Stylistic Devices: Dialogue in Fathers of the nations
This is the most dominant style in the text, It is a direct conversation between two or more characters or a conversation between two different groups of people or a conversation between an individual and a certain group of people in thetext. It has mainly been used to activate and dramatize several conflicts in the text.
- There is dialogue between the guide (Mr.Abiola) and the four strangers who check in at the Seamount Hotel at Banjul. (Professor Kimani, Pastor Chiamaka, Comrade Melusi and Tahir) as he gives them the directives from AGDA (Pgs, 2, 16, 19).
- There is use of dialogue between the journalist Ms. Mckenzie and (the guide) Dr. Afolabi whereby Fiona calls Dr. Afolabi for the interview. (Pg4 -7)
- Dialogue happens between Tuni and her dad, Professor Kimani; in it he tells her about MPs.(Pg 23).
- Asiya and her husband Prof. Kimani dialogue as she tells him of her resolution to marry Newborn Walomu. (Pg 33)
- There’s dialogue between the MP Walomu and Prof. Kimani when Kimani confronts him about marrying his wife Asiya Omondi. (Pg 37)
- Tad Longway and Prof. Kimani engage in dialogue as Tad tries to convince Prof to join AGDA. (Pg 39)
- Dialogue happens among Leo, Fiona and Dr. Afolabi. In thisdialogue, Dr. Afolabi rescues Fiona then takes her to his room at the Seamount Hotel. (Pg 59).
- A dialogue ensues between Tad Longway and Dr. Afolabi about his address at the Foundation for the Democratic Rule when Longway had come to talk to him about acting as a guide to Path Alpha. (Pg 73)
- There is a dialogue involving Issa, Pamela and Dr. Afolabi about his new wife from the village who had been brought by his cousin Femi to help Dr. Afolabi in bearing children since his wife doesn’t want to have children. (Pg 75).
- Comrade Melusi and Tad Longway engage in a dialogue where Melusi tells Longway how he fought for freedom in Zimbabwe. Longway has come to convince Melusi to join AGDA. (Pg 99)
- There’s a dialogue between Tad and Chiamaka over the phone about joining AGDA. (Pg 116)
- Tad and SeifTahir dialogue about the latter’s joining AGDA as they talk more about the history of Libya ( Pg 124).
- Fiona and Longway through a phone call at the booth of the Seamount Hotel. ( Pg 134) and on (Pg 137) over a drink at the Seamount Hotel .
- Dr. Afolabi and Fiona dialogue in the latter’s room at the Seamount Hotel —Afolabi confirms that he is the guide. (Pgl 39)
- There’s dialogue between Dr. Afolabi and the other presidents at the Summit.(Pg154). In this dialogue where he invites his counter parts to talk about Path Alpha, Bangoura dialogues with the congregants at the summit as he lead them in making a choice between Path Alpha and Way Omega. (Chapter 140).
Style: Rhetorical Questions In Fathers of the Nations
These are questions asked to make a point or create a dramatic effect. They do not require answers since they are used to persuade or to pause.
- Pg 5 One minute, five minutes-where is the difference?
- Pg 10 All looked happy and why not?
- Pg 63 Why do people like to say lies?
- Pg75 Lees now drop this gibberish for a while, okay?
- Pg78. .and who told you she hates children?
- Pg87… what freedom and what work?
- Pg103.. .had the man not taken it there?
- Pgl 04.. .and signing his own death warrant in the bargain?
- Pgl 17. .. ‘had he not closed down all foreign military? Then had he not nationalised all foreign business in the country?
- Pg120…’who has not at one time or another misinterpreted a kind word from a friend?
- Pg150…was it not invented by the cleverest twenty of the world’s best and brightest, each a Nobel prize winner?
- Pg173…how could he answer a question he has not heard and he was determined not to hear?
- Pg182…has the trick not saved the day? had it not eliminated the need for the consensus he could not achieve?
Flashback (Stylistic Devices in Fathers of the nations)
This is a window to an earlier occurrence that provides critical information to the main story. It is a situation where the author uses a scene set in a time earlier than the main story to link up with the events taking place in the main story.
It is used here to help us understand better the present day elements and learn more about the characters. Also used to reveal the emotional struggles of the characters in the text,a flashback also reveals the insights of the character’s actions.
