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Stylistic analysis
“No coffin, no grave” by Jared Angira


I)            SUMMARY

1)           Overview of the poem

2)           Structure of the poem

II)          LITERARY ANALYSIS IN “No coffin, No grave”

1)           Literary styles

2)           Linguistics styles

III)        DEFAMILIARISATION: Foregrounding by deviation and parallelism

1)           Linguistic deviation

2)           Linguistic parallelism

CONCLUSION


INTRODUCTION

Stylistics has been defined as a subdisciplin of linguistics that is concerned with the systematic analysis of the style in the language. Style can be analysed by means of looking systematically at the formal features of a text and determining their functional significance for the interpretation of the text in question. Our work will consist on conducting a stylistic analysis on the text “No coffin, No grave,, of Jared Angira a Kenyan poet born in 1947. To better analyse our poem, firstly we will have to bring out a summary of the poem by using its structure and its overview, then we will move to a literary explanation in order to study the literary stylistic and linguistic stylistic of our text and to complete the work, explain the foregrounding point of view through deviation and parallelism.


1)  

I)         Summary

1)   OVERVIEW OF THE POEM

This poem is all about a paradox of a wealthy man (politician) who had wanted a befitting burial but was not even buried but thrown into the sea because burying him in the could infect the land. The poem opens with the author telling the audience and suspending them with the fact that the person being buried is unknown. This person who is buried without coffin no grave is so unlucky that only, useless people are the ones to do his post-mortem in front of a mortuary not in a hospital.

The man is given a state burial with stuttering rifles. The poet sarcastically compared his murder shut to a gunshot representing a last respect of warrior. Instead of the poem being a pure elegy which was beatified with irony and euphemism to show his dislike towards the wicked and selfish life led by the tyrants leader; it was so unfortunate for the dead politician who wished to have a respected burial rite but ended with a belittled massacre.

This poem is written to castigate the politicians about their evil deeds, showing them how their end would look like if they don’t change.

2)   STRUCTURE OF THE POEM

The structure of the poem is base on free verses, the tone is sarcastic and satirical and the mood is made of sorrow and hope. The poem is written in stanza and has a simple structure of verses. Therefore it contains six stanza, each stanza has verses that are formed with the almost absence of rhyme; and each rhyme is made up of feet referring to the quality of stressed and unstressed syllables.

For instance, the first stanza of our poem is made up of six verses and the first verse contains nine feet or syllables, the second verse of four feet, the third verse of ten feet, the fourth verse of seven feet, the fifth of six feet, and the sixth of six feet. Thus the whole poem is characterized by the irregular verses of irregular feet. So can we imagine that this inconstancy of the structure of poem tra.....[read full text]

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Because of all these, they ask their ancestors to judge these politicians. The other way to interpretate this stanza is by saying that the author here bring out the consequences of the traitor ruler’s actions on the Kenyan society.

e-   Stanza 5: one more time, we have to do with the use of the personal pronoun “he” referring again to the traitor ruler and we also see the use of “his” (possessive pronoun) occurring three times. Here the author states how traitor ruler wanted his burial to be, he wished to be buried as a prince as we can see how the author does the description: “he wished to be buried in a golden-laden coffin, like a vip, under the jaracanda tree beside his palace, a shelter for his grave, and much beer for the funeral party”.

This man hoped his burial would be a party and a feast.

f-     Stanza 6: with the use of the word “tractors” and the verb “plough” the author shows that the land should be laboured in order to take away all the evils brought to the society by the politician. Otherwise, he tries to show a way of forgetting about the traitor ruler without a trace of remembrance.

Through this literary analysis, we will be able to elaborate a linguistic analysis of the poem.


2)   LINGUISTIC STYLES

The use of a stylistic analysis in order to text or refine a linguistic theory will be needed here. There we will focus on the poetic devices sarcasm in this case, the writer or the poet uses irony to oppose, attack and speak ill of a concept; this is seen in line one: “He was buried without a coffin/without a grave ”. we can also use figures of speech such as:

a-   Personification:”the gun salute of the day”, “the car knelt”, “the red plate wept”. The gun, car, and the red plate are inamimate objects or abstract ideas as living beings as in the verses above. The author uses this linguistic style to show the pathetic fallacy of the tr.....

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e-   Ambiguity: the poet deliberately uses some words in context where their contextual meaning becomes unclear. In our poem we have the word “diary” which is understood in two different meanings not being sure of weather the poet is referring to the traitor ruler’s intimate diary or if it is a reflection on how the traitor ruler led his life, or a reflection of his actions on the Kenyan society.

f-     simile: it is a specific comparison by means of the word “like” between two kind of ideas or object. We can identify it our poem through the phrase “he wished to be buried in a gold-laden coffin like a VIP”. The author here tries to show how the traitor ruler had wanted his burial to be but was instead given the opposite of what he had actually wanted.



III)      DEFAMILIARISATION: FOREGROUNDING BY DEVIATION AND PARALLELISM

Foregrounding refers to features in a text that in some sense “stand out” from their surrounding, it subjects that in any text, some sounds, words, phrases, and clauses may be so different from what surrounds them. This process is archived by linguistics deviation or linguistics parallelism.


1)   LINGUISTICS DEVIATION

It is the occurrence of the unexpected irregularity in a language. In the poem “No coffin, No grave”, we can notice many forms of deviation. The first case of deviation we can see in our text is the irregular poetic representation of the stanza of our poem; for example stanza one, it contains six verses, stanza two: five verses, stanza three: four verses, stanza four: fourteen verses, stanza five: seven verses, stanza six: two verses; we can say that this disorganised representation of our poem can be interprated as a form of disorganisation of the Kenyan society.

We can also notice this deviation in stanza one, where the poet uses the word “scavengers” and further continues with “post-mortem” and then the word “night club”. This is a semantic deviation because these words are not used in their right context because when we talk of “post-mortem”, words that should really be attached to it should be words like “doctor”, “mortuary” which connotate death, but the poet instead deviated by using the .....

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This form of parallelism is referred to as syntaxes parallelism. Then we can notice the use of semantic parallelism which is seen most especially in the stanza four with the use of negative values action such as “brood on hunger”, “sleep under the torn mosquito net”, stinking darkness” that give the sense of suffering due to the bad governance of the traitor ruler.




CONCLUSION

Being at the end of our work which was based on the stylistic analysis of the poem “No coffin, No grave “ by Jared Angira, we can say that with the analysis of the literary analysis where our analysis was concerned with the linguistics stylistic and literary stylistics with the use of various figures of speech, and with the analysis of the concept of defamiliarisation where the analysis was based on foregrounding of linguistic deviation with the use of external and internal deviation, also based on linguistic parallelism with the use of phonological, syntax and semanticparallelism, we brought out the analysis of the style by Jared Angir.....


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