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FIRST TERM E-LEARNING NOTE

 

SUBJECT: LITERATURE IN ENGLISH   CLASS: SS 2

 

SCHEME OF WORK

 

WEEK  TOPIC

  1. Revision of Last Term Works
  2. Reading and Analyzing Non-African Poetry “The Pulley” by George Herbert: About the Poet, Content Analysis
  3. Themes and style of the poem
  4. Reading and Analyzing African Prose: Lonely Days by BayoAdebowale: Author’s Background and Plot
  5. Themes and Characterization of the work
  6. Setting and Style in the work
  7. Reading and Analyzing Non-African Poetry : ” Crossing the Bar” by Alfred Lord Tennyson: Poet’s Background / Analysis
  8. Themes / Poetic Devices in the poem
  9. Reading and Analyzing Non-African Poetry: Faceless by AmmaDarko; Plot and Themes
  10. Characterization and Style.
  11. Revision

 

REFERENCE

  • Lonely Days by BayoAdebowale
  • Faceless by AmmaDarko.
  • Exam Reflection Literature- in-English by Sunday OlatejuFaniyi.
  • Exam Reflection Literature-in-English (Prose and Drama) by Sunday OlatejuFaniyi

 

 

WEEK ONE

TOPIC: READING AND CONTENT ANALYSIS OF NON-AFRICAN POETRY:THE PULLEY” BY GEORGE HERBERT

CONTENT

ABOUT THE POET AND CONTENT ANALYSIS

ecolebooks.com

About the poet

George Hebert was born in Wales in 1593. He was an English poet, orator and Anglican priest. His background as a clergyman had a profound influence on his writings. He has been classified as a metaphysical poet. His poems were greatly influenced by John Donne’s works because the latter was his mother’s friend. His poems were highly philosophical in nature and they celebrated God’s love towards man. Herbert wroteabout issues of life using a religious approach. Throughout his life, he wrote religious poems characterized by a unique use of imagery, which were easily accessible to his readers. Herbert’s writings express his relationship with God. He confessed that his poetry is a picture of the spiritual conflicts between God and man’s soul.

 

Content Analysis of the Poem

George Herbert’s “The Pulley” focuses on the relationship between God and man, God’s love for man and man’s weakness. In this poem, Herbert uses the metaphor of the pulley to talk about man’s dependence on God and the fact that without God man is nothing. The point being stressed in this poem is that after creating man, God deliberately withheld some benefits from him so that man would turn to Him for his needs and salvation. The implication is that man’s yearning for those things lacking in his life would ultimately bring him back to God. Thus, the pulley serves as a metaphor presenting man’s helplessness and dependence on God for his sustenance and assistance. The poem adopts a three-part syllogistic approach, which is common feature of metaphysical poetry. The first part usually raises a question or an issue, which needs to be resolved. The second part works on the issue, the last provides the solution. Within the contest of “The Pulley”, the first part narrates the creation story, while the second part describes an endowment of man with virtue like riches, honour, wisdom beauty, etc. In the third part, God finds a way to retain man’s interestin Him by giving him everything but rest. He succeeds in devising a strategy to continually draw men unto Him. George Herbert’s poems are usually emblematic in nature and “The Pulley” is no exception. The structure of the poem is unusual as the first and last line of every stanza is shorter than the remaining lines. Readers can easily imagine the shape of a pulley and appreciate the poem as these lines create a visual description and the analysis of the poem creates a visual description and the analysis of the poem creates its significance. God gave man everything he will ever need after creation but in bid to restore man toGod, He bestowed weariness and restlessness on man so that man will always run to Him for salvation.

 

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  1. Give a brief background of George Herbert.
  2. Analyze the poem above.

 

GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISON QUESTIONS

  1. How does the poet portray man and God?
  2. Summarize the poem in your own words

 

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. Identify the odd literary device from the list. (a) enjambment (b) plot (c) rhyme (d) alliteration.
  2. We study Literature in school because it (a) provides a means to kill time (b) expose students tolife realities (c) provides readers with entertainment (d) teaches readers the use of words
  3. Dramatic irony entails (a) the praise of the audience (b) a statement with a deeper significance (c) a statement hilarious and sarcastic (d) the praise tag of a great person
  4. The echoing of the meaning of a word by its sound is called (a) phonetics (b) oxymoron (c) pun (d) onomatopoeia
  5. A comedy is a play in which (a) nobody dies (b) there is a happy ending (c) there is real laughter (d) the hero is a clown.

 

THEORY

  1. Analyze the poem above.

     

 

WEEK TWO

THEMES

  1. The superiority of God, the all-knowing God, over man

The main theme of the poem is God’s supremacy over man. “The Pulley” establishes the fact that God is in all ramifications superior to man. It is a fact that every human being must accept, that God, as Supreme Being, controls the destiny of each individual and that without Him, nothing that exists can subsist. Thus, the poem is a symbolic portrayal of the fact that man’s efforts are dependent on God, his creator. The poem asserts that God, in His infinite wisdom, knows that making man independent would lead to the abuse of that independence. Therefore, the tone of this poem shows God’s superiority over man. There is that master-subordinate relationship depicted in the poem where God, the master, has full authority over His creation. God requires respect from manhence, He withdraws one special gift which is that of emotional fulfilment and contentment. According to God, the lack of this gift will definitely draw man back to him to draw him under His feet. This tempo is made prominent in the last stanza of the poem: “Let him be rich and weary, that at least/if goodness lead him not, yet weariness/may toss him back to my breast”.

 

  1. The frailty of the human mind

Another major theme depicted in the poem is the frailty of the human mind. God as Sovereign and the creator of mankind understands the nature of man. He knows that the mind of man is frail, that man is weak and easily susceptible to a myriad of negative, ungodly influences. God knows that man can easily be manipulated and that he could easily forget his maker if he has all he needs in life. This is why God decided to take rest from man to constantly remember man of his need to depend on God.

 

  1. God desires that man should look up to Him

This poem reveals the facts that God desires to draw men unto Him because He created man for a purpose, to serve and worship Him. God desires that men depend on Him and seek His face at all times for everything. God also desires that men should worship and adore Him alone and not idolize the things he made. He, therefore, creates a way to make this possible by not giving man rest, which is synonymous with peace of mind.

