A close look at the first literary works in European countries reveals that love stories and the theme of romance took prominence among the authors of the time. French authors are a good example of writers of these love stories. An in-depth study shows that different and/or supporting themes or series of events accompany the main love story in these stories. This trend is supported by Cuddon (1977:758) by emphasizing that in these early writings it was the trend to combine an adventure story aspect with the love story. Lewis (1960:23) supports Cuddon’s view in stating that Chréstien de Troyes was the first writer in France to apply love as a main theme for a love story. Funk and Wagnalls’s New Encyclopedia (1876:344) bears out Cuddon’s idea of combining various series of events (love and moral) in the same writing and explains that a love story should enhance two views of what the writing is about, in this case (a) the love aspect and (b) the moral aspect. The trend of combining themes, where one theme supplements the main theme in the same writing, also exists in Sepedi literature. Examples are Noto-ya-Masogana (Tsebe,1954) and Morweši (Motuku,1969). It will, be important and necessary to explain the love story and the moral story first. Cuddon states that the idea of having a variety of series of events supporting the main theme of the narrative is visible where a love story is a two-in-one narrative, relating love and moral, such as in Sir Gawain and Green Knight (14th C.). This demonstrates the importance of a love story. This fact led Yelland et al (1984:161) to state, in support of the important role of character, that love and moral are evidence of chivalry, such as that found in Morte D’Arthur (Malory,1470). Character or chivalry depicts the impeccable manners of the main characters of the love story. This combination of love and moral can also be seen in Sepedi writing, such as Noto-ya-Masogana (Tsebe,1954), Morweši (Motuku,1969), Tshehlana ya ka (Bosoma,1990) and Sesasedi sa katlego (Kekana,1990). Before proceeding with a discussion on this type of love and moral story, it is important to explain the other types of stories as well. Research by Phala (1999:18) and Abrams (1998:98) describes the idea of character and conduct as what one finds, learns or acquires at home, from the community, society or wherever one finds one’s self. The education acquired in this way gives birth to the basis of character, conduct and behaviour, be it good or bad. This should not be confused with formal school learning, but upbringing which is reinforced by cultural practices, religion and socialization, for example. This influences the complete person, including the soul. A person influenced in this manner becomes complete and can distinguish between good and bad, acceptable and unacceptable, as well as proper and improper, according to place and time. Marggraff (1994:14) stresses this distinction between the two opposing views of good and bad; desirable or acceptable on the one side and undesirable or unacceptable on the other. Groenewald (1994:20) also supports this view of right and wrong, stating that it gives us the understanding that bad, evil and wrong deeds or behaviour displeases the ancestors and can lead to punishment and misfortune for the character concerned. This encourages people to strive towards good deeds. It can, therefore, be concluded that humanity was meant to be and do good. Good deeds, behaviour and conduct are important and should be the goal, as depicted by the main character in the love story. The main character who does wrong things and changes his behaviour to good, is rewarded for being good with happiness, love, success and prosperity in his relationship with his partner. Viewed in this light, the importance of further examining and analyzing the love and moral story will be emphasized. In this type of story, where the main character does wrong things with which the reader does not approve or align himself, the reader’s curiosity will be aroused to read further in order to know what will happen to the main character at the end. Since there is always the anticipated element of punishment and reward for the main character present at the end of these types of love and moral stories, it serves as an attraction and magnet that hold the reader’s interest until the end. It also adds a moral value for the reader. Sepedi authors who write love stories are also on this bandwagon of combining love and moral themes in the same story, such as in Noto-ya-Masogana (Tsebe,1954) and Morweši (Motuku,1969). In order to establish the importance of combining love and moral or behaviour in the same love story, the following have been examined and researched in full: Tsebe’s Noto-ya-Masogana (1954) and Motuku’s Morweši (1969). This will be preceded by taking heed of the research and study results of these works already done by other critics.
Dissertation (MA (African Languages))--University of Pretoria, 2008.