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Discuss Oswald Mtshali's Use Of Language To Bring Out The Horrors OfThe Night In "Nightfall In Soweto"

This is a reference to a WAEC WASSCE 1999 Question and Answer.
According to answer series:- The poet makes use of words like "dreaded" in line 2, "ravaging" in line 5, "marauding" in line 21, to paint the picture of total destruction and devastation. "Seeping" in line 3 indicates how the tension and fear generated by the nightfall spreads and affects every home and person. The word "slaughtered" in line 11 is appropriately used in the poem to suggest the idea that man's value has been totally degraded to a level of beast's. Thus the idea that "man has become beast" corroborates the fear that man is being slaughtered without regard.
There is the use of irony in the sense that night, which is supposed to be most desired as a period of rest, meditation and recuperation has now turned to a period of restlessness, strife, war, chaos, fear and death. As a result, the poet prefers daytime to nighttime.
Through effective use of similes and metaphorical expressions, poet succeeded in drawing similarities between nightfall and wilderness, horror, death, fear, etc. "he barks like a rabid dog/ tasty for my blood", his state of helplessness is conveyed through a string of metaphors. "I am the prey/ I am the quarry to be run down/ by the marauding beast..."
In the poem, nightfall is personified as a terrible, horrible, and sadisti
c phenomenon that comes with the sole purpose of destroying the poet. The poet also uses rhetorical questions to emphasize his helplessness. "Where is my refuge? Where am I safe?" And to lament the very existence of nightfall. "But why were you ever created? Why can't it be daytime? Daytime forever more?"


Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)

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