early attempts to define poetry such as Aristotle’s poetics focused on the of speech in enter, dram, song and comedy. After attempt
concentrated on features such as repetition and rhyme and aesthetics which distinguish poetry has sometimes being more loosely defined as a fundamental creative act using language.
Poetry often uses particular forms and conversions to expand the utterly meaning of the words, or to evoke emotional or essential responses. Desires used to achieve musical or incantatory
effects. Poets use of ambiguity, symbolism and other stylish elements of poetic diction after leaves a poem open to multiple interpretations similarly metaphor and simile create resonance
between otherwise. Paraclete images layering of meanings, forming connection previously not perceived kindred forms of resonance may exist between individual senses in their pattens of chime
Some forms of poetry are specific to particular cultures and genres, responding to the characteristics of the language in which the poet writes while readers accustomed to identifying it’s as being written in rhyming lines and regular meter, there are traditions such as those of Dufu and Beowulf if that use other approaches to achieve rhythm and euphony, In today globalized world, poets often borrow styles, techniques and forms from diverse cultures and languages.
In addition to specific forms of poems, poetry is often thought of in terms of different genes and sub genres. A poetic gene is generally a tradition or classification of poetry based on the subject matter, style or other broader ternary characteristics. Some commentators’ views gore as natural forms of iterative others view the study of gene as the study of how difference works related and refer to other works.
The term poetry has been defined differently according to different perceptive of various scholars.
-Poetry is the writing that formulates a concentrated, imaginative awareness of experience chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through its meaning sound and rhythm. (wasters new international Dictionary G &C Merriam Co . 1961 3rd ed)
– Poetry is an imaginative work that normally presents experiences or ideas with special reference to emotions using language characterize by imaginary and rhythmical sound.
– Poetry is literary genre that is rich in figurative expression as well as musical features.
-Poetry is a literary gene in verse (line)form language more creatively and artistically than other literacy works.
-Poetry is a metrical compassion characterized by strong imagination, emotion, significant meaning and appropriate language.
FEATURES OF POETRY
- Very economical in Language use i.e. poetry use few words to convey a lot of information.
- Poetry consists of musical features such as rhyme and rhythm.
- Poetry uses relatively more figures of speech than other genres of literature.
- The basic unit composing a poem is line
- Poetry rarely involves characters with names normally poems use the persona / speaker.
- Poetry is arranged in lines and stanzas.
TERMS USED IN POETRY
Poetry has jargon’s that identify it as something unique in itself. These terms / jargon’s are common in poetry are called POETIC DICTION/ DEVICES
2. POETIC DEVICES
These are techniques or tools used in poetry which help improve the quality of poetry. Poetic method / devices can be number of things used in a poem, for instance language, imagery, assonance, alliteration, simile, metaphor, stanza, consonance, persona, allusion, refrain, Raychem, rhythm, tone, peptic license onomatopoeia.
This refers to person who speaks in the poem. Sometime a poet may use the pronoun “I” in his/her poem. This does not mean not mean that it is the poet who is speaking rather than the poet has put him / herself in someone’s shoes.
Is the repletion of initial consonant sounds at the beginning of a consecutive word in a verse / line.
E.g.: But now I am cabined cribbed confide or
when I was one. Or
the babbling brook bubbled the furrow followed free.
Is the repetition of similar consonant sounds at the end of a word in stressed syllable in a given verse.
E.g.: – Food is good not word
– Set your foot to fit here.
Is the repetition of vowel sounds in neighboring word in a verse.
E.g.:– Jo ascended the throne and told the whole populace to throw a bone to Polonius the vole”
Is the intentionally omission of some words that the poet consider of less important to be used in his/her work. Normally functional words such as proposition, auxiliary verbs, conjunction and
determines are the one that fall victims of being omitted.
NB: The omitted words may be filled by the readers as they read
– ALLUSION: Is the use of well-known things as reference so as make readers understand the concept(s) due to the fact the reference used is well know
–STANZA: Is a group of lines that stands as paragraph. Stanzas are separated from each other by space.
