A stylistic and thematic analysis of Kiswahili short stories.
This study approaches a genre of literature that had hitherto not been given as much attention in the Kenyan, and indeed in the East African literary arena. The short story as a genre has largely remained a terra incognito in Swahili literary discourse. In exploring this study a multi-faceted approach has been adopted. This approach explores inter-alia pertinent aspects of the short story such as the history of the genre, structural issues such as the plot, setting etc. This study takes cognizance of the precursors of the modem Kiswahili Short Story such as the.'hadithi' 'kisa' and many others that have exerted influence on the modem Kiswahili Short Story thereby leaving an indelible mark on them. This is what has led some modem Kiswahili short stories to have a formulaic beginning, supernatural characters and other aspects associated with Oral Literature. Structural issues and stylistic aspects investigated in this study highlight the protean nature of this genre as evidenced by the varied aspects discussed herein, such as different manifestations of plot, various styles of closure, exposition, etc. Analysis of Short Stories give evidence of a genre that is well endowed in figurative tropes, allegoric structures, rhetoric devices and other aspects of style that distinguish the short story generically. This study explores vanous thematic engagements such as corruption, Issues the marriage institution amongst others that clearly prove the dynamism of this genre. The multiplicity of issues explored has necessitated an eclectic theoretical model. [t was felt that such a model would allow a much more com-passive stance and/or offer a sound ground for the subsequent critical analysis.