The Aesthetics of Semantic Incongruities and Lexical Deviations in Ngugi Wa Thiong’o’s Murogi wa Kagogo
Waiganjo, Charles Thiong'o
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The study focused on aesthetics of semantic incongruities and lexical deviations in Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s text Mũrogi wa Kagogo. The study is premised on the knowledge that style is a vital element especially for the purpose of delivering the message of a literary writer. The study therefore sought to investigate the rationale behind Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s employment of semantic incongruities and lexical deviations in his text Mũrogi wa Kagogo. In an environment where scholars seem to dwell on texts written in foreign languages, few critical works have been done to texts written in vernacular. We endeavoured to critique the text Mũrogi wa Kagogo as a way of opening up the field for more studies. The study was motivated by the wide gap we saw in the African literary scene where researchers shun vernacular texts, and mostly focus on texts written in foreign languages. Our first objective was to identify and analyze examples of semantic incongruities and lexical deviations in the text. Secondly, we sought to establish the significance of using those elements as communicative tools. Finally, we attempted to establish the writer’s social vision.The study employed stylistics and post-colonial theory. Stylistics guided us by not only identifying semantic incongruities and lexical deviations in Mũrogi wa Kagogo, but also displaying the end to which they have been applied. Post-colonial theory helpedto analyze what Tyson refers to “the ideology forces that on one hand, pressed the colonized to internalize the colonisers’ values and, on the other hand, promoted the resistance of colonized peoples against their oppressors”.(Tyson 365). Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is one of those who prefer their pre-colonial culture to that of colonialist’s system. He opted to write in his own mother tongue rather thanthe colonizer’s language. Postcolonial theory therefore guided the study by establishing how the author resiststhecolonialist system through negative portrayals of the colonized. We are able to establish the unfavorable effects of colonialism on the colonizedas depicted by the writer. The study adopted a qualitative approach. It utilized library research which involvedtextual analysis of primary text and use of secondary data. Purposive sampling was used to select the text Mũrogi wa Kagogowhich was seen to be rich in the above named aspects for analysis. The findings of the study show that Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o has used both semantic incongruities and lexical deviations as powerful tools to both embellish his work and project his social vision.Criticism therefore must continue with its role of mediating between the reader and the writer by helping readers appreciate the manipulation of language as a means of enhancing social vision.