Lek.-o. verbal ou la communication conflictuelle dans née de la côte d'adam de nuruddin farah
Kyalo, Nuru Koki
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This study focuses on verbal knock-out or conflicting communication in the novel Nee de la Cole d Adam (of which the original version is entitled From a Crooked Rib) by Nuruddin Farah (1970). The general objective of the study was to analyze the conflicting speeches of the heroine Ebla and her opponents so as to detect the discourse strategies that each one of these protagonists uses and to find out how conflicting communication functions in the novel. Verbal communication in itself is generally considered to be a peaceful exchange of information, which is shared and understood by all participants. The classic chain of communication, which involves a sender (S) who sends a message (M) to a receiver (R), does not show or make anyone think of a situation of conflict. However, verbal exchanges are very common in the society. Linguists and sociologists have in the past studied `harmonious' communication without giving much thought to arguments in real life. The novel, From a Crooked Rib tells the story of a young girl called Ebla, who finds herself in the middle of conflicts with other characters. First of all, she entered into conflict with her grandfather, when she found out that he was planning to marry her off to a man of more than 40 years. When Ebla refused, a generation conflict occurred. In order to avoid this forced marriage, she sought refuge at her cousin's home in Belet Wene. Once there, she did not get along with her cousin Ghedi, because, he too, arranged another forced marriage for Ebla to an old cow merchant. Ebla ran away when she learnt about her cousin's plans. She finally got married to a young man, A will, in their marriage, they kept on arguing about everything. She also entered into conflict with her neighbours. The study was guided by the theory of conflicting communication, which was founded by Uli Windisch in 1987. According to this theory, the phenomenon of conflict is approached from verbal exchanges, which reveal more of conflict than consensus. It will be well understood that from this angle, the functions of communication change. In the language employed by conflicting parties, one communicates in order to dominate the other, to pride oneself or to expel the other from his or her social or political status. The speaker attacks, manipulates and disqualifies the rival as well as his or her argument. This study followed the methodology applied by Windisch. The novel was read in order to identify and pull out the indices of conflicting speeches of the heroine and her rivals. The indices studied take the form of figures of speech such as imprecation, metaphors, anathema, proverbs, simile, etc. Declarative verbs, verbs of judgment as well as qualifying adjectives are other elements that were also studied. These indices showed how conflicting communication functions in the novel. Lastly, the chapters were arranged according to the origin of conflicts that were found in the novel. This thesis is divided into four chapters. In the first chapter, Ebla's description as revealed through her words, her actions, the narrator's speech, and also through the other characters words was studied. In the second chapter, indices of conflicting communication were analysed. These were studied as seen through generation conflicts. The following chapter deals with conflicts brought about by tradition, religion and violence that Ebla sustains from men in the novel. The fourth chapter looks at the means though which Ebla tries to free her body and soul from all these sources of conflict. In the conclusion, it was noted that Ebla is a victim of forced marriage, rape, female genital mutilation, domestic violence and other kinds of mistreatment arising from religious and traditional norms that discredit the woman and place her counterpart on the favourable side. She therefore seeks ways to free herself through dialogue with her rivals, and when dialogue cannot help she runs away, for example, to escape from forced marriage. She sought to reason out her opponents through monologues in order to understand her own status as a woman. Her opponents based their arguments on the laid out traditional and religious norms that favoured them in all aspects. It was observed that Ebla was mainly opposed to men. She did not despair in her war against them, the Somali tradition and Islam, with a mission to find herself an appropriate social status, which is overlooked by her rivals. She criticised men whenever she had the opportunity to do so, and she remained silent when she could not defend 'herself Her escape from the village to the city offered her with some form of freedom where she was in a position to make her own decisions as she had always desired. The author of the novel does not provide Ebla with appropriate solutions for her problems. lie only provides her with few moments of self-examination and not happiness. He lifts her from her pathetic condition of submissiveness but does not deliver her to the correct destination. At the end of the novel, she still hangs in the same prison of patriarchy. It was also concluded that the theory of conflicting communication could only be applied up to a certain level. Beyond the linguistic level, it is not applicable since one is not supposed to question the word of God, for example, because it is final. The theory, however, can be applied to study other types of conflicts other than political. It can also be applied to study the phenomenon of conflict in any other types of texts such as plays or novels and it is only a matter of differentiating between conflicting and non-conflicting communication in the given text. The study gave a true profile of girls who are misunderstood or trapped in a materialistic society dominated by men. Given that there are many more other girls who still suffer under the same circumstances as Ebla, we propose that this novel is read in schools and colleges in Kenya so as to give way to discussions about gender issues, which make part of current global debates. Other researchers could also venture into the application of this theory in the study of other types of social conflicts in other novels or texts' so as to find out what form this kind of communication takes.