–RHYME: Is the similarity of ending sounds exist between two words. Or is the similarity in sound at the end of consecutive lines or at the same interval in a stanza.
FUNCTIONS OF RHYME
- The repetition of sounds at regular interrupts bring the reader a season’s gratification meaning it makes the reader enjoy that repetition.
- The recurrence of the rhyme at regular intervals helps to establish the form of the stanza
- The rhymes serve to unify and distinguish the divisions of the poem and therefore give a unity to one stanza while marking it off from the others as separate. From such divisions the rhyme creates a sense of movement to the poem as a whole
Types of Rhymes
The types of rhymes are classified according to two schemes;
- The position of the rhymed syllables in the line
- The number of syllables involved introducing the rhyme
- The position of the rhymed syllables in the line
- End Rhymes
These are most common rhymes and they occur at the end of the line
- Internal Rhymes
Sometimes called leonine rhyme occurs at some place after the beginning but before the end of the line.
- The Beginning Rhyme
This occurs in the first syllable or syllables of the line.
– PHYME SEHEME: The sequence in which the rhyme occurs for example:-
Like and learn to be hard working (a)
Like bees you should live (b)
You‘ll be like a king (a)
you‘ll know how to live (b)
Indeed, living is learning (a
Thus the rhyming scheme in this stanza is ab,ab, a
– RFFRAIN: Is a word or line that is repeated at the end of each stanza in a poem. It actually act as a chorus. This technique serves two great roles(i) emphatic role(ii)musical purposes
It is a line repeated at the end of each stanza example of poems with refrain
“The song of the low”
“A freedom song”
Function of Repetition in poetry
These two contribute to both musicality of the poem and the meanings of the poem
a). Sound repetition
b). Word repetition
These two contribute to both the musicality of the poem and the meanings of poem.
A good example is “western civilization a poem” a poem with a lot repeations.
The repetition in this poem shows the monotony of the work.
– VERSE: Is a unit a poem consisting of a line in a stanza. No stanza in the absence of verses.
– RHYTHM: Is a pattern of stress and pauses that link words in a unit. So rhythm is caused by the poem is either regular or irregular. When it is regular, stress occurs at similar internal and when it is irregular, trees does not occur at the same interval both stress and unstressed syllable form a foot. One foot begins where a stressed syllable begins.
– ONAMATOPOEIA: Is the use of words which imitate sound OR. The use of word that suggest meaning through the sounds of things or animals.
E.g.:- The use of tu-tu-tu-tu Which suggest the sound of the Gun?
– POETIC LICENSE: Is the right assumed by poets to alter or invert standard syntax or depart from common diction or pronunciation to comply with the metrical or tonal requirements of their
writing. OR The privilege that poets have to violate the rules of the grammar of the language he/she is using to compose his/her work.
It is an allowance or permission to the poet to play around with the rules of language in order to archived effect.
VARIETIES OF POETIC LICENSE
This is the poet right to ignore set rules and conventions generally observed by users of the language. The poet deviates from the norm (canon) in order to archive his own end in this presentation o the poem. Through poetic license there are several deviations that can be observed from poems these include the following;
a. Lexical deviation
This is the art of inventing new words for the poem in order to fit the style of the poet. Lexical deviation not a complete variation of lexical rather it only applies the rules of word formation to a greater generality. Quit a number of widely used English words originated in poetry due to the use of lexical deviations, example: – blatant Spencer
Assassination – Shakespeare
Pandemonium – Milton
Usage of lexical deviations
In order to deviate from the norm lexically, the poet waves or ignores the usual descriptions or the rules of word formation. Examples, the English rules of word formation which profits the predication of “force” to a verb to convey the meaning of beforehand as in foresee foretell.
Such a rule may be applied with greater freedom to create words like, foretell or fore appear
In the example above the rule of using the prefix “fore” which limits its usage to just but a number of verbs is over stretched to include other words which do not under normal circumstances we the prefix.
