The Withered Flower – A Book Critique

The Withered Flower - A Book Critique
The Withered Flower - A Book Critique

THE WITHERED FLOWER – A BOOK CRITIQUE

Title: The Withered Flower

Author: Mr. Jasper Iheanyichukwu Eberendu

Place of Publication: 33 Limca Road, P.O Box 8026, Onitsha Anambra State, Nigeria.

Publisher: Mid-Field Publishers Limited

Number of pages: 82 Pages

Year of Publication: April, 2012

Prices: Not Stated

Name of critique: …………..

 

INTRODUCTION

Advice is a very key tool in our day to day activities, the teacher says “you can be one of the great ions of excellence of you face your studies with diligence and avoid gallivanting about, indulging in frivolities that abound in and outside this campus.

Jasper I. Eberendu’s “The Withered Flower” wouldn’t have come at a better time than now when our girls are carried away by their beauty and wealth, forgetting that time waits for nobody. This piece of work informs and educates both the young and old, male and female etc.

If only it were possible to turn back the hands of time, many would have grabbed the opportunity to make amends. The opportunity a girl has to get married lasts within her days of blossom, because ignorance is not excuse. The none presents of the timeline, awkward Semantics, ambiguity used, the style of the play, makes it not recommendable for use in college of education or any higher institution.

 

A CRITICS’ OF THE TEXT THE WITHERED FLOWER

AWKWARD SEMANTICS

Page 2 paragraph 1 line 13

‘Lecture Hall’ sounds better than “Lecture Room”

Page 2 paragraph 1 line 17-18

“…while others simply said that they didn’t have money for the book.” could be better written thus “…while others simply complained they had no money for the book.”

Page 2 paragraph 2 line 5-6

“The lecturer had to repeat himself.”

The paragraph started with Prof. Ralph. In a formal environment, especially the Academia, titles go with surnames, hence, should have been ‘Professor Agu,’ as noted in page 6 paragraph 2 line 4. The next sentence should assume the Pronoun ‘he’ and not “the lecturer.”

Page 4 paragraph 3 line 1-2

“fateful day” mostly connotes something unpleasant happening. Cynthia and Jennifer met, to become best friends subsequently. That was not a fateful event. Events such as being robbed; being involved in a fatal accident; suffering a stroke; or even dying happen on “fateful days.”

Page 6 paragraph 1 line 13

“they met themselves again”

The word “themselves” is totally out of place here, being representation of many persons. “each other” is a suitable replacement, but “they met again” is more appropriate since the groundwork of identity has been laid.

Page 16 paragraph 1 line 7

“…or are you still around?”

This is our Nigerian-brewed English. “…still around indicates no clear objective or intention. Corrected “…or maybe you are not leaving anytime soon?”

Page 16 paragraph 3 line 1

“How do you mean?”

This statement is superfluous. Even English speakers outside Africa sometimes use this expression. The Adverb of Manner ‘How?’ is infinite and complete in itself. The “do you mean?” is not needed at all.

Page 28 paragraph 3 line 4

“Listen, let me tell you, you don’t need to wait…”

This is another one of our Nigerian-brewed English. The sentence could also be easily reconstructed so that “you” does not appear side by side. The more intelligible construction would be “Listen very carefully; you do not need to wait…”

“let me tell you…” in this text is aggressive and lacks grammatical element.

Page 27 last line to page 28 paragraph 1

“Joy happily intimated her class rep who suddenly developed a burning sensation of anger and jealousy at hearing the news.” Corrected “As Joy happily broke the news, her class rep suddenly developed a burning sensation of anger and jealousy.”

Page 28 paragraph 2 last sentence

“Besides, a girl who got married in her final year in the university didn’t do that so quick as you said, nor so late.”

This is a really horrible climax in the sentence structure. Corrected “Besides, a girl getting married at her final year in the university should not be regarded as too early or late as you presume.”

Page 30 line 5 – 7

“upkeep and maintenance” This is tautology because the two words mean the same thing. Secondly, these two words are associated with non-human phenomena. “welfare and well being” is the more appropriate expression.

Page 32 paragraph 3 first line

“…called his attention” under certain manipulation could seem correct, but too awkward for desired use. “…requested for his undivided attention.” is more suitable.

Page 33 line 16

“envy and jealousy” are birds of a feather. The two cannot be used side by side. Only one should be used per sentence.

 

AMBIGUITY

Page 2 paragraph 1

“…against the book”

Corrected “…against the mandatory purchase of the textbook, the only basis for getting good scores in the students’ assignments.”

