An Analysis of the Language of Humour in Chinua Achebe’s A Man of the People

Daniel Oppong Adjei


This paper shows how humour is deployed in Achebe’s A Man of the People by analysing the make-up of the various instances of humour as well as their significance in attaining the desired effects. To Veatch (1998), humour contains two incongruous elements; one element is socially normal while the other is a violation of the ‘subjective moral order’. Veatch’s principle of incongruity allows this paper to foreground the various instances of humour which have both congruent and incongruent elements. These instances of humour show the strong attachment or detachment of a character towards somebody or something, and further describe the mood of characters and the atmosphere under which comic utterances are made, among other roles. In the end, Achebe’s A Man of the People stands out as a classic example of a humorous narrative that effectively attains its thematic concerns also through the use of incongruity.

Keywords: Achebe, A Man of the People, Humour, Incongruity, Laughter

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