There is the use of flashback in chapter two about the life of Professor Kimani; his education journey, how he married Asiya, how he lost his only daughter Tuni to a road accident and how his marriage fell apart. Through it we also how he fought with an MP landing him behind bars. This clearly tells us why he is where he is now seeking justice and fighting for a change.
There is the use of flashback in the conversation between comrade Melusi and Tad Longway where comrade Melusi talks about him and their leader fighting smith in search of independenceand through this wc realise the origin of his name ‘comrade’
We also get to learn through flashback how comrade Melusi lost his wife Ziliza through Gukurahundi which erupted due to the anti – government unrest in southern Zillibabwe. (Pg 90-92).
There is the use of flashback in chapter 8 which tells us clearly how Pastor Chineke Chiamaka started preaching back then, how he developed his preaching career and how he lost it and landing behind bars; …he preached everywhere: indoors in the strict privacy of a house or in the limited publicity of a church.. ‘ Pg 109’
The flashback takes us way back to when he had a church of his own with a welcoming bulleting in a church entrance ‘God is Watching You’ and how he would make his sermons witty and
persuasive upto until he mentions the undoing of the government his pulpit which changed his life for the worst by landing him in prison. (Pg 115).
The education ability of Engineer Seif Tahir has been brought out in the text through a flashback. He had come from overseas when the leader was celebrating his 20th year in power and how he sided with him and even joined ‘The Fist of Allah’ until the Al Qaeda struck and changed his view.
Flashback is also used by the author to tell us how Engineer Tahir lost his eye when he was served revenge by one Rahmah Mahmoud with whom he had fallen in love yet she did not respond to his expectation leading to endless vengeance between them and finally costing both of them their eyes. (Pg122)
Through flashback we learn that Dr. Afolabi and his wife Pamela do not have children of their own. This is clearly brought out in chapter 5 where we learn how Femi Dr. Afolabüs cousin was sent to bring a second wife to Dr. Afolabi since he and Pamela did not have children. This ends his marriage with Pamela.
Vivid Description– Style in the Novel, Fathers of the Nations
This is a way of creating very detailed and clear mental image to the audience about an event, a character or a situation in the text. It is a style used to appeal to the senses of the audience and therefore makes the audience to feel as if they are exactly at the spot where the author is describing.
- She was wearing a scarlet blouse, a black skirt and red heels…(Fiona) Pg4.
- ..she had her mother’s eyes, wings of an imported butterfly, pure black in the middle, pure white at the margins …( Tunis eyes) Pg24.
- Asiya’s behaviour when she wanted to leave Prof. Kimani for Newborn since Prof had become poor has clearly been described in (Pg32)…if he did as much appear about to touch her she jumped back and shrank away.
- …when he was near enough he swung a fist. He missed…he (Pg 37) the fight between Mr. Newborn and swung another Prof. Kimani has clearly been descried here.
- Her legs started kicking wildly, scissoring the air in frantic strokes…Fiona’s struggles to free herself from the man who
wanted to take her by force creates a mental picture. (Pg 58, 59).
- The events leading to the accident of Pastor Chiamaka and the accident altogether have been described on Pg 107 and 108.
- He could begin his sermon now. ‘God is watching you 110) the way pastor Chiamaka would begin his preaching.
- Big teeth, white and big gums, purple…Rahmalfs face as she smile…her left cheek was capable of a dimpole (Pg 120).
- You will find me standing near the phone both I am wearing white shoes and a red dress with a white polka dots…Fiona describes her dressing code to Tad Longway (Pg 130).
- A product of the strange practice that allows even the ugly kings to marry beautiful women. , . gorgeous physique, gorgeous smile. …the appearance of king Jemba Jemba. (pg 163)
Story within a story – Style in the Novel, Fathers of the Nations
- This is where a character within the story becomes the narrator of a second story. It’s mainly used to reveal the truth in the inner Story.
- The story of the donors ganging up on Africa told by Prof. Kimani to his only daughter Tuni is a good example. (Pg 22).
- Another example is the story of Dr. Afolabi and his wife arriving home to find that Femi had brought a second wife to Afolabi so that he could have children of his own since Pamela did not want to have children with him… (told by Afolabi).
