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Imagination and Thematic Reality in the African Novel: A New Vision for African Novelists

DOI: 10.4236/als.2018.61002, PP. 8-18

Keywords: Narratology, Narrative Structure, Thematic Choice, Structural Organisation, Depicting

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The present study on the topic “Imagination and thematic reality in the African novel: a new vision to African novelists” aims to show the limitation of the contribution of the African literary works to the good governance and development process of African countries through the thematic choices and to propose a new vision in relation to those thematic choices and to the structural organisation of those literary works. The study is carried out through the theory of narratology by Genette (1980) and the narrative study by Chatman (1978) as applied to the novels by Chinua Achebe, essentially on the notion of order by Genette and the elements of a narrative by Chatman. It is a thematic and structural analysis that helps the researcher to be aware of the limitation of the contribution of African fiction to the good governance of African States and their real development, for the reason that themes and the structural organisation of those works are past-oriented. In such a context, readers are supposed to decode the different messages so as to put forth the necessary behaviour from the depicted ones. But, when one compares the literary effort of the novelists with the actual positive change, one realises that the gap is still obvious. This brought the researcher to the proposal of a new thematic orientation that does not depict societal misbehaviour but rather builds an ideal society in which the character embodies what the African society should be, African society which is here our particular concern so as to be able to make up the challenge of globalisation. This is not to deny the “fictionality” of the novels, but to reinforce it with stories that are not only past-oriented. This change may constitute a new source of attraction for African future literary works.


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