Foreshadowing and flashback are two techniques that look alike because they share certain features, namely repetition and experience. These two techniques nevertheless differ in many ways and this research study thus intends differentiating between the two. Existing descriptions of the two techniques provided by critics such as Irwin and Morson do not clearly indicate the differences between them. Terminology pertaining to foreshadowing and flashback is confusingly similar. This makes the identification of these techniques in literary texts difficult, and indeed no theorist explains clearly how to go about such an identification procedure. In order to achieve the aim of this research study, the descriptive, interpretive and comparative methods are used. In addition, an adapted narratological model is employed. In this model, a text is seen as having three levels, namely content, plot and style. In the analysis of content, the topic is emphasised, while theme and atmosphere are emphasised in plot and style analysis respectively. The concept 'technique' has been explained by placing emphasis on its functions and types. With regard to types, the emphasis is on structural techniques with the focus on the second level of a text, i.e the plot, because the two techniques under study, namely foreshadowing and flashback are part of the plot. Foreshadowing is described as a technique whereby an author uses details to suggest the ultimate outcome of the plot or to meaningfully precede the appearance of other details in a literary work. The functions and types of this technique are explained. Forms of this technique include knucklebones, dreams, language, character's name, shadow, conscience, beliefs, etc. Flashback is defined as the author's interruption of the chronological sequence of events in a work of literature. The importance of this technique is also emphasised. The different types of flashback are (a) external retrospection, (b) internal retrospection, and (c) mixed retrospection. A problem with regard to the types of this technique is the fact that not all types have been identified in existing research. This study has thus added two more types of flashback, namely (a) events that have been complicated and (b) events made similar to one another. There are two ways of complicating events, namely (a) changing the chronological order of events and (b) inserting events. Differences between the above-mentioned techniques that have not received attention from theorists are identified as follows in this study: <ul> <ol>In the case of foreshadowing, an unusual event appears, while in flashback, a known event is encountered, i.e. a common, everyday event. With foreshadowing, the event itself seems to be amazing.</ol><ol> In the case of flashback, however, the event may not seem amazing in itself at first, but only causes suprise later when the reader realises that his notion of what has happened and what he thinks he has understood so far is undermined.</ol> <ol>Foreshadowing whets the reader's interest, while this does not happen in the case of flashback. Foreshadowing emphasises coming events. Flashback on the other hand reveals the origin of the problem.</ol> The application of foreshadowing has been analysed by examining its forms in various Sepedi literary works. On the other hand, the application of flashback has been analysed by investigating the use of its different types rather than its forms. In the concluding chapter, the relationship between flashback and the structure of a detective narrative has been looked into. It has been realised that there is a relation between the two concerning (a) the secret and (b) the revelation/unveiling of the secret.
Thesis (DLitt (African Languages))--University of Pretoria, 2007.