- There’s also a story told by comrade Melusi to Longway about the Gukurahundi who led to the loss of his wife Ziliza. ( Pg 91) Comrade Melusi tells a story to the visitor (Tad Longway) about how he fought side by side with his leader to defeat smith and attain independence in Zimbabwe. (Pg 87).
- The story of Seif Tahir on how he fell in love with Rahmah, how he experienced rejection and how that brought about vengeance thus leading him to losing an eye is told through this style. (Pg119)
Irony – Stylistic Device in the Novel, Fathers of the Nations
This is a state of affairs that appears dclibcratcly contrary to what one expects.
- It is used by the author to causc a character to act out of ignorance of some truth of which thc audicncc arc awarc of.
- Its ironical for Asiya to connpare her husband who has worked hard all his life to people likc Newborn. (Pg26)
- It is ironical for thc MPS like Newborn who havc littlc education to earn better salaries compared to professors likc Kimani whohas even studied abroad in order to leave a better life. (Pg30)
- It is also ironical for Newborn to propose marriage to Asiya while she is still married to Prof. Kimani and also since he already has three wives. Further, Asiya is even way older than him. (Pg 33)
- There is irony is in the fact that Prof. Kimani is handed a six months’ jail term yet he is the one who has lost everything. (Pg 36)
- It is ironical for the presidents to tell the police not to take bribes yet they (presidents) take even bigger amounts. (Pg41)
- Irony is plays out in the fact that Dr. Afolabi thinks that ifs safe to communicate through the phones he has given the four strangers at the Seamount Hotel than to use the hotel phone yet the silent listener is able to hack their conversations. (Pg 55)
- It is also is Ironical for the pastor to read political documents in the pulpit to his congregation. (Pg 114)
- Its ironical for Tahir to take Rahmah to court for losing his eye yet he is the one who started the fight which cost him his left eye. (Pg 122)
- Is ironical for minister Zinto to thank the excellencies for being attentive yet we know they were not. (Pg 152)
- The presidents condemn trouble makers but some are themselves trouble makers by being unruly. (Pg 171)
- It is ironical for president Bangoura to be chosen to lead in the decision making about Way Omega or Path Alpha yet he has not read either of the documents and has sworn not to read them.
Use of Borrowed Language – Style in the Novel, Fathers of the Nations
It is used to maintain the authenticity of the words or phrases that might lose meaning if translated. Use of Swahili words
‘msitu mpya nyani wale wale.'( Pg25)
Kazi kubwa pesa ndogo. (Pg 35)
Na hivyo ndivyo ilivyo. (Pg 36)
There is use of shona language by Comrade Mwelusi ‘Simudzai mureza weZimbabwe’ (Pg 87), murambatsvina. (Pg 97)
Use of Ndebele — kalibusiwe izwe lezimbawe. (Pg 87)
Use of Arabic language sabah kher. (Pgl 19)
The use of French language by president Bangoura …’Merci monsieur le president’ (Pg 156)
Qu’est ce qui se passe?( Pg 178).
Discuss the use of Sarcasm as a stylistic Device In the Novel Fathers of the Nations
This is the use of irony to cause contempt.
- Do you know what I am going to do? I am going to ask the guards I bribed to arrest me on nny way back. (Pg 48)
- Yes just as rain comes, water washes off the spots of a leopard. Prof. Kimani to his daughter Tuni. (Pg 25)
- I just told you why: old is gold. Anyway stealing is not that uncommon, you know…thcre are a lot of spouse stealers there, wouldn’t you say? (Pg 57) Newborn to Prof. Kimani. …let me call the media,pastor Chiamaka said sarcastically..
- I have a confession, I wish to make. I want to confess that I have not read them and to declare that I will never read them… President Bangoura to the members of the summit. (Pg 159)
- Mr. chairman the resolutions, once adopted, do not have to be adopted again just because some sharp secretary somewhere has had echoes… Way Omega. ( Pgl 59)
Imagery: Similes– as a stylistic Device In the Novel Fathers of the Nations
This is the direct comparison of two different things by use of like and ‘as.. .as’ mainly used to describe something. The author has used a lot of similes in the text such as:
- …he had a bushy moustache which in a moment of speech wriggled like a moth fighting to free its wings then fly away’ this has been used to describe comrade Melusi’s moustache. (Pgl) this has been used to
- …he looked like a failed sumo wrestler…’ describe pastor Chineke Chiamaka.
