Critical Discourse Analysis Of Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again

Project and Seminar Material for Linguistics and Communication

Project and Seminar Material for Linguistics and Communication


Analysis on a discourse level has been used in the analysis of texts, but this study attempts to carry out a Critical Discourse Analysis of Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again. The Norman Fairclough theory has been applied in this approach, paying more attention on the socio cultural and political issues in the text. The text, is a social drama which the author has used to expose some societal ills in the society, gender inequality and power relations in the text.

Table of Contents

  • Title page i
  • Certification page ii
  • Dedication iii
  • Acknowledgement iv
  • Abstract v
  • Table of content

Chapter One

  • 1.0 Introduction
  • 1.2 Scope of the study
  • 1.3 Justification
  • 1.4 Methodology
  • 1.5 Data description
  • 1.6 Author’s background

Chapter Two

  • 2.0 Discourse
  • 2.1 Discourse analysis
  • 2.2 A brief history of CDA
  • 2.3 Definitions of CDA
  • 2.4 Approaches to CDA

Chapter Three

  • 3.0 Introduction
  • 3.1 Data analysis

Chapter Four

  • 4.0 Summary
  • 4.1 Findings
  • 4.2 Conclusion
  • 4.3 Recommendations
  • Bibliography

Chapter One

General Introduction

1.0 Introduction

”Discourse” refers to expressing oneself using words Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA)is concerned with studying and analyzing written texts and spoken words to reveal the discursive sources of power, dominance, inequality and bias and how this sources are initiated, maintained, reproduced and transformed within specific social, economic, political and historical contexts. CDA along with other related disciplines attempts to reveal hidden meanings i.e. the ideological loads of the language and the exercise of power. CDA is a contemporary approach to the study of language and discourses in social institutions. It focuses on how social relations, identity, knowledge and power are constructed through written and spoken texts in communities, schools and classrooms.

CDA aims to make its users aware of and able to describe and deconstruct vectors and effects in texts and semiotic materials generally which might otherwise remain to wield power uncritiqued. In there respects, CDA may be a kind of wake up cal, or consciousness, rising about the coercive or anti-demo criticizing effects of the discourses we live by. Critical discourse analysts take explicit position and thus want to understand, expose and ultimately resist social inequality. In other words, CDA may be seen as a reaction against the dominant formal (social or uncritical most times) paradigms of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

This project focuses on an attempt to carry out a Critical Discourse Analysis of Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband has Gone Mad Again. This chapter therefore focuses on the purpose of study, scope of the study, justification, methodology, data description and author’s background.

1.1 Purpose of Study

The purpose of this project is to critically analyze Our Husband has Gone Mad Again by Ola Rotimi using Critical Discourse Analysis. Being that the analysis of a play is rarely done, the researcher is not aware of any previous attempt to do CDA of the text Our Husband has Gone Mad Again.

1.2 Scope of the Study

This project will analyze Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again using Critical Discourse Analysis. It will analyze selected conversations and utterances in the text. There are a lot of CDA elements but only some of them will be selected for the analysis of the text. The analysis will entail how power relations are decoded from the text that links to the society. Findings and conclusions will bring a temporary end to this research work.

1.3 Justification

In the best knowledge of the researcher as a theoretical construct has not been used in analyzing Our Husband has Gone Mad Again by Ola Rotimi. Thus, the study is justifiable as it seeks to investigate the sociopolitical and cultural issues that are inherent in the text. It is also believed that this study will be an additional work in the scholarship of the study of CDA, especially at the undergraduate level.

1.4 Methodology

This project is basically a Critical Discourse Analysis or Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again. Some selected conversations and utterances will be selected from the text for analysis.

Norman Fairclough’s theory of CDA has been chosen for the analysis of this research work, some elements have been selected from the theory including the political and sociocultural issues which occur in the text and leads to the society. The textual analysis sociocultural analysis and the political issues of this text will be analyzed.

1.5 Data Description

The play, Our Husband has Gone Mad Again, is a political satire. It shows the follies and fables of the entire political system in Africa and Nigeria in particular, in a bid to correct some of its anomalies. It lampoons the protagonist Major Rahman Teslim Lejoka-Brown a former military officer who takes to politics with the motif that looks more of vanity patriotism. Ola Rotimi takes a comic swipe at the ideological misfits and opportunist who strut the ever accommodating political landscape of the continent Africa.

