A Stylistic Study of Soyinka’s Autobiographical Imagination in Ake and the Man Died by Bassey Ufot


This paper is a stylistic study of the autobiographical imagination in Wole Soyinka’s Ake, the Years of Childhood (Ake) and The Man Died (TMD) especially in the way in which these works provide the linguistic and literary sources for a good deal of the author’s fictional writing as well as social activism. The study proceeds from the theoretical postulations of Olney, Abrams and Harpham, and Maduakor on the literary artistry in the autobiographical imagination and style, as well as Halliday’s theories of context of situation and scale and category for the analysis of lexical and grammatical items. It undertakes a stylistic appraisal of the major aesthetic qualities of the two texts at the levels of lexis and grammar, and demonstrates the linguistic, literary and socially redemptive parallels between these autobiographies and his fictional works. The paper concludes that the sheer melodrama inherent in Soyinka’s autobiographical prose underscores the contention that real life drama. is the primary source for a writer’s literary style, and that life itself is stranger than fiction.

Keywords: autobiographical, stylistics, aesthetic, artistry, lexis, grammar

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