 

  1. The reason for man’s restlessness

The poem provides an answer for the restlessness of man. People often ask the question: why is man restless? Why is the need of man insatiable? This poem provides an answer to this philosophical question. God bestowed restlessness and weariness upon man so that man would always run to Him.

 

Poetic Techniques in the Poem

The following figures of speech and sound devices are apparent in the poem.

  1. Alliteration: This is found in expressions like “so strength” (l. 6), which alliterates the /s/ sound and “repining restlessness” (l. 17), which alliterates the /r/ sound.
  2. Assonance: This is found in line 8: “when almost all was out…”
  3. Contrast: One also notices the use of contrast in the poem. This is evident in the last stanza of the poem. There is a contrast between “rich” and “weary” in line 18.
  4. Dramatic Monologue: this is one prominent technique that runs through the poem. This technique encourages the dramatic mood of the poem by unfolding the relationship between the addresser and addressee. Thus, there is that position of an audience. This is exemplified by use of dialogues in the poem. The phrase, “let us” unconsciously signifies the presence of an unseen audience. All these attest to the effectiveness of the dramatic monologue in the poem.
  5. Imagery: The presentation of mental images to express a central idea is seen in the poem. From the title of the poem, readers are prone to createa mental picture as they analyze the poem. The pulley is an image that embodies the idea the poem seeks to express.
  6. Inversion: In line 4, the normal order of words reversed towards the end of the line: “let the world’s riches, which dispersed lie” the normal order should be: “which lie dispersed” However, if this arrangement of words was the one used, “dispersed” would not rhyme with “by” in line 2
  7. Personification: Two things, goodness and weariness, are endowed with human attributes in lines 19-20: “if goodness lead him not, yet weariness/may toss him to my breast”.
  8. Synecdoche: There is an example of the use of synecdoche in line 20, the last line of the poem where the word “breast” is used as a metaphor for God. Synecdoche is a form of metaphor where a part is used to represent the whole of what is referred to.
  9. Biblical Allusion: the poem is an example of biblical allusion as all its contents allude to the creation of the world and man in Genesis 1-2

 

EVALUATION

  1. Analyze four poetic device in the poem.
  2. What is the main theme of the work and why?

 

GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS

  1. Analyze the content of “The Pulley.”
  2. Discuss on any two themes in the poem.
  3. Examine five poetic devices in the poem.

 

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. The struggle between two opposing forces in the plot of a story which can either be internal or external is ____ (a) Conflict  (b) Struggle   (c) Pathos
  2. ____ is the conversation between characters in a literary work.

    (a) Dialogue (b) Connotation (c) Canto

  3. ____ is the greatest point of interest or entertainment intensity in a literary work.

    (a) Climax (b) Anti-Climax (c) Denouement

  4. ____ is the quotation that occurs at the beginning of a literary work that highlight a theme. (a) Epigraph (b) Epigram  (c) Epithet
  5. ____ is an exaggeration for the purpose of emphasis.

    (a) Exaggeration  (b) Litotes  (c) Pun

 

THEORY

  1. How does Herbert explore religion in “The Pulley”?

     

 

WEEK THREE

LONELY DAYS BY BAYO ADEBOWALE: AUTHOR’S BACKGROUND AND PLOT

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

BayoAdebowale hails from Adeyipo village in Ibadan, Nigeria. An astute literary scholar, he has written a lot of literary books which cut across the diverse sub-genres of literature. He is a novelist, poet, short-story writer and a librarian. DrAdebowale was a senior principal lecturer in English and former Deputy Rector of The Polytechnic, Ibadan. He is also the Founder/Director of the African Heritage Research Library (AHRL), which is the first rural community-based African studies research library in Africa. He is currently an Associate Professor at the Bells University of Technology, Ota.

 

PLOT ANALYSIS

The novel is about the plight of widowhood in African society. It is the story of Yaremi, whose beloved husband, Ajumobi, died suddenly after a brief illness.Yaremi hails from Adejipo. Ajumobi married her as a virgin. The couple lived Kufi, Ajumobo’s home town. It was a happy union. While other men maltreated their wives, Ajumobi spoilt his wife with love and devotion. The couple had three children namely, Segi, Wura, Alani

Since her husband’s death it has been lonely days and night for Yaremi. Only her little grandson, Woye, lives with her. Her daughters had all

 

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  1. What do you know about the author of Lonely Days?

 

GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS

Analyze the plot of the work.

 

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. “Here comes the princess, now heaven walls on earth”, illustrates the use of A. contrast. B. metaphor. C. metonymy. D. meiosis
  2. An ode is usually a poem written for A. condemnation. B. celebration. C. instruction. D. entertainment.
  3. The main character in a literary work is the A. antagonist. B. protagonist. C. narrator. D actor.
  4. A sonnet may be divided into an octave and A. tercet. B. quatrain. C. sestet. D. septet.
  5. “All hands on deck” is an example of A. metaphor. B personification. C. synecdoche D. simile

 

THEORY

Read the plot of Lonely days in Exam Focus and summarize it.

 

 

WEEK FOUR

THEMES IN LONELY DAYS

THE AGONY OF WIDOWHOOD

Lonely Days relates the agonies of widowhood; it shows the effects of unjust widowhood rites and rituals on women. Yaremi, Fayoyin, Radeke and Dedewe all suffer maltreatment and deprivations because they are widows. The loss of a loved one is demoralizing on its own, adding unwarranted punishments to it is simply unreasonable. Widows suffer discrimination and marginalization. They are made to sing dirges and confess sins that they did not commit. Fayoyin, for instance, is made to lick libation and sing a dirge. The people sprinkle cold water on her head to make it easier for the barber to shave her hair. Fayoyin’s appearance is terribly altered after the hair-shaving episode. Dewede is also made to confess her ‘sins’;she is forced to sit beside her husband’s corpse inside a dark room.