Likewise compounding which is another process of the word formation is used with greater generality in some line or poems. For example in a poem by Hopkins titled the well of the Heathland, he was used the following rhyme “The widow making uncoiling deeps.The use of UN in a prefix on words which do not take a prefix in normal speech. Window making is also used as a on the pattern of music prize winning tub thumping.
However there is strangeness in the usage which such a compound as widow making is not normally or choice by the poet, some words may have to be snorted, in this incidence parts of words are omitted, such as;
- The removal of the initial part of a word – Ephesians e.g. ‘its instead of its is
- The removal of the medial part of a word – Apocalypse e.g. Nev instead of never
- The removal of the final part of a word syncope oft’ instead of often
- Removal of words with no importance – elision
b. Dialectical deviation
This is the borrowing of features of socially or regionally defined dialects. It is commonly used story teachers humanists, and poets. For the poet, dialect may serve a number of purposes in its usage it evokes flavors and a sense of belonging to the society which reads the poem. A good example is the poem the socialists by Richard mabala.
It had been afraid to draw close dressed as I was in working clothes, But fired by such moving words of commitments approached each Bandung and asked him if they would spare a few hours to help us dig our new irrigation ditch
c. Grammatical Deviations
This is the deviation from the normal grammatical rules in order to suit the requirement of the poem. A good example of this re–arrangement of syntactic elements in a irregular order is what we call “hyper baton, This is done by placing an adjectives after the noun it qualifies, Likewise jumbled structures of clauses are sometimes used in verses. They are taken for granted. This can be seen in the poem “The diverting History of john Gulpin” written by Cowper.
John Gulpin was a citizen of credit and renown
A train – band captain eke he was a
famous of London town
John Gulpin’s spouse said to her dear
“Though wedded we have been”
These twice ten tedious years yet we
“No holiday have seen”
The sections underlined contain the main clause elements which are S for subject, C for compliment and V for verb which impose as in ordinary speech would certainly take the order S V C
However Cowper gives were three separate salvation of that order CVS CSV SCV
This is the deviation of the language of the Historical period. A poet is not restricted to the language of his or her own periods; widely applauded poets make use of archaism. James Joyce thought a writer must be familiar with the languages history.
T.S. Eliot expressed a similar idea when he argued that the significance and appreciation of the poet is the appreciation of his relationship to the dead poets and artists. This means that many poets have felt that they share the same language, same communicative media as poets of earlier generations, whatever changes the language may have undergone in the mean time.
Archaism is therefore the survival of the language of the past into the language of the past into the language of the present the archaic by Aristotle and has long persisted through much of the history of English poetry.
Poets like Spencer and Milton played a leading role in the establishment of these rational patterns of wages the traditional has been kept allies in poetry by such words such
- Behold meaning see or look
- Betimes meaning sometimes
- Damsel meaning small
- Stetson meaning often
- Are’ meaning error
- Fain meaning act like
- Oft – often
- Smith – hit, kill
- Unto – to me you
- Sounder – there
e. Graphologist/Orthographic Deviation
This is the line by line arrangement of words of the printed poem with irregular. The printed line just like the printed stanza is different in its arrangement when it is compared to stanza or a paragraph in prose.
The line in a stanza is an independent unit which is capable of communication on idea; it is also capable of interacting without the use of standard units of punctuation
Good examples of poets who use graph logical deviations are William Charles Williams and E.E comings.
Orthographical deviation: Is the discarding of capital letters and punctuations were conventional prose cables for the use.
A good example of a poet using orthographical deflation is E.E comings. According to them the used for capital letters spacing and punctuation is an expresses device and not just symbols to the used in writing
Seeker of truth by E.E comings
Seeker of truth
Follow no path
All paths lead where
Truth is here
When graphologist deviation is employed and ambiguity arises from a clash between the units of sentences indicated by line action and by syntax.
By elimination the poem above ends with statements Truth is here but according to syntax “truth is must belong to the clause that begun in the previous line and so here is left on its own as an explanatory conclusion.
The significance of the poem puts or lies on the ambiguity which could not have arisen if the poet had used conventional capitalization and functions.