- …cute as a button and sharp as a needle…these are Abiola’s thoughts about Fiona’s. Pg5 ‘
- …her eyes were wide and white like a pair of moons. Pgs
- .sluggish and groggy like a satiated python with a ‘ describes Newborn Walomu. Pg35
- …the youth craned his head up sticking it like a rooster readying to crow’ describing how Nick looked at Ms Mckenzie. Pg 51.
- …lingered on like the boom of a big drum’ used to describe the voice of Mr. Tad Longway. Pg 75..
- …his voice tore through the restaurantss wall to wall silence like thunder’ describing the voice of the visitor (Mr.Longway) Pg 89.
- …stoping or swerving out of his way like water pausing or parting to let a Moses on wheels cross the red sea’ which describes how Chineke Chiamaka drives. Pgl 07
- Pg 119… ‘her big eyes were shining like light bulbs’ refering to Rahmah’s eyes
- Pg 144..’his belly hang over like a half-empty sack’
- His face had wrinkled like a dry prune’ these describes professor Kimani.
- Pg161…’ it was as smooth as smooth as a baby’s face’ refering to minister Nzito.
Imagery Metaphors in the Novel Fathers of the Nations
This is the indirect comparison of two things which is used to create a mental picture.
- Tunis eyes have been compared to the wings of an imported butterfly. (Pg 24)
- ‘…his voicc ( Tad’s voice) was a lion’s roar. Pg 38
- …the youth was a jargon spewing buffon…Pg 52.
- …she had imagined it as an ugly monster. Pg 126
- …His voicc was all syrub and honcy ( Abiola Afolabüs voice) Pg 142
- …A bird’s sip and a lion’s sip. Pg 169
Imagery: Personification as a stylistic Device In the Novel Fathers of the Nations
This entails giving human abilities to non-human. Examples include:
- …dying old Toyota.( Pg 29)
- …you couldn’t tell what happiness was if it fell on your lap and cried out its name. Pg 33′
- …Ms McKenzie meet your office. ( Pg 56)
- Little fellow is used by comrade Melusi to refer to the needle. (Pg 83)
- Sunrise threw the heavens wide open over Banjul. (Pg82)
- He consulted a wall clock, It told him 1:30. (Pg 86)
- Meet silent listener, it was sitting silently at the far end of his office. (Pg 126)
- Mother Africa, it’s only few minutes aftcr sunset, but you’re so dark already! (Pg 168)
Symbolism as a stylistic Device In the Novel Fathers of the Nations
This is the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities.
- Tuni symbolises her place of conception.
- Path Alpha symbolises the change and hope for the Africancountry.
- Way Omega symbolises the old regime which needed to be fought and changed
- The men at the summit symbolise the fathers of the nations.
- The silent listener symbolises the fastest growing technology of 21C.
- AGDA is used to symbolise the think tank of the people pushing for Path Alpha.(Pg 41)
- Number 22 symbolises the day undisputed president of Gambia fell from power. (Pg 46)
- These are the exact sounds produced by something.
- The author also embraces the use of Ideophones such as Ha (Pg 33)
- Bleep bleep! …the sound of the machine at the store where Afolabi met his father in law. Pg 68)
- Aaaah. (Pg 87)
- Uh-uh (Pg 130)
- Oh la la 170)
Style: Contrast in Fathers of the Nations
- It entails differences in two or more entities. It has been used to bring out the difference in people based on their physical appearance or situations in the text. A proper example is on pgl 01 , thc Nigcrian president, looked nnorc majestic in thosc sky blue robes that he was wearing than his counterpart Gambian in his rolls of white cotton. Chiamaka’s observations.
- …When Way Omega offers you a bird in the bush Path Alpha presses that bird into your hands. Pg 154 ‘
Humour as a stylistic Device In the Novel Fathers of the Nations
This is a way of making the .audience laugh. Mainly used to break monotony or cheer up the audience… examples
…make that the church inside Africa,’ Mr. Longway added and everyone laughed.’ Pg 147
…We would still be here next year, admiring our hands if we were to do so’ again the summit hall rocked with laughter. Pg 178
…dear minister ,you going to make same protestation, with as much vigour when your way omega get win.’ pg 178