 

The three widows during a visit to Yaremi tell her of how they sank deep into despair when they lost their husbands and how “a thick cloud gathered in our sky covering our earth in pithy darkness”. Widowhood in kufi, as in many other places, especially rural communities, means a loss of dignity and social status. Widows have many things in common, “they shed tears for the same purposes and laughed the same hollow laughter with the tip of their tongues”. They all look the same in their black widow’s garment. The widows state emphatically that they are “the subjugated people of the world with no hope and no security!”. They face societal restrictions and maltreatment. Widowhood dehumanizes and reduces the affected woman from a high pedestal of respect which comes with marriage to the butt of every joke and topic for gossip and romantic advances from unreliable suitors. Yeremi is pestered by Olonade, Ayanwale and Lanwa, each boasting of his great ability to meet all of Yeremi’s needs. Lanwa even tells Yeremi that he is entitled to Ajumobi’s human and material property because he is Ajumobi’s half-brother. The woes of widowhood are devastating.

 

LONELINESS AND SOLITUDE

The widow suffers loneliness and solitude; she is alone, from dawn till dusk, a castaway. Yaremi’scase is especially pathetic because her children are now adults and they do not live in Kufi. Segi lives with her husband at Olode; Wura with her husband at Apon; and Alani lives in Ibadan. Woye, her grandchild, whose company she enjoys, is soon taken away from her. Thus, for Yaremi, loneliness is a loyal companion.

To combat loneliness, Yaremi makes Woye, her grandchild, her companion. She tells him stories and they sing together. She also recalls her times with Ajumobi, both the good times and the seemingly bad moments. She recounts his care, his love and his tenderness. She tends his grave often. She even dreams about him.

Yaremi’sloneliness is heightened after her refusal to pick a cap at the cap-picking ceremony. The villagers after the incident begin to avoid her. They are reluctant to share pleasantries with her. Alani, her son that she had thought would stay back in Kufi and manage his father’s property, announces to Yaremi’s amazement that he is returning to the city.

Lonely Days is a testament to Yaremi’s loneliness and the fact tat lonely days still lie ahead of her. For Yaremi, there is no hope that the lonely days would ever end; she is nevertheless willing to face the days that lie ahead without fear or fright.

 

THE DIGNITY OF LABOUR

The narrative underscores the fact that if women would be empowered, they most have something doing, that is they must be engaged in a meaningful occupation. Yaremi, the protagonist, in addition to her taffeta business, has a farm. The narrative stresses the need for women to be hardworking and diligent at work. Yaremi can stand tall and face the men of Kufi because she is self-sufficient. She stands by her decision not to replace Ajumobi with any other man beacause the proceed from her work can cater for needs

Yaremi is forced to work alone. She does all the work, both the one that belongs to her gender and those that women are not supposed to in. she treks to long distance to her husband’s farm to uproot cassava root for her goats. She dries maize in the sun. she makes and sells taffeta cloth, she threshes bean- seeds, tends cocoyam, stitches her old quilts, all without complaining. she is surprised when a woman remarks that she gradually becoming a man. Her hands are harsh from the hard labour she preoccupies herself with. Even her voice is becoming authoritative and sharp and her gait has become restive.

 

CHARACTERIZATION

  1. Yaremi: yaremi is the heroine of the novel she once had a husband, Ajumobi, and three children. They are Segi, Wura and Alani. She is portrayed as a lonely woman in her early fifty. Though lonely, she is hardworking, generous and knows what she wants. The latter informs her decision not marry after the death of her husband. At the end of the work, is ostracized from Kufi but determines to fight it out with her last blood.
  2. Ajumobi: Ajumobi was the husband of Yaremi three children. The writer informs the reader that he died nine months before the narration begins. He was a hunter and farmer. He played the roles of a husband while he was alive. We see him as a talkative and a boaster especially when his drunk. Yaremi see his death as a good one but the villagers see it in the other way round. From the little we could harvest from his wife, he is a hardworking, devoted and compassionate husband.
  3. Woye: Woye is the grandson of Yaremi and her mother is Segy. He is an innocent boy full of live and humour. He plays the role of a companion to the grandmother. The grandmother teaches him how to be hardworking

 

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  1. Discuss two themes in the work.
  2. Describe the main character in the work.

 

GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS

  1. Describe the main character in the work.
  2. Describe two minor characters in the wok.

 

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. “The star blinked and the wind wailed” is an example of _____

    (a) antithesis(b) euphemism (c) metaphor (d) parody (e) personification

  2. Pick out the odd item from the following ____ (a) comedy (b) octave (c) Quatrain (d) sonnet (e) sestet
  3. “United we stand, divided we fall”, illustrates the use of ____

    (a) anti-climax(b) antithesis (c) climax (b) irony (e) sarcasm

  4. The writer’s freedom to use words to suit his own purpose is called_____(a) author’s freedom (b) author’s license (c) poetic freedom (d) poetic license (e) writer’s license
  5. The expression, “Before Idi Amin breathed his last he admonished his children to shun violence” is a/an ____ (a) anecdote (b) metaphor (c) euphemism (d) onomatopoeia (e) paradox

 

THEORY

Analyze Yaremi as the major character in the work.

 

 

WEEK FIVE

SETTING

Lonely Days is principally set in Kufi, a village in south western Nigeria. Adeyipo village is another prominent village that features in the narrative. Adeyipois a village in Akinyele Local Government Area of Oyo State and it is the author’s hometown. Within the context of this novel, the name ‘ Adeyipo’ is very symbolic and significant. ‘Adeyipo’ in the Yoruba language means the crown has gone round or around. From a symbolic level f interpretation, we can say that in this novel, the author uses the name to emphasize the point that the crown of peace and happiness that came with Yaremi’s marriage to Ajumobi was replaced with a crown of thistles, thorns and sorrow after his death.

 

The setting is a traditional one. All the characters, except Alani who lives in the city, are village dwellers. They follow and obey the dictates of their traditions and customs as enshrined in their cultural norms and values. Most of the events of the narrative take place in Yaremi’s home, as she is the protagonist of the novel. There are references to other places in Kufi village, such as the brook, the farm and the widow’s road. Another village of note in the narrative is Oyedeji village, where Yaremi and Woyetrek to, to sell their wares. It is also at Oyedeji that some people claimed to have sighted Ajumobi, after his death.

