Ideologie en taalhandeling in enkele Afrikaanse romans sedert 1980
Rossouw, Mabel Aletta
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The motivation for conducting this study was to consider literature, specifically the Afrikaans novel, as a literary object in which concrete and •symbolic speech acts function at different levels. These speech acts and • their meanings seem to derive from specific socio-political contexts. In this view the Afrikaans literary text is seen as a concrete dimension of South African reality; in fact, it is regarded as discourse emanating from this community. Such a text is also regarded as a symbolic act because it suggests fictionalised solutions for the 'real' contradictions that are repressed within this community. The intention of this. study was to adopt a stance within the critique of ideology in determining the kind of speech acts (i.e. progressive and/or conservative) that occur in the three novels under discussion. The framework for analysing these speech acts was subsequently tested in pragmatic terms with a view to identifying an approach to literature which would be relevant to the community. Chapter 1, the introduction, includes (inter alia) an outline of the Christian orientation informing the critical stance adopted for this study. Chapter 2 contains working definitions of the following terms: ideology, . the critique of ideology, and speech acts. Chapter 3 refers, firstly, to situation analyses of the different ways in which the critique of ideology and speech act theory have been applied in South Africa in the 1980s. Then, the theoretical orientation is linked to a critical framework which is used in analysing Afrikaans novels, with specific emphasis on the novel as an ideological artefact, and on the micro, meso and micro levels of • literary communication. The three novels, which are discussed in Chapters 4, 5 and 6, are Die laaste Sondag by Elsa Joubert (1983), Om te awol by Etienne van Heerden (1984), and Sitate om 'n rewolusie by Jeanette Ferreira (1985). Firstly, speech acts were analysed on the meso level of communication; that is, those illocutions and intended perlocutions which may be attributed to the implied author in terms of the way narrative elements have been used in the text. Secondly, the dialogue among characters was analysed on the micro level of communication, and finally, the macro level was explored in pragmatic terms: statements by the concrete author and reception reports by literary critics were analysed. A comparison of findings have indicated that contradictions occur within each text. These contradictions are related to socio-political contradictions which are repressed within the South African community. The texts are, therefore, referred to as social-symbolic speech acts which present fictionalised solutions to 'real' problems in the community. As a result of the unmistakably communicative intention of the novel in general, it would seem that the three texts also contribute to the progressive discourse which is being conducted in Afrikaans literature. The ambivalent and dualistic nature of each text seems to derive from the mingling of progressive and conservative elements. Both utopian ideals and ideological stances seem to be encapsulated within these texts. The primary finding in this study, though, is that the novelists' consistent stance against the ideology of apartheid confirms their engage-intentions of contributing to socio-political change through literary communication. Of the three texts, it appeared that the engage-oriented per locutions were best realised in Sitate om 'n rewolusie, probably because the racial situation is represented as fluid, and also because it is aesthetically more successful. The findings of this study are outlined in Chapter 7. An important and initial hypothesis was confirmed, that is, that the novel should be viewed as a speech act emanating from reality. The study of speech acts in the three novels also confirmed that these texts were produced as part of discourse in the contemporary South African community. The analyses revealed that these texts contain both ideological and utopian elements which signify the dilemma of white Afrikaans novelists of the 1980s. In order to promote an approach which is relevant to the community, it is suggested that literary communication should be viewed as part of general discourse in this community. In this way literature may take its rightful place as a concrete manifestation of South African reality and avoid being regarded as an elitist phenomenon which is bound to become irrelevant. If Afrikaans literary texts become part of a democratic and innovative discourse in a changing South Africa, they may promote a free and more just society.
- Humanities