Title page for ETD etd-07232008-101538

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Shiburi, Piet Thapedi
URN etd-07232008-101538
Document Title Tshekatsheko ya diteng le poloto ya Go ša Baori ka D.P.S. Monyaise (Sepedi)
Degree MA (African Languages)
Department African Languages
Advisor Name Title
Prof M J Mojalefa Co-Supervisor
MsR M Ramagoshi Supervisor
  • theme
  • plot
  • adapted narratological model
  • setting
  • tragedy
  • technique
  • conflict
  • topic
  • content
  • structure
Date 2007-09-05
Availability unrestricted

A representative example of Monyaise’s work is his novel Go ša Baori, published in 1970. A survey of the literature reveals that this novel has already been investigated, by Malope R.M and (1986), Shole J. S.S (1988) who analysed only the dream found in this novel.

The chief aim of this investigation is thus to critically analyse the structure of the novel Go ša Baori at the level of content and plot, using two research methods, namely definition and interpretation, within the context of an adapted narratological model. This model conceives of a text according to three levels, namely content, plot and style, and focuses on the topic of the content, the theme of the plot and the atmosphere of the style. Thus this research study differs from the two previous investigations of Go ša Baori because it focuses on the content level of the text by examining the topic, and the plot level by analysing the theme.

The content of a text is coordinated by the topic to form a unified entity. The topic of the novel we are investigating is reflected in its title, namely Go ša Baori. The topic is thus of vital importance, and determines the arrangement and presentation of four important elements of content, namely character, time, place and events. These four elements are examined in more detail.

The characters of the novel can be grouped into two categories, namely kind-hearted person (Olebile) and quarrelsome person (Wapeipi). These two content characters are investigated using the concepts of intention, patronage, resistance, assistance and success.

Time and place together fall under setting. Setting can be defined as the natural and artificial environment in which characters in literature live and move (Roberts 1982:1).Time is then the period in which the events of the plot happen, and the order in which they happen. This can be expressed in various units, for example a day, month or year. Place denotes the geographical and topological position in which the characters in the story are situated and the events of the plot take place. Bal (1985: 8) regards the place within which the characters find themselves as the ‘frame’.

The last of the four elements, the events, together make up the plot of the drama, which Strachan (1988: 20) and Magapa (1997: 11) describe as the second level of the text. Here theme is the key. The theme of the novel Go ša Baori centres on jealousy and competitive spirit. The plot is examined by focusing on the special functions in the plot of the protagonist Olebile and the antagonist Wapeipi, and the events related to them are classified as representing either good or evil.

This study of Go ša Baori not only reveals how Monyaise creates his characters but also how he selects and shapes them for the purpose of dramatizing human life with all its varied manifestations. The actions that take place reveal essential character traits of the various characters, as do the words of the author as he describes Wapeipi as someone who makes up his mind at once and he is prepared to be hurt emotionally. While on the other hand, Olebile is a soft spoken man and very loving who shows his love to his fiancée by buying her a big diamond ring.

The plot is then examined according to the conflicts that occur in its various stages, namely the exposition, the development, the climax and the denouement. There are twelve distinct conflicts that can be identified occurring between characters in the events of the plot. Monyaise using three techniques, namely repetition, elision and motif, presents the events of the exposition, which form the first conflict that sets the plot going.

In the development, several other techniques are used to show the conflicting forces of character and events and to emphasize the message of the novel. The other conflicts, which are between other characters like the helpers, can be described as medium, and are not examined in great detail, though they are vital for creating suspense.

In the climax phase the techniques of focus, idioms and motif are examined, particularly in the conflict between the protagonist and the antagonist, which leads to the death of the protagonist caused by emotions and complications.

The conflict in the denouement phase is characterised by a very important technique, shadow to strengthen the theme of Go ša Baori. Here Monyaise uses this important technique, to strengthen the presentation of the theme of Go ša Baori. Overall, the most frequently used techniques are repetition, motif, idioms, elision, focus, rhetorical questions and foreshadowing.

This novel can be classified as a tragic novel, because at the end, the antagonist dies. Using this tragic ending, Monyaise tries to caution his audience against jealousy and a competitive spirit. Thus it is the theme that holds the audience to the end of the novel.

© University of Pretoria 2007

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