A Critical Discourse Analysis Of Wole Soyinka’s The Beatification Of Area Boy

Project and Seminar Material for Linguistics and Communication

A Critical Discourse Analysis Of Wole Soyinka’s The Beatification Of Area Boy


This project is a Critical Discourse Analysis of Wole Soyinka’s The Beatification of Area Boy. Norman Fairclough’s theory has been used in the analysis of the text so as to reveal the hidden meaning behind every social interaction and how they affect power relation in the society. It is aimed at revealing the deep meaning of interactions as they affect our daily lives.The methodology for the research will be through selection and consequent analysis of utterances and other social behavior in the text. This will reveal the socio-cultural and the political atmosphere in the text.The textual, political and socio-cultural analysis have revealed the imbalances in the use of language among different strata of the society. Also, how the use of language reflects power dominance, injustice and inequality.

Chapter One

General Introduction

1.0 Preamble

This chapter focuses on the purpose of the study, the scope of the study, the justification, the methodology, data description and the author’s background.

1.1 Background of the Study

The gift of language is the single human trait that marks us all, genetically setting us apart from the rest of life. Language is, like nest building or hive making, the universal and biologically specific activity of human beings. We engage in it communally, compulsively, and automatically. We cannot be human without it; if we were to be separated from it our minds would die as surely as bees lost from the hive (Algeo 87). Language is a unique endowment from God to human which makes us totally distinct from other creatures. Although, these other creatures communicate using sounds, their communication is certainly different from human language and is not categorized as language. Communication can therefore take place between human, or between animals and even between humans and animals, whereas language is human specific.

Language is simply man’s instrument of expression through sound. It is an instrument of thought, that is, a psycho-social interactive measure, which binds human society together in communities and linguistics group. According to Sapir (8), language is purely human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desires by means of voluntarily produced symbols. The use of language in communication is called Discourse.

The word “Discourse” originates from the Latin word “discursus” which denotes ‘conversation or speech’. It is the actual instances of communication in the medium of language. Barbara Johnstone (2) defines discourse as an institutionalized way of speaking that determines not only what we say and how we say it, but also what we do not say which can be inferred from what we say. It follows that Discourse Analysis is also concerned with language use in social contexts, as interaction or dialogue between speakers. One major approach to doing Discourse Analysis is Critical Discourse Analysis.

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