Avoid the Bait; Miss No Underlying Meaning: A Concise Textual Deconstruction of Achebe’s A Man of the People

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Onyemelukwe, N.H
Ibeanna, W.E
Ogbechie, C.O
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University of Lagos Press, Akoka
From the perspective of Stylistics as a subfield of Instrumental Linguistics, texts may be writerly or readerly. Writerly texts are crafted such that they create room for multfaceted deconstruction, whereas readerly texts only allow for restricted or determinate deconstruction. Literary texts, especially those with high academic or scholarly (intellectual) value such as A Man of the People (AMOP), are certainly writerly in nature. For t his reason, AMOP is the reference text for the study. The objective of the study is to show that texts embody weighty textual messages more as underlying than as explicit meanings. The major theoretical framework of this study is Van Djik’s model of Critic al Discourse Analysis (CDA). CDA is ‘criticalized’ Discourse Analysis (DA). In other words, CDA is DA done following the criticalist tradition. This tradition integrates DA with radical social and cultural theories for the purpose of unearthing implicit me anings and underlying ideologies. The data analyses and discussion in the study have evinced that a sentence or any stretch of utterance means much more than its literal significance (denotation). That is, a text especially a literary one like AMOP, embeds multiples of underlying meaning once it is deconstructed from proper contextual perspectives, which could be intratextual and/or extratextual. The underlying ideologies, together with other implicit meanings in a text, need to be captured, because they could represent the bait in the text that conspires against the interest of the reader. Hence, whoever reads a text is urged to miss no underlying meaning.
Journal Articles
Onyemelukwe, N.H, Ibeanna, W.E and Ogbechie, C.O (2013). Avoid the Bait; Miss No Underlying Meaning: A Concise Textual Deconstruction of Achebe’s A Man of the People. Unilag Journal of Humanities, Vol.1(1), 15-28p.