–Tone: Is the writer’s attitude toward the subject he/she is writing about. It can happy, angry lovely, seared, excited, suspicious etc.
–MOOD: Is the feeling or atmosphere perceived by the reader. OR. Is the feeling the read gets when reading something. It can be scary mood, anger, pity, choppiness, fun
-IMAGERY: Words or phrases that appeal to any series or any combination of senses.
– PERSONIFICATION: Is a figure of speech which endows inanimate objects with human traits OR abilities.
E.g.:- When whole water dapped our cringing brow
In justice strides forth with a sure step
– Point – of View: The poets / author point – of view concentrates on the vantage point of the speaker or teller the stone/ or poem
- 1st person the speaker is a character in the set or poem and tells it from his/her perspective (uses “1)
- 3nd person limited the speaker is not part of story but tells about the other character but limits information about what one character sees and feels.
- 3rd Person omniscient. The speaker is not part the of story, but is able to know” and describe what all characters are thiriking
TASK: Add more ten (10) poetic devices you know
TYPES OF POETRY.
Generally poems / poetry can be group into two broad types. These are:-
- Traditional poetry/ closed from poem
- Modem poetry / open form poem.
i) TRADITIONAL POETRY/ CLOSED FORM POEMS
these are poems which strictly follow ancient rulers and regulation of composing a poem. Rules and regulations like; balance in the number of words per stanza, rhyming pattern, rhythm and balance in the number of words in each line of every stanza.
ii) MODEM POETRY/ OPEN FORM
These are poems which are not strict as the traditional ones in obeying all the rules and regulations of composing a poem.
NB: Some of the modern poems have rhymes if you find a modern poem which has rhymes then it it is not a FREE VERSE poem because a free verse poem is a poem which has no rhyme.
Also it should be noted that, Rational and modern has nothing to do with time. A poem may be composed today and yet be regarded as Traditional poem. The vice versa is true.
However, poetry can further be categorized basing on form and content. If you categorize /classifies poem in this approach the following are the type you can have:-
This poetry tells a story. It include other types like epic, ballad, allegory/ and simple narratives Example in Always a suspect” the poet tells us a story of one Blackman in South Africa.
In the ”Shebeen Queen” the poet tells the story of the queen collecting her money. Etc.
ii) DIDACTIC POEM
This is a poem whose aim is to instruct the reader rather than an appeal to his imaginative understand. This poem aims at giving a lesson to the reader so as to move them (change) usually talk about political or social maters. For example. “Your pain (by Armando Gaebuza)
iii) LYRICAL POETRY
These are poems which express the thoughts and particularly the feelings of the poet. So it deals with the internal world of the poet. These can be poems of love, death, torture etc. For
instance the poem “I live you Gentle one” or ‘Song of common lover” (by Ralph Botanizer and Flaring Renovo) respectively.
iv) SONNET POETRY
Is a lyric poem that contains 14 (fourteen) lines. These lines are divided into two groups. The first eight lines are called Octet and the remaining six lines are called sestet.
A good example of this is (If we must die” (by C. Mackey)
v) DESCRIPTIVE POETRY
Is a poem which tells about the outlook of or people or certain situation or events? For instance “Dying child” (by Lwamba)
vi) BALLAD POETRY.
Is a narrative song with the recurrent refrain it is usually a song that tells a story. It’s like a drama as it is in the form of conversation, when you sing it you will find as if here are two people talking to each other in turns.
Example “Ballad of the land lords” (by Langston Auger.
Ballads are tells which touch upon they can be about legends, love passion, battles, human conflicts and even super natural events. They were most popular in the fourteenth to the seventieth century. Many popular ballads describing conflicts were composed in the 15th and 16th century and they were about the conflict between the sots and the English.
Characteristics of a Ballad
- They are usual written in four line stanzas.
- They are written in dramatic question and answer dialogue to raise emotion of listeners.
- They often have a refrain.
- Probably the Ballads developed from oral tradition (rational songs) this helps to give the narration a smooth flow and serves to intensify or to increase the dramatic; mostly the narrator remains pensive until the talk reaches its tragic climax. The narrator often refrains from making any moral comment, he doesn’t judge, he just stays there.
