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Man and language are inseparable and every man has the natural ability to use language creatively and effectively in numerous ways. Language, therefore, is an essential tool for man’s daily living. Its use depends on the user’s experience, creativity and exposure to it. The primary role of language is for communication; considering the communicative aspect of language as a way a writer/speaker presents his points of view has led to the phenomenon of choice in linguistic-stylistic, which is concerned with the linguistic choices made by a writer (Alagbe, 2022). These choices range from an organisation of materials or subject matters to choice between synonym and syntactic variations.

Stylistics is a branch of linguistics that deals with the study and analysis of style, which refers to the distinctive choices and patterns in language use that reflect individual or collective preferences, intentions, and attitudes. It examines how linguistic features such as vocabulary, grammar, syntax, phonetics, and discourse structures contribute to the overall meaning and impact of a text. Stylistics explores the intricate relationship between language and literature, aiming to uncover and interpret the various stylistic devices employed by writers to create specific effects and engage readers. It delves into the nuances of language, examining the use of figures of speech, rhetorical devices, irony, tone, and other elements to convey emotions, evoke imagery, and shape the overall aesthetic appeal of a text. Stylistic analysis involves close reading and interpretation of texts, paying attention to both the surface-level structures and the underlying meanings and intentions (Abdullahi, 2023). It also takes into account the socio-cultural context and the historical background that influence the production and reception of a text, recognizing that style is not a static entity but a dynamic and evolving phenomenon. Stylistics has applications in various fields, including literary criticism, discourse analysis, translation studies, and even in practical domains such as advertising and marketing, where the manipulation of language and style plays a crucial role in persuasion and communication.

Stylistic analysis holds significant importance in the study of language, literature, and communication. Firstly, according to Abashi (2022), it allows for a deeper understanding and appreciation of texts. From the stylistic choices made by writers or speakers, one can uncover layers of meaning, thematic motifs, and the intended impact on readers or listeners. Stylistic analysis enables readers to engage with texts on a more profound level, uncovering the nuances and subtleties that contribute to their aesthetic and communicative value. Secondly, stylistics provides insights into the cultural, historical, and social contexts of texts. Through the analysis of linguistic features and stylistic devices, one can gain a better understanding of the values, beliefs, and attitudes prevalent in a particular time or society. Stylistics helps to unravel the socio-cultural implications embedded within language use, shedding light on issues of power, identity, and social dynamics. Thirdly, stylistic analysis enhances communication skills. By studying the choices and patterns of language use, individuals can develop a heightened awareness of how to shape their own communication to achieve specific effects or engage with different audiences. Stylistics provides a toolkit of rhetorical devices, persuasive strategies, and linguistic techniques that can be applied in fields such as advertising, marketing, writing, and public speaking. Lastly, stylistic analysis contributes to the advancement of linguistic and literary scholarship. It provides a framework for research, allowing scholars to investigate patterns, trends, and innovations in language use across different genres, periods, and contexts. By analyzing style, researchers can make significant contributions to fields such as literary criticism, discourse analysis, translation studies, and cognitive linguistics.

Stylistics encompasses various types or branches that focus on different aspects of language and style. Firstly, literary stylistics examines the stylistic devices and techniques employed in literary texts, such as novels, poems, and plays. It explores the use of figures of speech, narrative techniques, symbolism, and other literary devices to convey meaning, evoke emotions, and create aesthetic effects. Secondly, linguistic stylistics centers on the analysis of language use in everyday discourse, including spoken and written communication. According to Gbenga (2019) it investigates the choices and patterns of vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and phonetics to understand how these linguistic features shape meaning, tone, and style in different contexts. Thirdly, cognitive stylistics explores the cognitive processes involved in the production and interpretation of texts, investigating how language and style influence mental representations, perception, and comprehension. It delves into topics such as conceptual metaphors, cognitive schemas, and the role of imagery in shaping meaning. Fourthly, sociolinguistic stylistics examines how language use is influenced by social and cultural factors, exploring how style varies across different social groups, regional varieties, or historical periods. It investigates the role of language as a marker of identity, power dynamics, and social relationships. Finally, pragmatic stylistics focuses on the study of language use in specific communicative contexts, investigating how speakers and writers use linguistic strategies to achieve their communicative goals and establish effective communication. It explores aspects such as implicature, speech acts, politeness, and discourse markers. These various branches of stylistics provide diverse perspectives and analytical frameworks for understanding the complexities of language, style, and communication in different contexts.

