Opening and Closing as Closural Strategies in Northern Sotho Folktales 

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The chapter aims at surveying the occurrence of closure as reflected in Northern Sotho novels. Before any analysis, it is imperative that a distinction be made between ending and closure. The distinction is essential as it supports the argument that closure is by nature artistic, while an ending occurs as a logical aspect of plot.In any literary text, plot is divided into three major phases as postulated by Aristotle. These are exposition, development and denouement. These phases were later modified by Freytag who ultimately came up with the view that the three components constitute a pyramid. The absence of one component results in an incomplete plot structure. In an attempt to define what an ending is, and with the aim of separating ending from closure, a number of views will be discussed. Torgovnick (1981: 6) contends that:
The word « ending » straightforwardly designates the last definable unit of work – section, scene, chapter, page, paragraph, sentence whichever seems most appropriate for a given text. The three elements of plot are essential in presenting a literary text since they allow the flow of events from beginning to end. This implies that the ending is a structural element because it has a fixed position. The ending has a vital role to play in bringing out the meaning and form of a novel. In many instances the goal of a novel is achieved in the ending. In support of this viewTorgovnick (1981: 3) says:
the word  » end  » in a novel consequently carries with it not just the notion of the turnable last page but also that of the « goal » of reading,the finish-line toward which our bookmarks aim.
Following the quotation above one can deduce that « ending » in a novel has two imperative missions to fulfil. In the first instance, it occurs as an element of plot, whereby emphasis is entirely on the syntactical position occupied by the ending. This explanation clearly supports the notion that the ending is closely related to the form and structure of a novel. The second point is the ending’s strong link with the meaning conveyed in the novel. In most Northern Sotho novels the theme is confirmed in the ending of the novel. It is only when one has gone through the novel that one manages to fully grasp the message conveyed by the author. Therefore meaning and form are essential ingredients in designing the ending of a novel. Closure is viewed as an artistic process created by the author with the intention of achieving the ending of a novel. For this goal to be attained, the author as the artist designs a proper selection and comparison of events in the novel which are imperative for the author to end up with a unified literary text. This implies that the novel is viewed as a unified organic entity. Meaning can never be accomplished for as long as there is no internal connections between the pattern and rhythm that make the work of art into a meaningful unit. In trying to illustrate the importance of these connections in the formulation of the novel, Henry James, cited by Torgovnick (1981 :5), argues thus:
Achieving an ending through selection and comparison that completes a work’s pattern and rhythm tests the very artfulness of a writer. Closure is artistic by nature and it makes the novel a unified whole that should not be viewed in isolation. The relationship of the three essential elements of plot constitutes an entity that is unified to form a whole. Taking this into consideration, Torgovnick (1981: 6) views closure in a novel as:
a process by which a novel reaches adequate and appropriate conclusion, or at least, what the author hopes or believes is an adequate, appropriate conclusion.The quotation above reiterates the role the author has in designing the type of closure. This concurs with the view that closure is an artful process designed by the author. It further illustrates the point that the syntactical position of the elements of plot does not have an essential role to play as is observed in the case of an ending. What matters more 1s the relationship between the three elements of plot.
Torgovnick (1981 :6) endorses this view by maintaining that:
The test is the honesty and the appropriateness of the ending’s relationship to the beginning and middle, not the degree of finality or resolution achieved by the ending.In the study of closure, ending is considered as the starting point. The success and failure of the ending as part and parcel of plot is illustrated without neglecting its artistic nature or ignoring the meaning conveyed by the literary text. Torgovnick (1981: 3 – 6) maintains that:
To approach fiction by way of closure is not, then, at all narrow. Endings, closures reveal the essences of novels with particular clarity; to study closure is to re-create and re-experience fiction with unusual vividness. Form and meaning are not the only yardsticks used to measure the effectiveness of closure. When closure is studied in the novel, ending occurs as the starting point and the success or failure of such closure is measured in terms of the following points:
• has the author succeeded in presenting the ending as an artistic pattern?
• has the author succeeded in presenting the ending as a final element in the formal structure of the novel ?
• and finally, has the author succeeded in conveying the message of the literary text to the reader ?
The three points above are, so to speak, the pillars of closure in a novel. Torgovnick (1981: 6) concurs with this view by maintaining that:
Closure designates the process by which a novel reaches an adequate and appropriate conclusion or at least, what the author hopes or believes is an adequate, appropriate conclusion.
Smith (1968) and Richter (1974) share this point of view although each expresses it differently. Smith uses the concept « integrity » which is available in poetic closure, while Richter refers to the « completeness » that is profoundly found in folktales. The concepts closure, integrity and completeness as shared by Smith, Richter and Torgovnick express the view that both aesthetic and thematic properties of the novel are vital in the study of closure. When the ending is approached by way of closure it is not limited in outlook because closures re-create and re-experience the novel with universal vividness. The ending is viewed as the final element of a structure that is based on words and meanings. Torgovnick (1981:6) contends:
The discussion of closure includes the discussion of aesthetic shape – verbal,metaphorical, gestural and other formal patterns. It also includes the study of the themes and ideas embodied in the text and of relevant extra-textual contexts that help form those themes and ideas, contexts including the author ‘s life, times and his or his culture’s belief about human experience.

Chapter one Introduction
1.0. Introduction
1.1. Objectives
1.2. Definition of concepts
1.2.1. Narrative
1.2.2. Types of narratives Narrative fiction Narrative grammar Surface narrative structure
1.2.3. Closure Closural strategies
(a) Geometrical metaphor
(i) Circularity
(ii) Parallelism
(iii) Incompletion
(iv)Tangential closure
(v) Linkage
(b) Author and reader’s viewpoint
(i) Overview
(ii) Close-up
( c) Author and reader’s relationship
(i) Complementary
(ii) Incongruent
·(iii) Confrontational Signals of closure
(a) Solution of the problem
(b) Natural termination
(c) Completion of antithesis
(d) Manifestation of the moral
( e) Encapsulation
1.2.4. Types of closure
1.2. 4.1. Narrative closure Enclosed closure Romance closure Retrospective closure Spatial closure Visionary closure
1.3. Scope
1.4. Arrangement of chapters
Chapter Two Types of Closure in Northern Sotho Novels
2.0. Introduction
2.1. Closural strategies in the novel
2.2. Geometrical metaphors
2.2.1. Circularity
2.2.2. Parallelism
2.2.3. Incompletion
2.2.4.Tangential closure
2.2.5. Linkage
2.3. Author and reader’s viewpoints
2.3.1. Overview relationship
2.3.2. Close-up relationship
2.4. Author and reader’s relationship
2.4.1. Complementary relationship
2.4.2. Incongruent relationship
2.4.3. Confrontational relationship
2.5. Resume
Chapter Three Types of closure in the Northern Sotho Short Story
3.0. Introduction
3.1. Signals of closure in a Short Story
3.2. Modes of approaching the end
3.2.1. Direct mode
3.2.2. Indirect mode
3.3. Resume
Chapter Four Opening and Closing as Closural Strategies in Northern Sotho Folktales 
4.1. Traditional approach 
4.2. Modern approach 
4.3. Evaluation of selected folktales 
4.4. Resume
Chapter Five
Poetic Closure in a Northern Sotho Narrative Poem
5.1.Refrain in poetic closure
5.2. Story line in Ga se ya lesaka le
5.2.1. Anaphora
5.2.2. Epistrophe
5.3. Resume
Chapter Six General Conclusion
6.0. Introduction
6.1. Summary of the thesis
6.2. Findings
6.3. Future research
A. Literary Texts
B. Cited Texts
C. Uncited Texts


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