1.6 Author’s Background

Olawale Gladstone Emmanuel Rotimi, best known as Ola Rotimi was born in Sapele, former Bendel state of Nigeria on 13th April, 1938, to an Ijaw mother and Yoruba father, so cultural diversity was a recurring theme in his work. He was a playwright, stage director, producer, actor, critic, scholar and a teacher. In his early age, he was exposed to a traditional Nigeria heritage of arts. He was educated at Methodist Boys High School in Lagos from 1952 to 1957. He went to Boston University for a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts where he studied play writing and directing. He later went to Yale University where he had masters in the arts after three years and retired to Nigeria in 1966. While in America, he got married to a French Canadian lady, Hazel a renowned artist, actress, singer and pianist. In Nigeria, Ola Rotimi took a job at the University of Ife, where he was a research fellow from 1966 to 1969 at the institute of African studies. He later became the head of creative arts and director at the University of Port Harcourt.

The dramatic works of Ola Rotimi are known throughout Africa and have made him one of the most significant playwrights on that continent. While he was at Yale University on a Rockefeller fellowship, his socio-political comedy Our Husband has Gone Mad Again was chosen as Yale’s student play of the year in 1966. Ola Rotimi examines Nigerian’s history and ethnic traditions in his works. Some of his published works are: Introduction to Nigerian Literature, The Gods Are not to Blame (London: Oxford University Press 1971), Kurunmi (Ibadan: University press Limited 1971), Our Husband has Mad Again (London: Oxford University press 1977), Ovourumwen Nogbaisi (Benin: London: Ethiopian and Oxford University press 1974), If : A Tragedy of the Ruled (Ibadan: Heinemann 1983). He was in Nigeria until his Nigeria until his death in 2001.

Ola Rotimi is sure to be remembered as a model in the literary genre whose views have shaped the conduct of the theater and whose plays have demonstrated the power of drama to shape the thinking of the society and attempted to solve some of the problems encountered in everyday living.

Chapter Four

Summary, Findings, Conclusion and Recommendations

4.0 Summary

Chapter one provides a general introduction to the study of CDA, the purpose of this research, scope, methodology and justification. It also describes the text that will be used for analysis and the background of the author. Chapter two reviews the relevant literature in the field of CDA. The review comprised of certain elements and features of discourse, discourse analysis, Critical Discourse Analysis submitted and proposed by different scholars of this field which were used in the analysis. Three CDA theories by 3 different scholars were reviewed; Norman Fairclough, Ruth Wodak, Teun Van Dijk. The Norman Fairclough theory was chosen for the analysis of this text. The features discussed under this theory are interactional control, lexical cohesion, wordings, connectives and argumentation, social and political issues in the text. Chapter 3 attempts the features for the analysis of Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again.

4.1 Findings

In the course of this study, some factors were discovered during the analysis of the text. They were discovered with the use of CDA elements used in this text which are interactional control, connectives and argumentative, wording, lexical cohesion, socio cultural and political issues.

The Subject Matter is that of gender inequality, the central symbol is that of politics.

In the textual analysis, the turn taking technique has shown the power relation between interlocutors in the conversations. Power relations have been shown by speakers in a higher position or class, that is, speakers who are more superior and tend to be in charge of a conversation than the other speaker. The turn taking has been influenced by factors such as age, culture, occupation, personality and education. Power relation has been shown by the author of the text which explains the Nigerian society in the text by how people relate with one another and shows superiority when taking turns.

The Socio cultural issues show how people’s culture affects their lives. Lejoka-Brown’s life shows the life of a typical African man with the Muslim religion and believes in everything it teaches. The Political issues in the text reflect the aims of political leaders in Nigeria through Lejoka-Brown.

The study of the text has shown that it is satirical since it points out the societal ills that reflect in the Nigerian society.

4.2 Conclusion

Finally in this study,at this point, the researcher appraises the writer for his special choice of language in the text to carry his readers along and for easy understanding in order to have deeper thought and to be able to make strong decision when needed. Ola Rotimi in his book Our Husband Has Gone Mad Againappreciates the Nigerian culture by the use of proverbs and Yoruba songs which portrays his own culture.

4.3 Recommendations

In the view of this study, it will be recommended should endeavor to do a more thorough research and critical examination on the text, in order to analyze those elements that has not been handled or analyzed by the researcher. The writer has written some other books on “Drama” this indicates that another researcher can use any of the other books in the analysis of CDA, this will bring out more elements of CDA.

More so the lecturers of English language should endeavor to assist the students by helping them to know the elements of CDA, if not all of it, in order to help them analyze any work of art conveniently.

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