A Study of Names and Dialogues as Functional Tools in Iyayi’s The Contract

Gbenga Solomon Ibileye, Muhammed-Badar Salihu Jibrin


This study discusses the manner in which names of characters and their dialogues have been deployed for meaning projection by Festus Iyayi in the novel, The Contract. It reveals the message projected in the novel as the predatory nature of man in the absence of law and order. This is foregrounded in the elitist insincerity and hypocrisy of the Nigerians, as they try to cover up their hidden crime by taken chieftaincy titles and by showing some open good that will reveal them otherwise. The names and dialogues of the characters involved are discussed as used to reveal religious, geographical and ethnic as well as continental spread of these characters. This is with a view to showing the universality of decay and corruption and above all human cannibalism. Dialogues are encoded using varieties of English to show differences in social status for the same purpose. The paper relies on the systemic text-linguistic model of literary text analysis where it is asserted that every literary text has a central message it projects and it is projected at three meta-levels.


The Contract; Social semiotics; Systemic functional linguistics

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968%2F4558


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