power relations between colonial administration and obierika character in chinua achebe's things fall apart

Research Article
Hillary Marino Pitia and Abdel Rahim Hamid Mugaddam
Africanism, CDA, colonialism, decolonization, literary texts and ideology.

This paper examines the exercise of power in a face – to – face discourse where participants are unequal – it is an unequal encounter between the English District Commissioner (EDC) and Obierika (O). This study aims at demonstrating how a close analysis of linguistic features in the literary text can contribute to the comprehension of power relations and ideological expressions in discourse. To bring to light the use of power between Africans and Colonialists as depicted by Chinua Achebe, the analysis concentrates on such means as the use of pronouns, speech acts, requests, modals, metaphors, and diverse lexical choices. These means have been chosen as primary tools for the analysis due to the fact that they are closely related to the three types of constraints such as constraint on content or what is said, relations, the social relations people enter into in discourse and subjects or the “subject positions people can occupy. The critical discourse analysis (CDA) was particularly devised in response to such problems. It is the main concern of CDA to study the minute details of linguistic structures in the light of social and historical situation of the texts, as it is the case in these literary texts, to display to consciousness the beliefs and values which are embedded in the language. The results have shown that, 70% of expressions used by the colonial administrator are in favour of the colonialism, the colonial administrator has interrupted Mr. Obierika and his associates several times to control their contributions while 30% of expressions used by Obierika are in favour decolonization process which, represent the resistance offered by Obierika and his men against the colonial power. On the other hand, 66.6 % of expressions used by Obierika and his group, this is particularly in the second part of the encounter, are in favour of the process of decolonization, which represent the power exerted by Mr. Obierika to control the colonial administrator. This clearly signals the shift of power, thus, it is the power of the African traditional beliefs.