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Dikole, Rrenyane Sesupo (2003) Aspects of theme and technique in the Setswana novel, 1940-1980. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This study describes the historical development of the Setswana novel, between 1940 and 1980. The thesis discusses the salient features of this tradition such as shared themes, stylistic features, structural and technical patterns and features. The period selected for the study covers the establishment of a written tradition. The study makes occasional reference for comparative purposes to the later period, which falls outside the current framework. The study is divided into eight chapters. Chapter One introduces the study, highlights the geo-political distribution of the native speakers of this language and some aspects of their culture, outlines the aims of the study, proposes questions that guide the interpretation of the findings of the study and reviews other works on the Setswana novel. Chapter Two creates the building blocks of the text by describing historical events and situations that led to creative writing in Setswana. The areas discussed are the Christian missionary contribution to literacy in Setswana, orthography and representation of the Setswana sound system and the early stages of literary production in the southern African region. Chapter Three describes the features and eras of creative writing in Setswana. It discusses the development of Setswana novels from their oral antecedents, the conditions against which the early Setswana texts were written, the stages of development and the historical periods that characterise the unfolding history of Setswana literary activity. Lastly this chapter outlines the major themes found in the Setswana novels. Chapter Four discusses the journey/migration theme, one of the major themes that pervade the Setswana novel. This chapter considers the different forms of migration as reflected in the works, their significance and other related minor themes. Chapter Five discusses the love-marriage theme, another major theme that cuts across many texts. It is considered as a social activity as well as a complex and contentious subject, which has received a lot of attention from society at large. Chapter Six discusses the role of youths as the central characters in the Setswana novel. Central to this study are the views of the different writers on the aspirations and values of the young, especially against the background of the themes of migration and the city. Chapter Seven describes the narrative techniques and features of style discernible in the Setswana novels. This chapter is divided into two sections. The first section is concerned with narrative techniques in the conventionally written texts while the second deals with narrative techniques in the more complex works. Each section considers narrative techniques within the confines of the following: text structuring, techniques of description and characterisation. Chapter Eight concludes the study with a summary of principal findings followed by a general discussion. The appendices provide the summaries of some central texts and notes on some key authors.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 14:59

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