It makes a detailed examination of his use of figurative language, role-play, folkloric transpositions and satire. It also seeks to collate his six plays and study the style and thematic development across the six works. The method of study is close text analysis. The work categorizes data according to the period of publication and identifies the overarching themes and the relationship between style and thematic development. His use of imagery, allusion, characterization, folklore and satire is compared across both the earlier and the latter plays. The general argument is that by using a variety of stylistic features, Ruganda appeals to the readers to find solutions to the problems he identifies.
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Readers have been able to discern literature from other ordinary pieces of work. This has been achieved, all thanks to the use of styles in literature. Style can refer to: i The linguistic realization of aesthetic effects through the medium of language ii Frequency of occurrence of linguistic elements which can be determined statistically.
Different writers use some styles consistently to create uniqueness in their works and help in identifying them and their works easily. He has also used some styles in order to get the readers glued to book, through arousing curiosity and interest in the literary sense. Consequently, this paper tries to evaluate some of these techniques that make the floods stand out as a masterpiece, the way it has, as well as trying to introspect and see what circumstances and why Ruganda decided to use these styles.
Symbolism Many a times, writers have resolved not to directly address the subjects of their works, especially if the subjects are real people. This they do to avoid confrontations, as well as give the readers some food for the thought. Ruganda was in an environment that was not conducive for him to address the plights of Ugandans. Doing so was like signing his own death warrant. For this reason, he had to be creative as well as discrete so as to avoid directly referring to the Amin government, which was the subject of his criticism anyway in the floods.
He uses symbolism as an avenue to put across his thematic concerns. Characters in the plays do not only speak for themselves but represent and symbolize real characters that we can make reference to in real life.
Ruganda uses the old weak characters to represent the oppressed masses while characters that represent power are presented as strong and soldier like to speak about how violence operates within situations of power imbalances.
The title of the book is relevant to the study of this book. To answer this question, we shall first look at the literal meaning of the term floods.
From our background information, we know what happens when there is too much rain, to the extend of being in excess. Floods do follow such scenarios. Though rainfall is a sign of life, and blessing from the Old Boy above, too much of it is catastrophic.
It causes death and havoc to the people. All those who had high hopes despair and die in agony. In the same sense, idi Amin came into power at a time when Uganda wanted a real leader who would live up to their expectations. They wanted someone who was true and would respond to their problems.
When he takes the office, Amin shows his true colors. He turns out to be an ingrate starts persecuting his country men. This he does without remorse or reservations for anything. Many people die, in large magnitudes. The deaths are compared to the real floods because the people killed were quite many to the extend of one not being able to count them literarily.
Atrocities committed against the people of Uganda are also as big as floods. Ruganda successfully uses this title to create the mental picture of the magnitude of the violence and death in Uganda, committed by the then government. The readers through their background knowledge of floods are able to relate the magnitude as well as the effects of floods in their analysis of this book. Through this way they are able to clearly discern the different plight of the Ugandans as they are being subjected to torture.
Since the floods depicted life under the dictatorship of Amin, directly criticizing the government meant one thing: death. For this, Ruganda used symbolic characters to avoid direct confrontation which would have been nasty, and probably he would have been silenced.
This is why characters like Bwogo and boss are used. They represent the oppressing government and its atrocities. This style helped his coat his message to avoid being sent early to his grave, as was the consequence for any pair of eyes that looked at government activities in a manner likely to suggest suspicion. Dialogue This is the act of characters talking in works of fiction. The conversations that do take place resemble real communication in real life. It has such features as false starts, hesitation, held syllables, intonations and hyperboles.
These features contribute greatly to what constitutes realism. This style is usually very effective in a piece of literature as it helps adversely in highlighting some of the major themes, styles used, characterization and development of the plot in literature.
It is one of the most commonly used style, and the prime style for that matter in drama. As the drama begins, we are treated to a dialogue between the Headman and Kyeyune. This helps build on the plot of the story, as we are able to know the events of what is about to happen, …. In the above conversation between headman and Kyeyune, we get to know that people are actually supposed to move, because the floods are just about to hit. This is relevant to the development of the plot in the drama.
It is also through the dialogue between Bwogo and Kyeyune that we get to know Bwogo as an arrogant proud scan, one who has no respect for elders. When Kyeyune appears on page 37, Bwogo is reckless enough to shoot at him without a care in the world.
All he cares for is his safety even if it means killing another human being. He even refers to him as being a madman. This style has also led to revelation of some of the main ideas of the book. The inhumane nature of the rulers and military men is being exposed through this dialogue.
Simile It is an imagery used to show comparison indirectly. On page 47, Nankya uses this style to describe the way the floods were coming to get Bwogo …. As patient as death… As sure as silence, the final silence… The simile was used to describe the majestic way in which the floods were walking. Use of vernacular. This entails using local a dialect by a character in a play.
It usually emphasizes a point or states the setting of the play. Ruganda uses this style to emphasize on the setting of the play.
The Burdens (by John Ruganda)
The Burdens and The Floods have become a regular part of curriculum in Literature classes. John Ruganda, who died in , was considered a shaping force in East African literature, and his published plays — The Burdens and The Floods have, over the years, featured among the required texts for literature in English courses at high school level in Kenya and Uganda. The Burdens was first published in by Oxford University Press. Set in post colonial times, the play touches on many themes, including education, politics, poverty, and violence. Wamala, the father at the center of the drama, is a man living in denial, unwilling to accept his slide into poverty, after he loses his post as a Minister in the government.
Readers have been able to discern literature from other ordinary pieces of work. This has been achieved, all thanks to the use of styles in literature. Style can refer to: i The linguistic realization of aesthetic effects through the medium of language ii Frequency of occurrence of linguistic elements which can be determined statistically. Different writers use some styles consistently to create uniqueness in their works and help in identifying them and their works easily. He has also used some styles in order to get the readers glued to book, through arousing curiosity and interest in the literary sense. Consequently, this paper tries to evaluate some of these techniques that make the floods stand out as a masterpiece, the way it has, as well as trying to introspect and see what circumstances and why Ruganda decided to use these styles.