Title page for ETD etd-08212008-175124

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Sefoka, Moipone Magdalina
Email msefoka@absamail.co.za
URN etd-08212008-175124
Document Title Nyakišišo ya Lukas Motšheletšhele (Sepedi)
Degree Master of Arts
Department African Languages
Advisor Name Title
Prof M J Mojalefa Supervisor
  • theme
  • design
  • tragedy
  • events
  • plot
  • discrimination
  • topic
  • characterization
  • techniques
  • pathos
Date 2008-04-09
Availability unrestricted

This dissertation analyses Lukas Motšheletšhele, the first novel written by M.M. Rammala, who also wrote Rangwane ke go Paletše (1971) and Mabosebosane (s.a.). Lukas Motšheletšhele is a tragic novel. M.O. Dona (1994) and P.S. Groenewald (1995) have already analysed this text, but these scholars did not discuss the content, plot and style of the text. Dona focused on feminism and Groenewald on characterisation and genre. Therefore the main objective of this study is to investigate two levels, content and plot, of Lukas Motšheletšhele.

This investigation uses a narratological method, involving the two phases of definition of terms and interpretation of concepts. These processes clarified the problems to be addressed in the study. Literary works are found to have three layers, namely content, plot and style. This dissertation only discusses the first two layers; style is explained but not discussed.

Regarding content, topic is an important concept, emphasised in this study, because it creates a coherent link between characters, events, time and place. Regarding plot, the important concept to be highlighted is theme, which links the events of the plot. Theme focuses the message of the text and creates suspense in readers. The theme of Lukas Motšheletšhele is discrimination by a parent in the family. Evangelist Motšheletšhele favours his last son more than his other children.

Four other important concepts, namely actions, characters, place and time are also discussed. Characters are grouped into two categories, namely major and minor characters. The major characters are then divided into two groups, kind persons and bad persons. In Lukas Motšheletšhele, the kind-hearted person is the well behaved Onika, and quarrelsome person is Evangelist Motšheletšhele, who opposes Onika’s kindness. These characters are described according to their intention, patronage, resistance, assistance and success. In the novel, factors that assist Evangelist Motšheletšhele resist Onika, and vice versa.

Another important aspect of plot is design, which has several facets. For example, some aspects of plot design are important for developing the theme, others show the general behaviour of the antagonist and protagonist, and others identify the genre of the literary work. Lukas Motšheletšhele can be classified as a tragedy. In the denouement, the hero, Evangelist Motšheletšhele, falls from his high position of social status and respect and dies due to his false deeds, which is the classic structure of a tragic plot.

The plot is discussed in four stages, namely exposition, development, climax and denouement. How the author displays the characters, events, time and place to reveal his aim is also discussed. The concept of technique is thoroughly explained, and examples given from the novel. Particularly, the 14 techniques used to characterize the protagonist, Evangelist Motšheletšhele, are discussed. These techniques are used to disclose his high status and weaknesses, which relate to his bad behaviour. Onika as antagonist is also discussed in terms of the 12 techniques used to reveal her high status, virtue and lack of weakness.

© University of Pretoria 2007

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