Cultural Metaphor and Gender Ideology Construction in Selected Nigerian Novels


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


English and Literature


Scholarly studies on Nigerian novels, from linguistic perspectives, have concentrated mostly on semantics and stylistic imports, neglecting the cultural examination of novelists’ foci on metaphor and gender ideology. This study, therefore, investigates the use of cultural metaphoric language by Nigerian novelists to orient, and facilitate access to gender beliefs. It attempts to reveal how socio-metaphoric uses of language as embedded in cultural practices are deployed in portraying gender ideology in Nigerian novels. Sefi Atta’s "Swallow", Akachi Adimorah-Ezeigbo’s "Trafficked", Jude Dibia's "Blackbird", Liwhu Betiang’s "Cradle on the Scales", Helon Habila’s "Measuring Time", and Abimbola Adelakun’s "Under the Brown Rusted Roofs" are sampled texts. These texts are read critically, applying aspects of socio-cognitive linguistic frameworks (socio-cognitive CDA, conceptual metaphor, dominance and social constructionist theories of gender) that account for metaphor and gender ideology construction. This study will reflect the link between cultural metaphoric language and gender ideology in the Nigerian novel.