Descriptive Focus as a Semiotic Marker in Festus Iyayi’s Violence

Godwin Oko Ushie, Eno Grace Nta

Abstract


Descriptive Focus is a technique of rendering fiction whereby (mock) reality is constructed vividly and graphically through the descriptive power of portrayal. A prose writer using this style may zoom his lenses on certain episodes and characters to foreground areas of interest that contribute significantly to the understanding of the theme of the works. Descriptive Focus or Focalization, therefore, not only yields stylistic meaning, but also provides a means of deciphering the ideational dimension of a text. In the novel, Violence, focalization on the squalour, destitution and pitiable conditions of the poor masses is so pictorially captured with typified visual, tactile, gustatory, olfactory, auditory and kinaesthetic images that we are tempted to regard the work as faction. Contrastively, Iyayi portrays the upper class as rich and comfortable and reeling in surfeit while the poor who provide this comfort wallow in want. This paper analyzes this text-forming strategy and reaches the conclusion that the descriptive focus itself is a semiotic marker or a code in developing the ideational content of the novel and in and deciphering same by the audience. This evocative power of graphic description reinforces the themes in the novel.

Key words: Descriptive focus; Ideation; Semiotic marker; Typification


Keywords


Descriptive focus; Ideation; Semiotic marker; Typification

References


Amerding, C. E. (1997). Judges. In F. F. Bruce, H. L. Ellison, & G. C. D. Howley (Eds.), New International Bible Commentary (pp. 309-339). Michigan: Zondervan.

Chandler, D. (2007). Semiotics: The Basics (2nd ed.). Abingdon: Routledge.

Clancy, J. J. (1989). The Invisible Powers: The Language of Business. Massachusetts: Lexington.

Decker, R. E., & Schwegler, R. A. (1995). Decker’s Patterns of Exposition (14th ed.). New York: Harper Collins College.

Leech, G. N., & Short, M. H. (1981). Style in Fiction: A Linguistic Introduction in English Fictional Prose. London: Longman.

Iyayi, F. (1979). Violence. London: Longman.

Ushie, G. O. (2007). A Socio-Semiotic Reading of Festus Iyayi’s Novels (Doctor dissertation). University of Calabar.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968%2Fj.sll.1923156320120503.2129

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Reminder

How to do online submission to another Journal?

If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.


We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases: caooc@hotmail.com; sll@cscanada.net; sll@cscanada.org

Copyright © 2010 Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture
Address: 730, 77e AV, Laval, Quebec, H7V 4A8, Canada

Telephone: 1-514-558 6138
Http://www.cscanada.net
Http://www.cscanada.org
E-mail: office@cscanada.net; office@cscanada.org; caooc@hotmail.com