A narratological analysis of the Setswana short story 'Khutsana' by J.M. Ntsime / Maserame Maria Letsie
Letsie, Maserame Maria
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J.M. Ntsime's short story "Khutsana" is the subject of a narratological analysis in this minidissertation. Using Bal's theory which distinguishes between elements and aspects of a story, this study focuses on the elements of a story, which include events, actors, time and place. Events in "Khutsana" have been identified, arranged in chronological order and organised into eight sequences. The actors have been classified according to the actantial model in order to highlight the relations which exist between the groups of actors. For instance, Segwana and Gabankitse are classified as subjects, and the object of their striving is to care for, and love Lesego. The receiver is often the same person as the subject, that is, Gabankitse and Segwana. More than one actant can occur with the same actor. The sender is in many cases not a person but an abstraction. The opponent-actant is classified as both abstractions and actors. All the helpers show a collective disposition regarding care for and love to Lesego. Two kinds of duration have been determined. namely a crisis period which indicates a short span of time, and a longer developmental period. The location where events happened - in a rural area - is given. In conclusion, this study has shown that Bal's theory can successhlly be applied in a narratological analysis of the Setswana short story "Khutsana". Strachan (1988:6) pointed out that one thing remains to be evident, viz. that the story is the "original" level of the narrative text before the particulars are viewed from a special viewpoint and before it is told by a narrative instance. Events, actors, time and place occur at this level.
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