 

The temporal setting of Lonely Days is a post independent one, deducible from the description of Ibadan, where Alani lives, as a place where the people “cruised about in smuggled limousine and hire-purchase Mercedes Benz”. Although Kufi is a Nigerian community, it is quite unruffled by the whiteman’s civilization; it is a village that is still at peace with the traditions and beliefs of its ancestors. The people are ruled by traditions and the waystheir forefathers handled situations; they believe in superstitions and they still sit outside their houses, on moonlit nights, to tell folktales.

 

As earlier noted, Lonely Days recounts the agonies of widowhood and the unjust rites that women are made to go through once they lose their husbands. Dewede, for instance, is asked to confess sins that she has not committed, Fayoyinis asked to lick libation “to purge her of all thieve sins they insisted thetoo had committed”. Radeke’s case is the same; she is cursed by the villagers who believe that her dirge is full of lies. Yaremi suffers thoroughly as widow. She dines with loneliness and wines with solitude. The pains of widowhood are many and gargantuan.

 

LANGUAGE AND STYLE

 

  1. Diction

Lonely Days consists of fourteen chapters; it also contains an Entrance Verse, a poem of twenty-five lines preoccupied with the woes of widowhood. The language of the narrative is simple and easy to understand. There is the insertion of Yoruba words into the narration as a means of foregrounding the setting of the novel as a rustic, traditionally oriented village in the Yoruba speaking parts of South Western Nigeria. The novel features a rich vocabulary on traditional life, hunting, farming, dyeing, wood carving, flute playing and a host of others. There are also descriptions of various types of birds and animal that inhabit the animal kingdom and folk tales and myths in traditional societies. Many parts of the narrative feature a prosaic-poetic use of language.

 

  1. Point of view

BayoAdewale employs the third person omniscient point of view, whereby the narration is done not by any of the characters in the novel but by an outsider, who sees all and knows all. The narrator knows even the thoughts and plans of the characters. Thus, the presentation of the events are as perceived by a narrator who is not hindered by lack of sufficient information, but one who knows everything happening to the characters. The reader learns about the characters and their experiences from what the narrator says and what the characters say in dialogues, which are introduced to enliven the narrative.

 

  1. The use of the technique

Flashback is employed to supply the reader with information about what had happened in the past. Yaremi’scourtship with Ajumobi is known to the reader through the writer’s employment of flashback. Also Yaremi’s reminiscences are helpful in filling the gaps that exist in knowledge about Ajumobi who had died nine months before the narration of the story began. Other information about Yaremi’s childhood and business are provided through a flashback to those experiences.

 

  1. The use of suspense

Suspense is introduced to create an air of expectancy and curiosity in the reader. Woye’s sickness and the possible outcome are points of suspense in the novel. The reader desperatelyseeks to know if Woye would be well again. The cap-picking ceremony is also another suspense-filled episode in the novel. The reader is very interested in knowing whose capYaremi would pick; the reader shares the villagers’ surprise when Yaremi walks to the bench, stares at the caps, bows to the elders and walks away from the arena.

 

  1. The use of myths and folktales

Myths and folk tales are employed to enrich the story. The narrator tells of the myths and folk tales that are told in the village about the moon. There are also references to the stories of the tortoise who visited his in-laws’ house and “messed himself up with a mess of hot pottage in the sitting room right in front of his new life, Yanibo”; the proud antelope who lived a prince and who was eventually subdued by the hunter’s bullet; the hungry baboon who enlarged his flat nose as he tried to smell the aroma of the farmer’s wife’s melon soup; the greedy thief who died of constipation from the stolen corn that he ate and other stories about the hyena and the chicken

 

GENERAL EVALUATION

  1. Analyze three main characters in the work
  2. Discuss the role of women in the work.
  3. Discuss the language of the work.

 

GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS

  1. Discuss the use suspense in the work.
  2. Discuss the style of the work.

 

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

1.  Repetition is usually used in literacy works to ____

(a) assess (b) emphasize (c) exaggerate (d) expose (e) modify

2.  “She was found without her flower” is an example of ______

(a) alliteration (b) allusion (c) apostrophe (d) metaphor (e) simile

3.  The figure of speech used in the statement “The village lost its beautiful structures, glory and its inhabitants to the inferno” is ____

(a) anticlimax (b) antithesis (c) climax (d) epigram (e) paradox

4.  “The child is the father of the man” illustrates the use of ______

(a) exaggeration (b) metaphor (c) oxymoron (d) paradox (e) personification

5.  Rhetorical questions are used in literary works to achieve the following EXCEPT _____ (a) creating awareness (b) drawing a point home (c) emphasizing a point

(d) jettisoning the writer’s position (e) reinforcing a point

 

THEORY

Discuss the use of symbols and folktales in the work.

 

 

WEEK SIX

TOPIC: READING AND CONTENT ANALYSIS OF NON-AFRICAN POETRY:CROSSING THE BAR” BY LORD TENNYSON

CONTENT

ABOUT THE POET

CONTENT ANALYSIS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

One of the most popular and well-loved British poets Alfred, Lord Tennyson lived between 1809 and 1892. He belonged to the Victorian era of English Literature. He was the poet Laureate of British and Ireland from 1850 until his death in 1892, making him the longest serving English poet Laureate to date.

 

ANALYSIS OF THE POEM

The poem is a meditation on death. It begins with a reflection of the poet’s persona on what he describes as “one clear call for me!(l.2) on a certain evening when he realizes that it is time for him to go to the sea. He hopes that the sea could have become calm after usual turbulent movement. He further expresses the hope that when twilight eventually turns to darkness and he consequently embarks on his journey, his people will not be sad over his departure. Finally, he notes that though the journey may take him to a far distant or location, he believes it will be profitable because it will afford him the opportunity to meet his Pilot. Metaphorically speaking, the journey is actually death. Therefore, “Crossing the Bar” relates the poet’s persona’s preoccupation with the coming of death, an inevitable phenomenon. Instead of the usual fright and anxiety that many display at their approach of death, the poet’s persona faces death calmly. The tone of the poem depicts neither fear nor distress. At the literal level, the “bar” in this context is a nautical term for a ridge of sand formed at the shore, by moving tides. At the metaphorical level, the “bar” refers to crossing the threshold from mortality into another realm of experience, possibly immortality.

