Theme Analysis of Flora Nwapa’s Never Again: A Systemic Functional Approach

Léonard A. Koussouhon, Servais D. Y. Dadjo


This paper deals with theme analysis of Flora Nwapa’s Never Again. The theory that underpins this study is systemic functional linguistics, which is one of the approaches proposed by scholars such as M.A.K Halliday, S. Eggins, J. R. Martin, R. Fowler, J. D. Benson to mention but a very few, for the study of language and its function(s). In this system, the study of language involves three functional labels: experiential, interpersonal and textual meanings. This study aims at describing and analysing linguistic features which connote textual meaning in Never Again so as to have a deep understanding of the novel and provide a new interpretation of it. It also aims at uncovering the deep messages conveyed through the novel. Both quantitative and qualitative methods have been used in this study. Thus, two extracts have been selected from Never Again and systemic functional linguistic theories have been applied to each of them for the purpose of exploring how language is used to organise itself. The study of the internal organisation and communicative nature of the selected Texts has enabled the researchers to come up with valuable findings. Indeed, through Mood adjuncts that conflate interpersonal themes, participants in Text 1 have expressed particular attitudes and judgments about the limited power of women and the roles of women and children during war whereas those in Text 2 have expressed a high degree of certainty and inclination. This study enables the researchers to provide a deeper understanding of Never Again by contending that the deep messages conveyed through the novel are the Nigerian civil war and the roles of women and children in our societies especially during war time.

Keywords: Metafunctions, register variables, systemic functional linguistics, theme patterns.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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