“…its cost in the lecture room”

Whereas the writer implied the murmuring in the lecture hall, this phrase sounds as though the book varies in cost from place to place. Meaning that outside the lecture hall, its cost would be different, probably less than the stipulated N500; that is why there was a murmuring. Rewritten “There was an upsurge of murmuring in the lecture hall over the textbook they are being pressured to buy.”

Page 14 paragraph 1

“Jennifer became a final year student…”

The final year in a Tertiary Institution is not a personality that students assume. “become” indicates a change in the persona. “Jennifer made it to the final year successfully” is appropriate.

 

MARRIAGE PROPOSAL

Page 12 paragraph 2 line 5; page 14 paragraph 1 line 6, etc

“Proposal” is a word more commonly associated with the business world and politics. Using it to imply a man proposing marriage to a woman does not fit in perfectly well. The more appropriate word is ‘proposition.’ Jennifer turned down their marriage proposition.

 

THE STYLE IS TOO COMPACTED

This story would have been best written in Theatre or reported speech style. There are too many direct speeches clogged together. Using page 16 paragraph 3 to page 17 as an example,

Theatre Style:

Cynthia: (looking puzzled) How?

Mike: Some minutes ago, I was very annoyed and disappointed, but now I am so elated and optimistic. Maybe I would not have felt this better if I was not disappointed in the first place.

Cynthia: Honestly, Mike, you are still speaking in parables. I am still confused.

Mike: Do not worry my dear, I will explain, but then, may we get a seat, because what I have to say may take some time. I hope I am not bothering you?

Cynthia: Not at all. There are seats at the garden down the lane. Just very close. Maybe we should go for the one there if you would not mind?

Mike: It is okay.

Reported speech Style:

Cynthia, looking puzzled asked for further clarity. Mike told her how some minutes ago he was very annoyed and disappointed; that now, he is so elated and optimistic. He concluded that maybe he would not have felt this better if he was not disappointed in the first place. Cynthia responded that he is speaking in parables; that she is still confused. “Do not worry my dear.” said Mike. “I will explain, but then, may we get a seat, because what I have to say may take some time. I hope I am not bothering you?” Cynthia gave a positive response and pointed at the garden seats down the lane, quite close to where they were standing. She suggested they go for one of the seats if Mike would not mind. “It is okay.” Mike replied.

Using less and less of direct speech makes the story texts less compacted.

Inappropriate Title for the Book

The implication of the title of the book reveals itself in the last two chapters (14 &15). Chapter 10 and 11 was about to give a turning point in the story but derailed in 12 and 13 and crashed in 14 and 15 to reveal the title. “A Stitch in Time” could have been a better title.

 

KEY NOTES

The Commercial Bank is an institution with a high degree of sensitivity in its operation. A case of Bank employees taking advantage of their psychotic Branch Manager (page 78) is baseless. Banking activities are monitored and tracked at Headquarters. The slightest irregularity will raise a white flag. Workers also know they cannot come in and go as they like; let alone stay away from work. As far as the Bank is concerned, any irregularity by one worker will certainly affect the rest. Smoking and alcohol by the Branch Manager is preposterous. The Bank has ethics. The Human Resources (HR) as well as the Chief Accountant’s Office has a responsibility to report the slightest unethical conduct. Lastly, all members of staff who attempted or took advantage of any situation to get funding would go to jail. It is in the Bank Constitution.

In order to fit the villain profile developed by the author for Jennifer, a private advertising company would have been ideal, not a Commercial Bank.

No true parent gives up on their children especially after achieving so much success. To parents, their children would always remain their little kids and they would never, under any circumstance, give up on their role to guide and protect their young.

 

CONCLUSION

What a lesson to learn? Opportunities they said comes and go, and to some they said it comes and go. Jennifer failed to take the chances knocking at her door, thinking it will keep coming till she dies or it will wait for her forever. It also brings to mind the reward of evil plans towards other. What Jennifer, tried to plot against her innocent course mate happened to her when she was about getting married to Anderson, there her evil deeds speaks against her and turned her fortune to misfortune. This is to say that if pays to be of good behavior and obedience not to be insolent and disrespectful. For a saying says that “what goes around, comes around”.

This Book is a discriminatory, chauvinistic emotional assassination attempt on any woman who wishes to make a difference in the society without having to answer “Mrs.” to a man. The story further suggests that the author may have suffered a very painful rejection from a particular young women he proposed to.

Originally posted on August 7, 2021 @ 2:22 am

About Peter Lawson 2732 Articles
Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of onlineproject.com.ng. A reputable researcher, Web Developer, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education.