 

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  1. What do you know about the poet?
  2. Analyze the poem in your own words.

 

GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS

  1. What are the dominant ideas in the poem.
  2. Give a content analysis of the poem.

 

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. A short and witty poem is known as (a) a balled (b) an epigram (c) an Epic (d) a lyric
  2. A literary work that extols one’s virtues and accomplishment is

    (a) a eulogy (b) a pastoral (c) an elegy (d) an allegory

  3. The main character in a literary work is the (a) antagonist (b) protagonist (c) narrator

    (d) villain

  4. A sonnet may be divided into an octave and (a) tercet (b) quatrain (c) sestet (d) couplet
  5. “All hands on deck” is an example of (a) metaphor (b) personification (c) metonymy

    (d) synecdoche

 

THEORY

Read the content analysis of the poem above in Exam Focus and summarize it.

 

 

WEEK SEVEN

THEMES IN THE POEM

  1. Death

Literally, the poem is about someone’s intention or beckoned to undertake a journey on the sea. Figuratively, however, it is about someone realizing the approach of his death. The “Sunset” and “evening” referred to in the poem actually mean that period of life when man’s instinct tells him that the end of his existence on the earth is imminent. Although this usually happens at old age, it can also happen before such a time. The poetic persona presents an attitude which does not suggest a typical fear of death attitude which many usually have. He looks forward to death, a journey of no return. He, however, expresses a desire for a peaceful death when he notes: “And may there be no moaning of the bar/ But such a tide as moving seems asleep”. The sadness and wailing which usually attend people’s death are also detested by the poet. He hopes no such conducts would attend his death. In the poem, death is not conceived as the end of life or the end of everything. It is seen as a journey and a transition from one plane of existence to another. This is perhaps while the poet does not want his death to be attended by sadness. The fact that life continues after death is evidenced in the poet’s hope that he will see his “Pilot face to face “after “Crossing the Bar”. As universally believed and accepted, death is presented as inevitable. It is a sure thing in the life of every creature. This is underscored by the poet’s use of the adverbial “When” each time he talks about death. It can therefore be asserted that “Crossing the Bar” is also a poem about the transience of death. The poem present a poetic persona who sees his death approaching and faces it with the courage and hope. The poem attests to the fact that this life as we know is not external. The poem relates that all things would soon Fade and pass away. The poem underscores the fact that man is a mortal being; hence, he will face death sooner or later. Just as there is “one clear call” for the poetic persona, everyman’s clear call will eventually come. The poetic persona speaks with certainty in regards to his death and translation into another realm of existence.

 

  1. Hope

Hope is an important theme of the poem and it is expressed in each of the first stanzas making up the poem. In the stanzas, this theme is noticed where the poet recognizes impending death but hope that when it eventually comes, it would not be attended by any form of agitation or pain. This hopeful desire is re-inscribed in the second stanza where the poet likens the kind of circumstance of his desired death to “a tide as moving seems asleep”, that is a relatively peaceful one. The note of optimism also comes across as desire in the poem is also seen as expression, “And may there be no sadness of farewell,/When I embark”. The most expressive and emphatic hope is found in the last two lines of the poem where the persona says he hopes to see his “Pilot fact-to-face” after crossing the bar. With this last expression, we have a hopeful view of death presented in the poem. Death is made to appear attractive, rather than frightening. The poem shows the courage exhibited by the poetic persona in the face of death. He accepts the impending call with tranquility. He is neither agitated nor afraid. Despite the fact that the poetic persona perceives that the end of his pilgrimage on earth is at hand, he is not frightful, rather, he looks forward to meeting his Pilot and seeing the one who steered the course of his life, face to face. The poetic persona “preaches” a calm acceptance of death and dying since they are inevitable components of this life.

 

POETIC TECHNIQUES IN THE POEM

  1. Metaphor

The entire poem is one long metaphor that offers a meditation on the inevitability of death. Ordinarily, the poem reads as a piece on a proposed sea voyage. A close reading however reveals that the journey in question is actually one to the land of the dead. Besides presenting the entire poem as a metaphor, specific words, phrases and ideas in the poem are used metaphorically. Form the very first line where the poet talks about “Sunset and evening star”, metaphor is employed. The idea of sunset and evening refer to old age when it steadily becomes certain that existence in the earthly realm is coming to an end. The word “Twilight” in line 9 also has the same metaphorical meaning. The idea of “evening bell” in the same line is also suggestive of the fact that the time is up. In the evening or at twilight people naturally stop work and return home. After the “evening bell” comes “the dark”, is also another metaphor, meaning death. Further examples of metaphor in the poem can be seen in the expressions: “moaning of the bar”, “sadness of farewell” “bourne of Time and Place”, “crossed the bar”, “my pilot” while the first two expressions refer to death and God respectively. The idea of “flood” carrying the poetic persona far away is also metaphorical of death. The journey to be embarked upon by the poetic persona is also metaphorical because it refers to death.

 

  1. Symbolism

Closely linked to metaphor is the use of symbolism in the poem. Some of the instances of metaphorical representations in the poem are also symbolically relevant. Such temporal references by words like “sunset”, “evening” and “twilight” are symbolic of death. The “bar” that the persona looks forward to crossing is symbolic of what divides life and death. Traditional beliefs have it that a man’s life consists of three seasons – morning, afternoon and evening or night. Images of sunset and twilight clearly depict that the end of the persona’s days are at hand. Phrases such as “no moaning of the bar”, “full of sound and foam” and evening bell” invite the reader to participate in the actions of the poem by listening to and also imagining the poetic persona’s experiences. Words such as “tide” and “foam” produce images that enable the reader to share in the poetic persona’sfeelings. Nautical images also abound in the poem. Such words as “deep”, “sea” and “tide” all serve to create a vivid background and setting for the poem.

