Title page for ETD etd-01212008-160115

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Phiri, Rebecca Batsile
URN etd-01212008-160115
Document Title Lorato le lenyalo mo mabokong a ga S.F. Motlhake (Setswana)
Degree MA(African Languages)
Department African Languages
Advisor Name Title
Mrs R M Ramagoshi Supervisor
  • acculturation
  • theme
  • technique
  • modern poetry
  • traditional poetry
  • contemporary poetry
  • marriage
  • love
  • culture
Date 2007-09-05
Availability unrestricted

This mini-dissertatation is aimed at critically analysing the importance of Setswana culture in relation to problems experienced today due to adaptation to Western culture. The mini-dissertation is discussed within the framework of the formalist approach. The proponents of this theory focus on treating literature as a special use of language that achieves its distinctiveness by deviating from distorting practical language.

The concept of western culture and its influences on Setswana culture pertaining to love and marriage is strongly emphasised because it is the crux of this research study. Concepts such as acculturation, culture and influence as well as types of poems, also receive attention. Throughout the centuries, in Setswana poetry, love and marriage have been defined, analysed and portrayed in a positive manner. While in Western literature, the positive and the negative sides of love and marriage have been dealt with interchangeably on an ongoing basis.

It is in this context that this research attempts to show how authors like Motlhake broke the cultural taboos, and wrote about the pains, miseries,disappointsments and conflict in love and marriage in particular. The investigation critically analyses the impact Western civilization has on the characters portrayed in motlhake’s poems which dwell much on the sorrows, bitterness and eventually divorce that are caused by marriage as portrayed in four of his poems. The content of these poems are analysed in the following chronological order that shows progression of:

  1. Falling in love as portrayed in the poem : Noka ya lerato
  2. Rejection asportrayed in the poem: A o a ntlogela
  3. Reasons for celibacy: Goreng ke sanyale
  4. Aspects of marriage in the poem:Lenyalo

The discussion of the style of the poems deals with the mood and intention of the poet. In this discussion, diction as style markers and stylistic techniques, are examined. It is clear that the poet Motlhake has used quiet a number of techniques, the most frequently used being repetition, elision, opposition, rhythm, figures of speech and imagery. These techniques have been used to highlight the bitterness, the anger as well as the themes of the poems which are: frustration in love and marriage and to go back to cultural practices in Setswana to avoid divorce.

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