Moving a mountain with bare hands: the expository analysis of Bru-tus’ ‘for a dead African ‘through pragmatic approach

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Ruaha Catholic University
The purpose of this paper is to analyse Dennis Brutus’ ‘For a Dead African’ based on context to shed some lights on the use of pragmatic approach in the study of poetry. The paper employed qualitative approach in all the processes of data collection, interpretation and presentation. In the discussion of the findings, pragmatic approach is linked up with the New Criticism and Marxist theory to widen up understanding of the concept of context and its applicability to the study of literature. The study found that situational and background context are the major determinant of knowledge or meaning within a poem. The situational context in this study is revealed through various linguistic properties including demonstrative pronouns, personal pronouns and figures of speech. The study proves that the situational context is significant in showing the relationship between what is said by a persona and the society refered within a poem while background context provides clue of the intention of the poet and hence, simplify understanding of the meaning. The paper ends with a remark that although the concept of context in pragmatic approach is extremely excellent in providing meaning in poetry, it also needs to blend with knowledge of language in literature for readers to comprehend messages carried in poetry. It is recommended that other studies to be done closely to examines Brutus and other poems using different theories to high light their mechanism on revealing meaning they intend to portray
Abstract. Full text article available at,%20ISSUE%201,%202021.pdf#page=64
Pragmatic approach, Literary pragmatic, Literary appreciation, Literary analysis, Literary discourse, Context and poetry.
Masele, E. J.(2021). Moving a Mountain with Bare Hands: The Expository Analysis of Brutus’‘For a Dead African’through Pragmatic Approach.Ruaha Journal of Arts and Social Sciences(RUJASS), Vol 7(1)59-70.