 

  1. Imagery

The use of imagery in the poem occurs in two broad ways, which are visual and audio. The visual form can be further classified into maritime imagery. The poet makes use of several sea and water related registers. These words are bar, tide, flood, boundless deep, sea, foam and embark. The words, in combination, easily evoke the idea or picture of a harbor and an impending voyage. More importantly, they draw attention to the physical setting of the poem. The use of time-related words such as “evening”, “sunset” and “twilight” also suggests the temporal setting of the poem. At the literal level, it suggests that the poetic persona’s meditation as seen in the poem takes place in the evening hours. At the figurative level, it points to a period or stage of the poet’s life, especially in terms of age. Audio imagery is equally prevalent in the poem. From words such as “moaning”, “sound foam”, “evening bell” to “call for me” and sadness of farewell”, the reader’s sense of hearing is mentally activated and tends to perceive these sound-related actions. For instance, “moaning” engenders a perception of painful sound while “evening bell” evokes the ominous sound, which signals the death of a person in a Christian community.

 

  1. Personification

There are some instances of personification in the poem. In line 3, the poetic persona talks about “moaning of the bar”. The bar, which refers to the sandbar that is usually mounted at sea shore to prevent sea waves from overflowing its banks, certainly does not moan, just as tides lack the attribute of sleeping. In lines 5 and 12, these statements, “But such a tide as moving seems asleep” and “The flood may bear me far” respectively show the use of personificationbythe poet. The tide and the flood are personified to further deepen the comparison of the vast sea through which the protagonist must travel to his destination in the world of the unknown. The expressions are particularly significant for their function in the overall conception of the entire poem as a metaphorical piece.

 

  1. Alliteration

In lines 2 and 6 of the poem, we have the sounds /k/ and /tag/ alliterate respectively. Line 2 reads “And one clear call for me” while Line 6 reads “Too full for sound and foam”. The distinctness engendered by the prominence of pitch that results from a repeat of /k/ in line 2 underscores the beckoning significance of the “Sunset and evening star” in the previous line. The sound /f/ in the second example emphasizes the idea of fullness implied in the expression. The repetition of these sounds also enhances the lyrical quality of the poem.

 

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  1. Examine the use of symbols in the work.
  2. Analyze four poetic devices in the work.

 

GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QESTIONS

  1. Analyze the content of the poem “Crossing the Bar.”
  2. Comment on how the poet sees death.
  3. Discuss on the use of poetic devices in the poem.

 

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

Choose from the right option that best answer the following questions.

1.  When a poem has no regular rhyme scheme, it is called: (a) a blank verse (b) a dramatic verse  (c) a prose verse  (d) a lyrical verse

2.  A literary work whose mode of narration is the letter is a (n) (a) a letter prose  (b) romantic work  (c) letter narration  (d) epistolary work

3.  When a work of art attempts to imitate the style of another work  in a mocking manner, we describe the newer work as a (n) (a) pun (b) farce (c) innuendo (d) parody

4.  ‘How can he compare our church outing with theirs? After all million of people attended ours while very few people were seen at theirs.’ The speaker is likely to accused of theuse of (a) oxymoron (b) paradox (c) comparison (d) hyperbole

5.  A novel is a (a) a long story involving human character (b) a long prose narrative fiction (c) prose writing about various people (d) a prose writing about great people

 

THEORY

Examine the structure, tone and mode of the poem.

 

WEEK EIGHT

TOPIC: READING AND TEXTUAL ANALYSIS OF AFRICAN NOVEL- FACELESS BY AMMA DARKO

PLOT AND THEME

PLOT

The work, Faceless by AmmaDarko hinges on the victimization of the female folk by the domineering influence of masculinity. The patriarch society which the work presents to us shows great imbalance in the way and manner the females fare in the story vis-a-vis their male counterparts. With focus on the heroine of the work, Fofo, we realise how the spate of poverty in the society where the woman is left to provide for her children, forces mothers to push their young girls into the streets. In Sodom and Gomorrah, young girls and boys of Fofo’s age are seen trying to survive all by themselves. Some are seen to pay for the day hours while others pay for night hours. Some engage in hawking, stealing or prostitution as a means of survival. Fofo is seen sleeping out late at night in front of a kiosk, so that; she will meet up an appointment for a job. Right there in the middle of the night, Poison suddenly came upon her forcefully and abused her sexually. After being freed from the stronghold of Poison, Fofo decides to pay her mother a visit, but not without the company of her friend, Odarley. In her mother’s room, Fofo gets informed that Baby T, her elder sister’s body is found dead at a site in the market, Agbogbloshie. She tells her mother of Poison’s unwholesome act on her and that she has decided to leave town. MaaTsuru has been in a cold war with Fofo and is handicapped with words to change Fofo’s mind. Odarley feels that Fofo has shot her out of her mind and affairs, when Fofo tells her that she will be on her way to only God know where. On the other hand, the Adade’s family is presented with Kabria in her usual routine of taking care of house chores and taking her children (Obie, Essie and Ottu) to school. For her, this is a herculean task which her husband intuitively believes is her sole responsibility. Not minding the inquisitive nature of her last two children, Kabria is able to meet all the cooking and get to work in her car called Creamy. Kabria works for MUTE, a non-governmental organisation with Dina as the boss. Her colleagues are Vickie and Aggie. On a particular day, Kabria got to work late and Dina got sad about it. To compensate for her late coming, Kabria decides to shop for Dina in Agbogbloshie. At the market, Kabria held about the death of a young girl and her body left in front of a kiosk; and that instance when she decides to find out the reason why people were gathered at a spot, a young boy swiftly steals her purse from her but caught up with by some members of the crowd surrounding her. Kabria intervenes to save the boyfriend the wrath of the mob and quickly takes him out of their mist. At the car park, to Kabria’s amazement she realises that the young boy is a girl disguised as a boy. She tells Kabria that she knew the dead girl and that she was her sister. Recovering from the shock, Kabria tells her to show up at the same spot the next day. Kabria returns to her office and tells her colleagues what she had seen. Dina decides to give kabria a chance to work on the case. The next day, Kabria repeats at the market just as she has told the young girl. After waiting for a long time, Kabria sees the girl and feels pity for her as she takes her to her office, MUTE. In the office, it is agreed that Dina takes her home as she is a divorcee and has nobody to cater for, and they discover that she bears the name Fofo. After recuperating from the beating she had received for speaking with a stranger, Fofo demands to have Kabria around before she can speak about herself and her dead sister. Through flashback in her words, Fofo reveals that due to the helpless situation her mother finds herself by marrying Kpakpo, a jobless and evil schemer, whose only inheritance is the one room he got from his father. Kpakpo rents his room out with the condition that he lives with his tenant. This has been working for him until he met with one whose brother is a soldier and he forcefully asks Kpakpo to vacant the room paid for by his brother. Kpakpo deceives MaaTsuru and makes her to fall in love with him. Before MaaTsuru could unravel the fact, it was too late and she decided to accept her fate of taking Kpakpo as her second husband. Kpakpo’sprsesence in their home is the beginning of crisis as Fofo’s two elder brothers disappeared from the house as they could no longer tolerate Kpakpo making love with their mother in the same room they sleep. On this particular day that MaaTsuru was away and her children had to sleep in the room with just Kpakpo, Kpakpo saw it as an advantage to do his bidden. He abused Fofo’s elder sister, Baby T, sexually that night, while Fofo watched secretly. Fofo innocently tells Onko of what Kpakpo did to Baby T in great confidence as she and others have taken him to be their moral confidant. Onko takes the opportunity to also abuse Baby T sexually. This gets MaaTusru infuriated that she goes to confront Onko. He pleads and offers some money to stop to case, and also makes MaaTsuru to understand that he knows of Kpakpo and Baby T. Due to the complication surrounding the matter, MaaTsuru falls into Kpakpo devilish advice to send Baby T to Mama Broni to get her a job. Unknown to MaaTsuru Baby T is introduced to prostitution in connection to Poison, who stands as the kingpin of the prostitution business. After series of investigations by MUTE with the help of Sylv Po, a radio presenter, it is discovered that Baby T did not die at the market but that her killers brought her to the spot to distract any further trace. Kabria and her team pay several visits to MaaTsuru, Naayomo, Onko’s workshop, Poison, Mama Broni, a native doctor and the police station, among others, to unravel the secret behind Baby T’s death. When questioning Poison, he reveals that Mama Broni knows better. He says that Onko had come to request for a particular girl of his, and that he was ready to pay any amount to have her. When asked who the girl was, he said Baby T. Poison reveals that Baby T had refused to accept Onko as a client, but was compelled by him. He says that Baby T stays in Mama Broni’s place as a special worker, who he treats well. However, he states that the death of Baby T is an accident as she fell into a fight with Onko, who stabbed her with a knife. On realising this, they decided to take her wounded body to the market place, so that, it may be assumed that she was killed there. But before the investigation team could get to Onko, he had committed suicide, and Mama Broni confesses that she had been the one calling in on the radio programme to make the presenter believe that the dead girl is not Baby T but someone else. So at the end of this revelation, Fofo is fully recuperated and is sent to learn a vocation which will empower her to survival financially in future. This is done by the help of MUTE and Kabria in particular.