- The audience draw their own conclusion.
- Due to passage from one generation to another by word of mouth, the words sometimes change giving each ballad its variation.
vii) EPIC POETRY
This is a long narrative poem presenting characters of high position and adventures normally an epic poem has a central heroic figure whose relation with other characters develops episodes which are important to the history of a national or place.
One theory of epics claims that the first epic took shape from the scattered words of various unknown poets and through their usage in time the episodes were melded into an ordered sequence. This theory has led to the belief that an epic is a product of a single genius who gives its structure and expression.
Epics without certain authorship are called folk epics both folk and art epics share a group a of characteristics
- The hero is an important figure of national or international importance and of great historical or legendary significance.
- The setting is vast, covering great nations the world or the inverse.
- The action consists of deeds of great or seen supernatural courage.
- Supernatural forces interest themselves into the action and intervene from time to time
- A style of sustained elevation and simplicity is used
6. The epic poet recounts the deeds of the hero with a measure of objectivity.
Is a poem that either address a person or a thing or celebrating a certain event. For instance if one compose poem for one’s wedding.
Is a lyric poem that expresses sadness about someone who has died so all poems composed for purpose are called ELEGY.
Generally these are some of the categories of poems as there are many ways/approaches of categorizing poems. It should be noted that one poem may fall in several kinds of poetry depending
on how one may approach it.
HOW TO COMPOSE A POEM
For a person to compose a good poem one must know all the features of poetry.
– Select a suitable title of your poem in a condensed way but gives summary of your poem.
– Know the type of the poem you are composing.
– Pack your massages in verses. Note that a verse/ line in a poem is not necessarily to be a sentence.
– Use words economically so words that are metaphorical or symbolic are inevitable. AS the poet you need to use words that you think earn best present the message you intended to
-Use imagery to appeal at least one of the five senses of organ such as touch. hears, smell, see, and test. These words are as important as they act as spices in your work.
-Reread the poem see to how it produces the rhythm.
Compose a lyric poem.
FORM AND CONTENT IN LITERARY WORK
These are the key concepts to consider when analyzing literary work. Any literary work must have form and content. There is no way one can separate the two concepts understanding form and content will help you to produce your own literary works and easily decipher. The works produced by other artists.
This part contains all techniques used by the artist for artistic effect. In this part the artist choose the best techniques that will enable him/her to decipher the message to the readers/ audience. It is impossible for the work of art to exist without form.
Form contains the following elements style, plot, flashback, foreshadowing, Characters, suspend, language, setting, point of view etc. Through these elements and artist communicate to
his/her reader’s listeners or viewers.
This is the way the author decide to present his/her work, in this; every author has his/her unique way of writing. For instance Ngugi wa Thing’o in his novel “Grain of wheat” uses biblical quotation. So if you observe. Many works of Ngugi you will conclude that Ngugi prefer biblical question in his work that been the case we say this is Ngugi style.
Not only that but also Chinua Achebe has the tendency of using Igbo proverbs, vocabularies and mixing of languages so again this is Achebe’s Style.
Generally, style can be achieved by choice of vocabularies, use of certain figure of speech, incorporating feature of Oral literature like songs, proverbs and other Oral literature genres.
NB: One can be in a good position to say, this is a style of a certain author only if one has gone a number of readings of that particular author.
This is the technique by the hint of the action which will follow later in the story is given. For example you may be reading a play and find some where a Knife is show. As we continue reading it
we find that one of the characters has used it to kill him/herself. The we conduce that it is a fore shadowing.
This can be described in-terms, of place and time Basing on the occurrence of events presented in the work, so setting depends on time and place for example the novel “The Beautiful. Ones are not yet. Born” is set in Ghana offer independence. There are clues that can help a student/ reader to identify the setting of a particular work. As follow:-
– Actual names of place and people.
– Physical features
– The actual history of the place
-Social context in which events take place e.g. church, school, Wedding ceremony.
