Chibuzo Onunkwo, Ejiofor Udu Nwogwu


No doubt, metaphors in Chinua Achebe's Anthills of the Savannah have excited much critical attention. Such attention is however not surprising given that metaphors in the text are so pervasive that they cannot escape notice, not even by naive and disinterested readers. The pervasiveness itself is thanks to the quantity and quality of those metaphors. A lot have therefore been written about them. One is nevertheless encouraged to take up their study again on the belief that something new will always be found about them. At any rate, has Northrop Frye not taught that a work of literature is 'inexhaustible' and therefore a 'source of new critical discovery?' This paper therefore seeks to study metaphors in the text via 'Depth Semantics':  a poetics that is primarily Ricoeurian. The aim is to (through the practice of close-reading) treat those metaphors with the seriousness they deserve, since a true study of such metaphors as contained in the text is best done at the level of depth semantics. Such a study will show according to Cassirer that 'there is much more in metaphor than a bare 'substitution', a mere rhetorical figure of speech.' Michel Foucault's forms of similitude, particularly analogy and sympathy, will come handy in the course of the analysis.


Metaphor, Depth Semantics, Interpretation, Explanation, Analogy, Sympathy, Power, Scapegoat

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