 

THEMES

The theme of gender imbalance: The story presents to us a society ruled by man. That is why the victims and those considered inferior are females. Beginning with the Adade’s family, Adadebelieves that it is the duty of the woman to do all chores of the home whether or not it is convenient. So Kabria alone has been struggling with cooking, assisting the children with their assignments, answering copious questions, watching her girls. No wonder sometimes she gets to work late; not to mention the fact that her husband has refused to change her car for her. Kabria goes in an old Volks car called Creamy while Adade goes in a brand new Toyota car. For Fofo and those living in Sodom and Gomorrah, there is not equality between the males and the females. They all live in fear of either Poison or Macho. These men parade some gang members with which they subjugate the females who live as prostitutes, hawkers or thieves on the road. Some females work for them. To MaaTsuru, the case is not different. The ill-fate tagged on her and her lineage is brought upon her by the actions of a man, who should have been her father. MaaTsuru’s first husband, Kwei, battered her life by getting her pregnant for four times and neglecting her for four times. At the end, he pushed MaaTsuru out of her life. Because Baby T is a female and considered weak, Kpakpo and Onko abuse her sexually, and finally Onko killed her.

 

The theme of neglect and poverty: Faceless is symbolic as it represents the faceless and shameful life of poverty due to neglect some girls face in their lives that they turn out to be street girls. Through Fofo’s experience, we realise that many of the girls out on the street did not get their because they loved it but by the mighty hand of poverty in their home which is borne out of the neglect given to them by their parents, particularly fathers. MaaTsuru is very poor and cannot provide for her children, she begins to relay on her two sons, who are engaged in a work, to provide for the whole family. But things become worse when they decide to leave the home because of Kpakpo’s presence around. By this time, MaaTsuru’s condition increases negatively and poverty takes over her home. In order to survive, she gave Baby T to Mama Broni and later on sends Fofo away into the streets. MaaTsuru’s actions are because she is poor, and has been neglected by the men that came into her life.

 

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  1. Give a detailed plot account of the novel, Faceless.
  2. Comment on two major themes of the novel, Faceless.

 

GENERAL EVALUATION/REVISION QUESTIONS

  1. Discuss the exploration of gender imbalance in the work.
  2. Narrate the plot of the work.

 

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. A narrative in the oral tradition that may include legends and fables is a

    (A) Ballad (B) Folktale (C) Pastoral (D) Romance

  2. A short poem written on a tomb is a/an (A) Dirge (B) Panegyric (C) Epigram (D) Epitaph
  3. Pick the odd item (A) Lord of the Flies (B) A Woman in Her Prime (C) Joys of Motherhood (D) Women of Owu
  4. A short speech at the beginning of a literary work which serves as commentary is a/an (A) Monologue (B) Prologue (C) Dialogue (D) Epilogue
  5. One of the following is not an African Poet

    (A) Lenrie Peters (B) Thomas Gray (C) J.P Clark (D) Syl Cheney-Coker.

 

THEORY

Discuss the use of irony and symbols in the above work.

 

 

WEEK NINE AND TEN

STYLE

Flashback: This technique or style is seen to be a veritable tool in the hands of the writer. By it, we are able to make connection of the three books in the novel: the beginning, the middle and the end. The whole truth about MaaTsuru’s history, Kpakpo, Poison and Mama Broni is made available to us through flashback. The where about of Baby T and how she died are given to us by this technique. The history of Naayomo’s father is given through the aid of flashback.