-The authors name and history. E.g.:- Atufigwegwe, Mwaifuge, Twikasige etc.
-The culture of people at that particular place described. E.g.:- Type of food eaten, type of clothes worn, economic activities carried out, ways of worshiping, type of dances, the way people
marry and bury dead bodies etc
– So there are some of the clues that can assist learns to identify the setting of a given literary work.
This is the arrangement of e vents in a literary work. Plot out to have unit, means incidents are supposed to be arranged in a good mariner to shed how those incidents are related.
Plot may be chronological or mixed up chronological in the sense that incident are arranges in series basing on the way they occurred ie from he beginning to the end (1, 2, 3, 4…)
Mixed plot means that incidents are not arranged chronologically not in series. In this you may find the incident that supposes to be presented at the beginning is found at the end or middle. For ex ample you may be introduced the death of a certain main character then about his/her birth and at the end about his/her diseases.
Plot has five stages/ parts these are expository, rising action/ confrontations, climax/ point of not he turn, falling action and resolution.
Thus, Dramatic plot has the following structure. Point of no return/climax.
NB: If the work of art follow this sequence e then it is chronological plot the viscera is also true.
v) CHARACTER & CHARACTERIZATION
Is a person or thing that given a role to play in a literary work. In a novel or play there are people who carry the message of the artists so through these people we understand what the artist wants to tell us.
Is the process of giving attributes to a character or an artist gives attribute to a character keenly so as to enreach the intended massage to the reader/ listeners/ viewers or the society at large.
TYPES OF CHARACTERS
– Prot agonist and antagonist
-Dynamic and static
-Main and minor.
This is a technique where by an artist create anxiety to the reader. The reader may have the desire to see what will be the result unexpected he/she introduces a new incident that means the
previous incidence has been suspended. By doing so the artist has caused anxiety to the reader as he/she will be eagerly to follow the story so as to know the result of the suspended incidence.
vii) POINT OF VIEW
This refers to the angle at which we view the story or vantage point from which a story is told in other words it is a camera to the reader. This helps the narrator to narrate the story.
The story can be told in the first person where the narrator uses the pronoun I/ We. Sometime it can be told in the third person where the narrator uses he/she or they. Third person can be
omniscient or limited. When the narrator knows all about the character is called third person omniscient that means the narrator has the ability to describe the thoughts of characters.
The narrator is said to be Limited of he/she can only tell the action done by the character i.e. the narrator does not know more about them.
“No Iterative in the obscene of language “This is due to the fact that iterative uses language to convey message to the society. It is said that Language is the vehicle of information transfer in
– Language is the source of pleasure in literature because most of the enjoyment that we find in literary work largely depends on artistic use of language.
– Literature helps people to improve other language skills eg reading skill, listening skills etc.
ix)FIGURATIVE USE OF LANGUAGE
This refers to the way the artist: use language so creatively to convey rarities of message. Under form we came to prove that literature uses language artistically as it uses figure of speech. The divergence of language from normal use for the purpose of achieving a certain effect in what we call figure of speech.
The following are the figures of speech that are commonly used literature.
Is the use of particular vocabulary in piece of writing to present through, emotions and sensory experience and produce a mental picture? Imager appeals to at least one of the five senses i.e. touch, smell, tested, hear and see.
Saying the opposite of what is met three types of it are:-
i) Dramatic Irony
ii) Verbal Irony
iii) Situation Irony
Example of Verbal irony
“What a beautiful day “Maxine Said, opening her umbrella.
Situation Irony; this is when the result or ending come in opposite way than people or audience expected to be.
Dramatic Iron. This is the situation where by the reader/audience knows the truth about the characters while characters themselves are not aware or are ignorance of what is going on. Character can considered good while he/she is bad and vice versa.
Is the situation where by inanimate or abstract things are given qualities or attributes of a human being.
For example: – The house pleaded for a new coat of point
– We could hear the singing of water streams as we walked in the forest
– The trees were whispering as the wind blew.
Is a form of verbal Irony that insults a person with insincere praise.
For example: If a student comes late in class and the teacher says; I congratulate you for coming to class on time.
