A STYLISTIC ANALYSIS OF WOLE SOYINKA’S THE BEATIFICATION OF AREA BOY AND A PLAY OF GIANTS

A STYLISTIC ANALYSIS OF WOLE SOYINKA’S THE BEATIFICATION OF AREA BOY AND A PLAY OF GIANTS

ABSTRACT

Wole Soyinka has been rated as a man of commendable style. The parlance, “The man and the style” has become axiomatic in his literary writings. Soyinka has attained full relevance in the philosophy of his art and style. Cursory readers accuse him of being metaphysical and difficult because they approach literature without the basic linguistic orientation in stylistics. However, what has won him accolades, distinction and, of course, the prestigious Nobel Prize in literature has been his rich description, elaborate scenes and fascinating characters which we shall exemplify in this study using The Beatification of Area Boy and A Play of Giants. Style is the artful expression of ideas whereas stylistics is the bridge between the ideas and how stylisticians analyse literary texts to pin down the ideas of the creative writer. They achieve this through “analyzable elements” which are tools of stylistic analysis. Modern experts summarise them under what they describe as the 3Rs – stylistic analysis should be rigorous, replicable and retrievable. Others describe them as “Objective facts” where we handle issues like foregrounding, deviation, norm and such other devices such as contextual conditioning, collocational and category rule violations, coupling, syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations etc which are mostly linguistic and non-linguistic features. In doing this, Wole Soyinka in his super-state style and solid plots has contributed to the growth of the English language. This is what Penelope Gilliatt, a European critic means by writers adding new dimensions to the language of their adoption. He applauds Soyinka as having “repaid a similar debt to English through his works and style.” This stylistic dexterity makes Soyinka a writer of distinction in Africa and indeed, the world. The aim of this project therefore, is to analyze the aesthetics of Soyinka’s style in creative writing through the two texts.