Nature as a Device in Tanure Ojaide’s The Tales of the Harmattan and Flora Nwapa’s Cassava Song and Rice Song
Keywords:Metaphorization, Human condition, Environment, Cultural materialism, Romanticization, Aesthetics, Ecocriticism
This paper examines nature as a device in Tanure Ojaide’s The Tale of the Harmattan and Flora Nwapa’s Cassava Song and Rice Song. It proceeds on the assumption that there is a relationship between nature and literature beyond the interest of the Romantics and Ecocriticism and that this relationship is often demonstrated aesthetically and thematically to express the human condition. With emphasis on the metaphorization of the components that make up nature, this paper deploys Peter Steiner’s Machine model of Formalism which sees literary criticism as a sort of mechanics and the text as a heap of devices. In this regard, Formalism is here deployed as a means of exploring the extent to which nature functions as a device in The Tale of the Harmattan and Cassava Song and Rice Song. It emphasizes the figurative use of nature to estrange the ordinary. This paper finds that the figurative use of nature helps to establish the aesthetic grounds that justifies the literariness of the poem. The paper also finds that the presence of nature in the poems heighten the aesthetic quality of the poems because nature readily finds expression in patterns or attributes common to all its components. Thus, the metaphorization of nature components as a means of portraying the human condition.
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