This is another form of Irony it uses humor and wit to criticize a person or a community in order to improve that person or the situation. For example most of the political cartoon and frequently original comedy use satire.
Is the direct comparison of two dissimilar things by using conjunctions such as like, as ….. as an than
For example: – She is as beautiful as an angel
– his hand was small and cold, if felt like wax
– In the morning the dust hung like fog.
Is a comparison in which two dissimilar things are compared by one being given the attribute of the other.This is indirect comparison with out using words like , ‘as as…. as’… “than’,or ‘like’.
E g:- She is an angel
– In battle the soldier is a tiger
– Michael’s face is a map of Ireland
Is a statement that seems absurd / contradictory that may actually be true. For example:-
-For slaves, life was death and death was life.
– They call him a lion, but in the boxing the lion was a lamb.
This is the combination of contradiction words to reveal a truth. Oxymoron is a form of paradox; however ulike paradox, Oxymoron places opposing words side by. For example;
– Parting is such sweet sorrow
– The hurricane turned the lush Island strict into a hellish paradise.
Is the deliberately use of exaggeration or elevate an in order to give emphasis.
-There are thousands of students in my class
-Hyperbole is a way of speaking or writing that makes something sound better, more exciting dangerous, etc than it really is
Is deliberately avoidance of stressing points this treats serious matters as if they are minor or normal things. It also sounds as a form of Irony because it intends to mean the opposite of what it
Is the figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole.
E.g.:- Many hands make light work.
(Hands stand for workers)
– Jack bought a new set of wheels
(wheels stand for a car)
Is the use of symbols to represent ideas?
Is a way of representing an important idea/ issue using abject or thing.
A symbol is something that exists and stands for/represents something etc
-For example in some context cross stands for Christianity
-In other context a lion may be a symbol for bravery.
Is form so important I literacy work? Why?
This is what is being said or conveyed in literary work. Content is what is said or written about
in the book, an article, a programmed, a speech etc.
Content literary work includes:-
- Prologue and
Is the subject or main idea in a talk, piece of writing or work of art It is an abstract concept that is made concrete through its representation in person, action, image in the work of art. It is the basic or general idea expressed in the book.
The following are the main themes in African literature (common themes in African Literature)
- African traditions
- Position of women
- Self-awareness (Consciousness)
is a main ides that the author wants the readers to understand from what they read? It is actually something that the artist wants the readers to do after reading the work. So we conclude that message is a kind of an appeal that tells readers what action to take after reading the work
E.g.:- We should struggle for our development
– We should fight against corruption for the betterment of our society.
– People should struggle and stand for their rights
A lesson is something especially moral that we learn from a literary work. Lessons are deduces from what befall characters in the work. So a literary work is hardly read without a lesson being learnt
Eg:- In “A man of the people” we may leer that living corrupt life like that of chief Nanga has a bad ending
Is the misunderstand between two parts or two people or an individual. There may be conflict between characters and their environment or circumstances or a character may be at war with himself, feeling an internal struggle between conflicting ideas, thoughts or feelings.
Types of conflicts
- Social conflict e.g – Family conflict
- Political conflict e.g – ruling party Vs opposing party
- Economic conflict e.g – the reach against the poor.
- Personal conflict e.g – internal feelings, ideas, thoughts etc
- Philosophical conflict e.g idea Vs idea, feelings Vs feelings.
Time of great danger difficultly or confusion when problems must be solved or important decisions must be made. E.g:- A political / financial/ economic crisis
A speech, etc. at the beginning of a play, book or film/ movie that introduce it.
Functions of literature
3 Bring sense of awareness to people about issues.
4 Bring up skill of language (writing, reading, and speaking)
5 Maintain goods traditional values
6 Instil revolutionary attitudes in peoples’ minds.
7 To criticize society wrong doings
8 To promote skills like participation (acting)
9 To promotes cultural identity
10 Promotes the growth of a language
11 Promotes critical thinking & problem solving skills
12 To console people about problems affecting their society
13 It makes people share various aspects of life.