Lexical Metaphor in Proverbs in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, and A Man of the People: A Systemic Functional Linguistics Perspective

Emodi Livina Nkeiruka, Emeka Otagburuagu


This study was aimed at analyzing lexical metaphors identified in proverbs Achebe’s two novels: Things Fall Apart and A Man of the People. Objectives of this study were to identify these lexical metaphors from Achebe’s novels, discuss their meanings, functions, and ideolological implications in the novels under study. To achieve these objectives, the study was anchored on Systemic Functional Grammar, a social semiotic theory to highlight the signifier - signified relationship of these lexical metaphors and their ideological implications of Igbo people. The lexical metaphors are identified and their meanings discussed as represented in the novels. The functions are exemplified and marked as positive and negative. Positive behaviours are upheld because they help in nation building while negative functions help to shape attitude and effect behaviours. Functions and Ideologies identified include indispensability of palm oil, struggle for survival through hard work, belief in ‘chukwu’ who determines success and destinies of individuals, belief in reincarnation, peaceful coexistence, strength for procreation, strive for success and shun arrogance, anti imperialism, any child whose mother died at childbirth is an evil child, political propaganda, ineffective leadership, do and die rivalry of politicians, materialistic attitude of rural prospective father- in-law that could lead to forced marriage, and given picture of how one looks like. The implication of the themes and ideologies realized from the two books shows that in Things Fall Apart lexical metaphors are used as ethical and ideological indicators while in A Man of the People they are used to gain social advantage, cover evil doings and justify perversities.


Metaphor, Proverbs, Sfg, Semiotics, Lexical, Ideology, Functions, Things Fall Apart, A Man Of The People

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.11n.1p.25


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