Title page for ETD etd-07172007-141513


Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Mahlaka, M M
URN etd-07172007-141513
Document Title Marara : Patlisiso ya diteng le Poloto
Degree MA (African Languages)
Department African Languages
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Dr D M G Sekeleko
Prof M J Mojalefa
Keywords
  • topic
  • content
  • plot
  • title
  • theme
  • technique
  • moral
  • picaresque
  • didactic
  • Makgoeng Motif
Date 2005-05-08
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
This dissertation analyses the novelette Marara, written by D.P. Semakaleng Monyaise. This work has been previously investigated by critics such as Mogajane, Malope and Mogapi, who focused on its content and style and compared it to other literary works. This dissertation differs from these earlier studies in that it aims to analyse the structure of the text of Marara in depth, focussing on the two levels of structure, namely content and plot.

This investigation uses two methods of analysis, namely definition and interpretation, because these approaches will adequately explore the many concepts and ideas related to the analysis of text structure. These methods are applied within the framework of an adapted narratological model. This model suggests that when the content of a text is studied, the concept of the topic should be strongly emphasised; when the plot is investigated the theme should be focussed on; and lastly when the style is examined, then atmosphere is most important.

In examining the text of Marara three important concepts related to the novelette are identified, which describe three sub-genres of narratives, namely picaresque, didactic and moral.

Picaresque means concerned with a character called picaro, who often embarks on long journeys consisting of sequences of different events and meetings with various characters. This picaro is an ordinary person, not of high social status. His/her weaknesses belittle him/her but he/she is changed by them and so is forgiven.

In Marara the protagonist, Rremogolo, is on a journey from his home in Matile, where there is righteousness, to Makgoeng, a place of wickedness. After encountering many problems on the way he realises that he was mistaken to leave his home. He returns to Matile, convinced that it is the best place for him to live. This mistaken journey of temptation can be described as the Makgoeng Motif.

Didactic means related to a work designed for institutions of education. Such a work can use as an example the story of a character, either an ordinary person or a person of high social status, who falls because of his/her weaknesses, but then changes and is forgiven. Rremogolo also fits into the didactic frame. Though he is a poor man of low social station, he successfully illustrates the point of the Makgoeng Motif through his fall, which is his failure to achieve financial success in Makgoeng.

The moral means concerned with the power of distinguishing right from wrong. The emphasis of moral texts is on good behaviour, on people working and living together co-operatively. This concept can also be related to the plot structure described above, of a person either of high or ordinary social status, who through his/her weaknesses falls, but then changes and is forgiven. When the morality of this story is examined, emphasis is put on the changing of the character, on how the character first does bad things but in the passing of time, and because of the problems he/she encounters, in the end learns his/her mistake, and changes to become a good person.

Rremogolo illustrates this exactly, because he begins by abandoning his uncle’s cattle in order to pursue his dream of travelling to Makgoeng, then suffers the results of many problems, realises his mistake, and in the end returns to home and duty.

Therefore, careful examination of the text of Marara reveals that in writing this novelette Monyaise mixes three sub-generic categories, namely the picaresque, the didactic and the moral narrative. This makes the novelette difficult to classify, because it is difficult for readers to keep track of generic characteristics in this mix of genres.

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