The book of Jonah is categorized as a prophetic narrative but one that is different from the rest. Unlike other prophetic narratives where the emphasis is on “the prophet’s faithfulness to God’s call, and God’s approval and blessing,” we find a rebellious prophet confronting God in the book of Jonah. Nonetheless, the book has a profound message the author intends to convey to its readers which this study will uncover. Thus, the objective of this exposition paper is to understand Jonah 1 in the light of the overarching theological message of the book. This paper attempts to achieve its objective by proposing a literary analysis of Jonah 1 using four literary devices: plot analysis, character analysis, setting and points of view. The paper will conclude with the theological message and relevancy of the message to Christians today.
SECTION ONE: PLOT
The plot of a narrative is constructed as a meaningful chain of interconnected events. According to Fee and Stuart, a narrative cannot function without a plot and a plot resolution, which means the narrative must have a beginning, middle and end, as in Aristotle’s model.
Jonah 1 opens with a prophetic oracle commissioning Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach against the wickedness of the people (1:1-2). Jonah responds immediately but his intention was to do exactly the opposite. He tries to flee from God by going down to Joppa and boards a ship bound for Tarshish (1:3). The episode ensuing the ship’s departure from