For the purpose of this study, literary stylistics will be used. The use of literary stylistics is motivated by several compelling reasons. Firstly, literary stylistics allows for a comprehensive exploration of the artistic and aesthetic aspects of literary texts. According to Ihedioha (2017) by analyzing the stylistic devices employed by writers, such as metaphors, similes, imagery, rhythm, and narrative techniques, literary stylistics unveils the intricacies of language use and its impact on readers. It enables scholars and readers to appreciate the unique and creative ways in which writers craft their works, enhancing the overall aesthetic experience. Secondly, literary stylistics helps in the interpretation and understanding of complex literary texts. It provides a systematic framework for examining the linguistic choices made by authors and their contribution to the overall meaning and themes of the work. Through stylistic analysis, readers can uncover layers of symbolism, character development, narrative structure, and thematic motifs, shedding light on the deeper intentions and messages embedded within the text. Thirdly, literary stylistics contributes to the study of literary traditions, genres, and historical periods (Odeh, Dean, 2010). By analyzing the stylistic features of texts within a specific literary tradition or period, scholars can identify patterns, innovations, and shifts in language use, offering insights into the evolution of literary styles and the cultural and social contexts in which they emerge. Moreover, literary stylistics fosters interdisciplinary approaches by integrating insights from linguistics, literary theory, psychology, and cognitive science. It allows for a richer understanding of the cognitive and emotional processes involved in literary reception and the ways in which language and style shape readers’ interpretations.

This study explains the concept of style and outlines the concerns of linguistic-stylistic, by analyzing some of the linguistic features prevalent in Amma Darko’s text, as well as to reveal if the style a writer uses is reflected in the language used


There is lack of enough literature materials that centre on the stylistic studies of Amma Darko’s Faceless. Previous studies on the novel have been in form of literary criticism, largely focusing on the issues of theme, plot, authorship, and characterizations. Linguistic-stylistic examinations of Darko’s Faceless is relegated to the background. Readers of analytical works have often yearned for more detailed materials on stylistic issues raised about the African Prose texts that have been analysed. Such researches should be of primary interest to students and teachers of English Language. The neglect of these highly valued linguistic-stylistic aspects of Amma Darko’s Faceless therefore makes imperative the present study in order to fill this gap.

Creative writers use language in a unique or peculiar style in order to motivate readership or appeal to readers. They sometimes use linguistic elements and stylistic features which may seem unclear to average readers, thus, resulting in the lack of comprehension of the novel. Such misunderstanding could lead to distortion of meaning, which is also a motivating factor for the present study. The uniqueness of Darko’s style provides the need for the stylistic study of her novel. Faceless contain some striking irregularities of form in comparison to “traditional” prose.

There has been a growing interest in the stylistic study of African novels as a result of insights from studies on European and American literature.  It is important to mention that only a significant few stylistic studies have been made on contemporary African literature.   


            The main purpose of this study is to do a critical stylistic analysis of Amma Darko’s Faceless in order to:

  1. Highlight the stylistic features used by Amma Darko in Faceless.
  2. Identify and explain the various styles Amma Darko uses to pass across her intended messages.
  3. Investigate and identify the extent to which Amma Darko’s cultural and linguistic background affect her style of writing.


  1. What are the stylistic features employed by Amma Darko in her novel Faceless?
  2. How does Amma Darko utilize different styles to convey her intended messages in the novel Faceless?
  3. To what extent does Amma Darko’s cultural and linguistic background influence her writing style in the novel Faceless?


This study is significant especially now when Amma Darko’s Faceless has become a common literature text in secondary schools and other external examination bodies as students’ text. This study will clear all hose misunderstanding and misinterpretation by students and aid a better performance in in analsing her novels the study is therefore intended to contribute to the growing interest in the analsysis of the African novel from the stylistic perspective by studying Amma Darko’s Faceless. All these observations provide the basis on which this study is embarked on and to go beyond what previous studies have done and to Darko’s stylistic choice as unique when compared to what obtains in conventional prose.


The study will primarily focus on a comprehensive literary and stylistic analysis of Amma Darko’s novel “Faceless”, examining the narrative structure, character development, themes, symbolism, and the use of language, imagery, metaphors, similes, and other literary techniques that contribute to the overall style of the novel. It will also consider the socio-cultural context of the novel, exploring how Darko’s Ghanaian background and the societal issues she addresses, such as poverty, gender inequality, and child abuse, influence her writing style. Furthermore, the study will compare Darko’s stylistic approach in “Faceless” with her other works and with other African writers of her time to understand her unique contribution to African literature. However, the study will be delimited by several factors. It will primarily focus on “Faceless”, and while it may draw comparisons with Darko’s other works or those of her contemporaries, it will not provide a comprehensive analysis of these other works. The study will consider the socio-cultural context of the novel but will not delve into a full anthropological or sociological analysis of Ghanaian society or African society at large. Lastly, the study will focus on the stylistic analysis from the perspective of the researcher, and will not include a wide range of reader interpretations or responses to the novel.


Stylistics: Stylistics refers to the study of linguistic and literary devices used in written or spoken language to convey meaning, evoke emotions, and create aesthetic effects. It is the systematic examination and analysis of linguistic features, such as vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure, figurative language, rhetorical devices, and narrative techniques, within a text or discourse. It involves identifying and categorizing specific stylistic choices made by the author or speaker, assessing their impact on the overall communication, and interpreting their intended effects on the audience.

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