1887

n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - en : die groteske in sprokies : original research

Volume 33, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-2279
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Abstract

Hierdie artikel bied 'n vergelykende lees van twee volksverhale wat ook as kinderverhale getipeer kan word (een vanuit Venda- en die ander 'n populêre Europese narratief) met die oog daarop om spesifieke ooreenkomste uit te lig - soos die eet van mensvleis, goedgelowige mense wat deur 'n maskerspel om die bos gelei word en ander 'onetiese' en 'immorele' aktiwiteite. In boots die monster byvoorbeeld die stem van die jong seun na om sy suster te flous en toegang tot hulle hut te verkry, terwyl die wolf in op sy beurt die ouma flous om die huis te kan betree sodat hy later ook vir Rooikappie kan mislei. In albei stories word die jong meisies (asook Rooikappie se ouma) deur 'n seekoei óf 'n wolf opgeëet. Soos gewoonlik in sprokies, word die slagoffers gered of ontsnap en die verhale het 'n gelukkige einde. Alhoewel dit absurd mag voorkom dat kinderverhale elemente van die groteske bevat, argumenteer ek dat dit inderdaad 'n bruikbare doel dien. Hierdie verhale betrek kinders nie net op 'n emosionele vlak nie (as gevolg van die skokwaarde van die groteske); die groteske dien ook as objek van fassinasie. Sodoende word die waarskuwingsboodskap in die verhale beter oorgedra en onthou deur die kinders.


This article presents a comparative reading of two folktales that are also characterised as children's stories (one from Venda folklore and the other a popular European narrative) in order to explore a number of similarities between these stories. These similarities include the grotesque activity of eating human flesh, the way that overly trusting people are tricked by means of a masquerade and other 'unethical' and 'immoral' activities that occur in both narratives. In (Hippopotamus throws his weight around), the monster for instance mimics the voice of a little boy in order to trick his sister and gain access to the children's hut, whilst in the wolf tricks the grandmother in the same way to gain access to her house, in order to later trick Red Riding Hood. Furthermore, in both stories, the little girls (as well as the grandmother in ) are swallowed by vicious wild animals (either a hippopotamus or a wolf). As is often the case in fairy tales; however, the victims are saved or escape and live happily ever after. In this article, I argue that, although it seems absurd for children's stories to deal with the grotesque, the presence of the grotesque actually serves an elevating purpose. I conclude that, because of the shock value of the grotesque, these stories not only intrigue children emotionally, but that the shocking quality of the grotesque also serves as a source of fascination for them. Therefore, the warning messages contained in the stories are more persuasively communicated and better remembered by the child audience.

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/content/literat/33/1/EJC127713
2012-01-01
2016-12-10

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