 

Heroine: Considering the nature of the story, it is very commendation to settle for a female as the protagonist. The story revolves around Fofo. Through her, the bastardised and rotten life of the residents of Sodom and Gomorrah is made public to even people like Kabria and her colleagues. By her efforts with help from MUTE, the secret and the actor behind her sister’s death is revealed. In the hands of the author, Fofo stands as the heroine who is chosen to represent other girls who share in her problems and are helpless.

 

Suspense: In order to keep up with the fright in Sodom and Gomorrah, the writer harnesses this technique to help readers to keep up with the story. With suspense, an increased interest is created in the readers who ordinarily would have dropped the work because of the decayed life recorded in the story. The contact Fofo had with Poison is the beginning of the technique. It runs throughout the work.

 

Allusion: The name of the location, Fofo and other girl-victims reside, is called Sodom and Gomorrah. This is unique effort by the writer to help readers appreciate his story of the gruesome life of some Africans in their own community. The same degree of atrocities and immoralities that has provoked God to consume the city of Sodom and Gomorrah as recorded in the Bible can be said to be going on in that small community Fofo finds herself. No wonder the name Sodom and Gomorrah is given. In this environment, young boys and girls engage in illicit sex without any form of protection.

 

Tragedy: Due to the unpleasant nature life in Sodom and Gomorrah goes on, some people lose their lives. As a territory not frequently visited by the police and one known for a debased life, the kingpins of the corrupt life lived by residents take laws into their hands sometimes as they know the police will not be ready to spend their time looking out for criminals in the area. But particularly is the death of Baby T. She was stabbed and allowed to die like bird. Her death raised the consciousness if Fofo that something must be done to stop such killing or else, they all of Sodom and Gomorrah may be the next victims.

 

CHARACTERISATION

Fofo: She is the protagonist and the heroine of the story. She is a young girl of about 14, daughter of MaaTsuru, and has been forced to join the street girls by her mother who believes she should be able to survive like other girls. Fofo is a child of circumstances whose family history is a very bad one as many see them as accursed. She is faced with terror in the night as Poison came on her to rape her. We also deduce from her actions that Fofo feels uncomfortable with the kind of life she is made to live and wished to get a better job. Fofo has a different ideology from her mother, who thinks she needs a man at all cost to survive. She believes that her mother is the architect of her suffering. She also takes rash decisions like trying to leave town with no money in her hand. She also attempted to steal from Kabria which would have cost her her life. Fofo shows great love for her sister, Baby T by trying to know who is responsible for her death. She is also likeable; no wonder Kabria had interest in her to help her unravel the secret behind Baby T’s death.

 

Kabria: She is Adade’s wife and mother of Obie, Essie and Ottu. She works with MUTE, a non-government organisation, and has Dina as her boss, while Vickie and Aggie are her colleagues. Kabria does all the home chores and also takes her three children to school in her car called Creamy. She is a good wife, mother and woman. Kabria is a selfless woman who was ready to take up Fofo’s case. She is a lively person.

 

MaaTsuru: She is the mother of Fofo, Baby T and others. She was married to Kwei, whose mother was against their union. Kwei’s mother tells her son that MaaTsuru is a cursed child and that marrying her means taking the curse upon his head. After Kwei finally left MaaTsuru, she fell into Kpakpo, who came in and destroyed her home. She is gullible and weak emotionally. She can be seen as the source of the problems faced by her children. MaaTsuru is timid and materialistic. No wonder Onko could dazzle her with some few notes of money.

 

Poison: He is a ruthless street lord that has grown into a big pimp. Everyone is scared of his presence; because he deals mercilessly with anyone he considers a threat. At the opening of the book, he came on Fofo to rape her. Later on, we realise that he is connected to Baby T’s death and had threatened MaaTsuru not to speak with anyone on the issue.

 

Odarley: This is Fofo’s friend in the streets. Like Fofo, she is pushed to the street to fend for herself. Odarley is a very good friend to Fofo. She disobeyed all threats from Poison and his cohorts to help Fofo get to the end of her quest for the killers of her sister, Baby T. She is an intelligent girl.

 

Baby T: This is Fofo’s elder sister. She is a victim of several sexual abuses. Unknown to her mother, who foolishly gave her away to Mama Broni, Baby T is introduced to professional prostitution. When Baby T refused to allow Onko have her in bed as a client of Poison after being the one who had abused her sexually the second time, she was stabbed by Onko and her body taken to the marketplace.

 

Kpakpo: He is MaaTsuru’s second husband, and the author of ill-fate in her family. Kpakpo deceives MaaTsuru by telling him that he has a good job and is on vacation. MaaTsuru believed him but later found out that Kpakpo does not even have a house over his head, because he has rented out his only room. Kpakpo introduces Mama Broni to MaaTsuru and Baby T is given away to her as an employer. When he knew that Baby T is dead, he ran away from the reach of anyone. He is the first that abused Baby T when MaaTsuru was away.

 

Onko: He is seen as a betrayer to Fofo, who has always taken him as a confidant. When Fofo told him about Baby T’s rape by Kpakpo, he capitalised on her trust in him and abuse Baby T the second time. Though a mechanic, his shop started experience great decline after sexually abusing Baby T. After failing to disperse the ghost of Baby T, Onko went ahead to kill himself.

 

GENERAL EVALUATIONS/REVISION QUESTIONS

  1. Examine the role of Fofo in the novel, Faceless.
  2. Comment on the narrative techniques employed in the novel, Faceless.

 

EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  1. Examine Kpakpo as a character in the work.
  2. Analyze the work as a tragedy.

 

WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

  1. ____ is the location of the action of the plot. A. Setting B. Narrative technique C. point of view D. Characterisation
  2. A ballad is essentially a ____poem. A. descriptive B. dramatic C. pastoral D. narrative
  3. The first four lines of Shakespearean sonnet rhyme A. abcd. B. abba. C. abab. D. cdcd.
  4. A story in which characters or actions represent abstract ideas or moral qualities is A. an epic. B. a legend. C. an allegory. D. a satire.
  5. The use of imagery in prose or verse A. appeals to the senses. B. develops the plot. C. creates confusion. D. obscures meaning.

 

THEORY

  1. Discuss the issue of neglect in the novel, Faceless.
  2. Examine the role of Kabria in the novel, Faceless.



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