Narrative Stylistics: A Study of the Narrative and Discourse Strategies in Omotoso’s Just Before Dawn

Bassey Ufot


This paper is a stylistic study of the elements of narrative discourse in Kole Omotoso’s Just Before Dawn (JBD) including its narrative plot, narrative discourse and chapter titles. After its initial restrained favourable reception in literary circles at its publication in 1988, Omotoso’s JBD has been largely neglected, receiving very little scholarly attention of especially stylistic kind thereafter. This study therefore focuses on the stylistic and semantic implications of the major features of the writer’s narrative strategy in the book such as flashback, time shift, foreshadowing (prevision), elaboration and chapter titles. The study incorporates the theoretical postulations of Paul Simpson on narrative stylistics and discourse, and exemplifies the degree to which Omotoso’s stylistic flourish in JBD gives the story an imprint of individuality. The paper reveals the ways in which the author manipulates narrative sequence and the various stylistic elements of narrative discourse and deploys them symbolically. It concludes that based on these devices, the book assumes an archetypal, dialectical, paradoxical and symbolic character.

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English Linguistics Research
ISSN 1927-6028 (Print)   ISSN 1927-6036 (Online)

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