Recent developments in Tswana literature : a narratological study of short stories of B.D. Magoleng and S.A. Moroke
Letsie, Maserame Maria
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In this thesis some trends in Setswana literature of the past 50 years are described and analysed. Through the analyses of selected short stories by Moroke and Magoleng, thematic and stylistic aspects are discussed. The central problem, the aims and objectives are outlined and motivated in the first chapter. In chapter two, the historical background of Setswana as a language, the structure of traditional oral literature in Setswana as well as modern written Setswana literature are examined. Chapter three outlines a number of theoretical concepts from contemporary narratology. For example, analyses of the following short stories, such as, "O potile noga ka fa mosimeng", "Ga a le ka la tewa" and "Khutsana" are done using the basic narratological theoretical framework as it is described and used by Du Plooy (1986 & 1991), Bal (1981 & 1985), Rimmon-Kenan (1983) and Genette (1980). A narratological analysis is based on the text level of the stories. Chapters four and five explore the detailed narratological analyses of the four stories by Moroke, namely, "Mhalatsl', "Ramonamane le baesekele", "Mma, boammaarure bo tla mpoloka" and "Ntwa magareng ga makau le makgarebe" and Magoleng's four stories namely; "Mokaragana, ngwanaka", "Ga le a ka la tswa", "Ke mosadi", and "Dikeledi". In these stories, temporal relations such as sequence, rhythm, frequency, characterization, space, focalization and various aspects of narration are analysed. This is mostly done in accordance with Du Plooy's narratological model (1986:342- 372). The characteristics of Moroke and Magoleng's short stories such as structure, style and theme are presented. Long before the development of a written language, people had been telling stories. The oral heritage continues to nourish the written literatures, especially as regards world-view, subject matter, theme, structure, style and devices for character delineation. For instance, Moroke uses the behavioural attitudes of his characters to enhance the didactic elements. In his work, nothing from outside is used for the titles. The abundant use of Biblical references clearly reflects his feelings, while Magoleng treats various themes such as tradition and culture, love and marriage, urban life and social problems. His style highlights the magnitude of certain issues to express his worldviews. As to the present, oral art now coexists with written literature and has opened new fields of scholarly interest, one of which is the oral-written interface. The forerunners of creative literature in Setswana are undoubtedly the translations done by the missionaries and those by a Motswana, Sol T. Plaatje. In chapter six, cultural identity is explored. An exposition of Hofstede's theory is given and then the focus is shifted to cultural issues in the stories by Moroke and Magoleng. It is clear that the cultural background determines the stories and knowledge of the cultural content, beliefs and traditions of Batswana people. It is necessary to understand the stories and some examples by Moroke and Magoleng are discussed. In Setswana literature naming is a crucial stage in man's capacity for symbol formation. Traditionally, names take on special significance beyond the expression of identity. In Batswana communities, names that are given to children symbolize their cultural identities. Witchcraft is associated with darkness or evil. One of the dominant features of Batswana society is respect for gifts. It is not only the uncles who give gifts; the relatives and families also give gifts, even if these may be materially smaller than those of the uncles. It is concluded that Moroke and Magoleng's short stories portray significant developments in Setswana literature, and fully warrant analysis and investigation.
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