WHAT IS PROSE?
The third genie of Literature is Prose. Prose which is a literacy piece expressed in ordinary and straight forward language other than in Verse. A writer of Prose is known as PROSE MAN or PROSAIST. The chief character in prose or any literacy piece is known as AGONIST.
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If any literacy work is short, it is known as MARCEAU. And if the literacy piece is geared towards securing the basic necessaries of life e.g Food and Cloth, it is known as POT BOILER. And is a literacy piece is a short pointing out morals, it is called EXEMPLUM. But if the story is on grotesque (strange) Phenomenon or incredible situations, it is known as TALL STORY or FAIRY TALE. And if a prose man uses a technique to describe events that are yet to take place in the story, the device is known generally in the literacy circle, be it prose or play, as FORESHADOWING which resembles prophecy.
But if a story is narrated or written in a humorous scorn or jibe of a situation, we then could describe it as a SARCASTIC HUMOUR. And while writing or composing his/her piece, if the writer imitates another writer with a view to mocking him/her, such is known as PARODY.
A good example of a prose is NOVEL – A novel is defined as a long prose narrative with a wide range of characters and experience. When the prose narrative is a short novel, it is known as a NOVELETTE. And when it is a short story often about an event, it is called a NOVELLA /NOVELLE.
Generally, a writer of novels is a NOVELIST who might write his novel in form of a letter – This is EPISTOLARY e.g. Mariama Ba’s “So Long A Letter”. When a story is short but not bounded an fact, it is referred to as a FABLE. The story could as well be a biographical sketch of somebody, which is called a MEMOIR.
TYPE OF PROSE
- Argumentative: This refers to a passage in which the prose and cons of an issue are presented with the aid of arriving at a logical solution
- Discipline: This refers to a prose passage in which events persons, places and things are given full exposure or simply described
- Dramatic: This refers to a passage in which persons (Characters) speak one after the other in form of dialogue
- Expository: This term refers to a passage in which the presentation aims at clarifying, explaining and interpreting the subject.
- Narrative: The word, “Narrative” means a story and so the prose narrative is a passage which is aimed at presenting a well defined story.
- Technical or Scientific: This refers to a passage in which a specific or technical subject is presented. The language of such a presentation often contains a special vocabulary which is found only in the discussion of the subject.
FICTION AND NON-FICTION
“Fiction” is a word derived from the Latin word “Facio” meaning “I make”. Thus, fiction can therefore mean that which does not truly happen and so is made to look as if it really happened e.g”Arrow at God” by Chinua Achebe, ‘Mayor of Caster bridge’ by Thomas Hardy. Some of the things that happen in fiction can as well happen in real life but the story in the fiction is imaginary and therefore is fictitious. There is another aspect of fiction called Romance. In Romance, things happen in the novel is impossible to happen in the real world.
Non-Fiction: Is the opposite of fiction. It is the record of real life situation which actually took place sometime about somebody. This non-fiction can be autobiography – which tells the story of the author by the author himself. Or it can tell the story of a person by another author – Biography.
FEATURES OR CHARACTERISTICS OF PROSE
- The use of idioms and proverbs: Writers often use idioms and proverbs to highlight or beautify a passage. Idioms of expression which are peculiar to the language in which they are found. They have well known meanings which are culturally, other than linguistically determined. For example:
- I was given the nod for the job (I was offered) (Idiomatic use)
- We must ensure a quick dispensation of justice this time because justice delayed is justice denied (Proverbial Utterance)
- Paragraph (the): This is a service by which writers present a group of ideas in separate, composite units in a logical order. Paragraphs are marked off by indentation of initials words in a line or by double space margins. Traditionally a paragraph focuses on one independent idea which \it develop
- (The use of) Sentence: Simply put, sentence is a group of inter-related words consisting of a subject and predicate conveying a complete thought or emotion. There are three main types of sentences which are: Simple sentences (one clause) Complex Sentence (having one main Clause and one or two subordinate clauses) and the Compound sentences (Containing two or more main clauses and one or more subordinate clauses. A sentence can be a statement, question, command, an exclamation or a salutation.
- Slang (use of): This refers to colloquial use of words phrases in a text. Slangs features in literacy writing only as part of dialogue. For example: the coppers are all over the town (police)
- Narrative Technique: This refers to the way a writer chooses to prevent his story as part of his style. Often, narrative technique is identified with the nature of the speaking voice in the tent. The latter can take one of the following form:
- Third person or Omniscient voice (an all seeing, objective voice. For example: Hardy’s novel or Achebe’s)
- First person narrative voice (subjective speaker who directly addresses the reader; an example is Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and Oxara’sThe Voice)
- Epistolary (a highly subjective, personal voice in form of a letter. An example is Ba’s So Long A Letter).
Answer all questions
- (a) Define the term Prose?
(b) Who is a Prose man ?
(c) When do we have a sarcastic humour?
- What is fiction and Non-fiction?
- Write a short note on the features or characteristics of prose