Stylistic Aspects of the African Francophone Novel: Presentation and Functions of Tone and Atmosphere
Mwailu, Catherine Mumo
MetadataShow full item record
This study is based on tone and atmosphere in the African Novel of French expression. The data is collected from two authors namely Laye Camara and Ahmadou Kourouma. In our study, we point out devices which writers have used to effect tone and atmosphere, in the African Novel of French expression. We have pointed out two main functions of these two stylistic aspects namely aesthetic and social, and have attempted at analysis of what their socio-cultural implications are. We have referred to the following works : Le Regard du roi (The Radiance of the King) Laye Camara Les Soleils des independances ~(~Thesaurus-of IndepeAhmadou Kourouma A study on tone and atmosphere can be justified in that most of the studies carried out on the African Francophone novel have tended to be thematic, studying content and structure, studying le (from which we have ~n the tone and atmosphere), mainly in form of paragraphs ~nd/or chapters. Even as we acknowledge what these critics have contributed to our understanding of the African Francophone novel, we found that there is need to study these two stlistic aspects and this study is only part of the contribution to the understanding of this subject. We have adopted a stylistic theory of the novel which proposes that-style (or the strategic use of language) is a most important source of critical information in a work of fiction. E It aims to relate the critic's concern of aesthetic appreciation with the linguist's concern of linguistic description.] However to say that one theory suffices would limit our efforts and we have referred to other theories in a peripheral manner. The Psychoanalytic approach as a means of critical appreciation maintains that literature is written with and on motives. It explores the writer's the writer himself! aesthetic content in a preoccupations which may not be clear to It recognises but does not explain the novel, concerning itself more with looking for possible hidden meanings and ambiguities in the artistic realization. The Linguistic theory dealing with language levels; the phonetic, the grammatical, syntactic, semantic etc ... was useful in the analysis of language. However some of the rules it dictates are disregarded. Sociolinguistics, giving priority to the reader maintains that the meaning of a word should be deduced from a communication situation and not from its denotation. This theory helped us in the study of divergences in language usage. The two ch9sen works are our point of departure. Our study was carried out mainly through library research. We attempted, as far as possible, to draw information from the two chosen novels. Relevant references, some ordered from overseas as they are not available locally, and pre-recorded cassette tapes were used. The study has shown us that African writers have succeeded in demonstrating a mastery of their art by producing works of quality and have found their place in the ranks of great writers. Through the analysis of tone and atmosphere, qualities in their works which have been contributions to this were brought into light. On the social significance of tone and atmosphere, these writers express their conviction that African should aim to live her reality in her own particular way that would be most satisfying. The study shows that the African writer communicates his vision and that of society. It shows that tone and atmosphere can and should meet the aesthetic aspirations of society. It also shows the dynamic of culture in the African context. These writers underscore the importance of the oral tradition which finds itself threatened into extinction by the so called written traditions. Finally we attempted to show how this reality is experienced on a more universal scale; that which each human being faces as an individual in his own society. This study helped us get an insight into the formulation of a framework which can exploit the similitudes and the differences in form in the African Francophone novel. It also shows that tone and atmosphere are means through which the author not only effects narration, but also through which he fulfils a political and an aesthetic mission. The writer, through tone and atmosphere, allows the reader to discern the outlook to life of a given culture. Thus it has greatly enriched us and we hope that the self-questioning that it solicits would be beneficial to the reader of this novel. Thus tone and atmosphere are means the writer uses to bring a bearing upon cultural and social formation of the individual. We do not propose to have exhausted all that there is to study on this subject. As advances the Psychoanalytic approach to the study of literature, each word, each line in a literary work of art has a significance. The stylistic approach is only one among many that can be used in the study of this subject. The study comprises four chapters. The first is on the context of the study, the second and third, the presentation of tone and atmosphere respectively. Devices used to effect tone and atmosphere, studies the aesthetic and the social functions, and analyses their socio-cultural implications. The conclusion reflects briefly on the study itself, outlines the findings, which show that African writers have succeeded in demonstrating a mastery of their art by producing works of quality. On the social significance of tone and atmosphere, these writers underscore that Africa should aim to live her reality in her own context, that the African writer not only communicates his vision and that of society but also meets the aesthetic aspirations of his public. In the conclusion we see that the African writer of French expression reaffirms his identity and that of the African in the face of so many political, cultural, religious prejudices. Concerning contributions to this Subject, this study has shown us the possibilities of adopting the stylistic approach for the purposes of studying tone and atmosphere. Finally, the study proposes openings leading to a deeper analysis and comprehension of tone and atmosphere in the African novel, such as' the application of the Psychoanalytic approach as a framework within which to study tone and atmosphere in the African Francophone novel.