Space and characterization in Sesotho novels

Moeketsi, Solomon Monare (2002-03)

Thesis (PhD)--University of Stellenbosch, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study examines space and characterization in Sesotho novels focussing on three main categories such as the space of travelling characters; the space of migrating characters; and the space as an abstraction. CHAPTER 1 introduces the aims of study as well as the theoretical framework which forms the basis on which the study is analysed. The notions of space and character are discussed within the theoretical framework of structuralism, and the focus is placed on narratology. CHAPTER 2 studies the travelling characters, focus is on Mofolo's novels, Moeti wa botjhabe/a and Pitseng which depict two types of space where one space is presented as traditional, and the other as a westernized space. The traditional and westernized spaces are symbolized by means of bad and good characters respectively. The good characters are depicted as angels, and the bad characters as monsters. CHAPTER 3 examines the space of migrating characters that leave their rural spaces for the urban spaces. Their characters are shown by means of changes that they experience at different spaces. In most of the novels examined, characters are motivated by certain desires to act in a particular way, and the change in them is the result of a crucial situation in life, hence we say characterization and space in those novels are reconciled in an appropriate way. CHAPTER 4 deals with the space as an abstraction which shows how the characters' personalities are affected by the political, psychological and socio-economic factors. Characterization in these novels is good except in Makappa's novel, Thatohatsi. In CHAPTER 5 we look as to whether the novels are good or bad in terms of literary appreciation and conclusion is drawn to the effect that it is not heredity that makes up a character, but the social environment. This is achieved through the literary aspects such as the way conflict is handled, types of characters and the portrayal of the space in which the characters live.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die navorsing wat hierdie proefskrif gedoen is het die soeklig op ruimte en karakterisering in Sesotho novelles laat val. Klem is op drie hoof-kateqorie gele. uimte wat deur rondreisende karakters ingeneem word, die ruimte wat deur nomadiese of rondtrekkende karakters beslaan word, en ruimte as n bepaalde begrip. Hoofstuk 1 stel die leser voor aan die doelwitte van die navorsing, sowel as die teoretiese raamwerk wat die grondslag waarop die studie berus, vorm. Die begrippe 'ruimte' en 'karakter' word binne die teoretiese raamwerk van die strukturalisme bespreek en die fokus word in hierdie geval op die vertelkunde geplaas. Hoofstuk 2 Ie klem op rondreisende karakters en ondersoek Mofolo se novelles Moeti wa botjhabela en Pits eng waarin twee soorte ruimtes uitgebeeld word; naamlik, tradisionele ruimte en verwesterse ruimte. Tradisionele en verwesterse ruimtes word onderskeilik deur slegte en goeie karakters versinnebeeld. Die goeie karakters word as engele uitgebeeld, terwyl die slegte karakters as monsters voorgestel word. In Hoofstuk 3 word die ruimte van die nomadiese karakters wat hulle plattelandse ruimte vir 'n stedelike ruimte verruil, ondersoek. Hierdie karakters word deur middel van veranderinge wat in verskillende ruimtes plaasvind, voorgestel. In die meeste novelles wat ondersoek is, het die karakters op n sekere manier opgetree omdat hulle deur bepaalde begeertes daartoe gedryf is. Die verandering in die lewens van hierdie karakters as gevolg hiervan, kan dan beskou word as die direkte gevolg van sekere deurslaggewende gebeurtenisse. Karakteriseering en ruimte word dus in hierdie novelles op n geskikte wyse met mekaar verbind. Hoofstuk 4 neem die begrip 'ruimte' onder die loep om sodoende aan te dui hoe die karakters se persoonlikhede deur politieke, sielkundige en sosio-ekonomiese faktore beinvloed word. Karakterisering in hierdie novelles is geslaagd, behalwe in Makappa se novelle Thatohatsi. In Hoofstuk 5, word aandag geskenk aan die beoordeling van die novelles in terme van die hulle literere waarde en daar word tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat dit nie oorerflike eienskappe is wat gestalte aan 'n bepaalde karakter gee nie, maar veel eercer sy omgewing. Oit word veral duidelik as gelet word op bepaalde literere aspekete soos die manier waarop konflik uitgebeeld word, asook die beskrywing van die ruimte waarin die karakters hulle bevind.

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