Contextual functions of predicated themes in written text : Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country (1948) as dialogue with apartheid South Africa

Title: Contextual functions of predicated themes in written text : Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country (1948) as dialogue with apartheid South Africa
Source document: Brno studies in English. 2010, vol. 36, iss. 1, pp. [103]-121
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

In this article we pay attention to the relations between a text and its social context: our text is the novel Cry, the Beloved Country (1948), written by the South African writer Alan Paton. Our contention is it was only in a novel that one could offer the sort of meanings that Paton was offering in that particular historical period, that context of culture. We make use of the Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) theory of language for our purpose, a theory that makes explicit the relations between language systems and structures, and their use as resources for social interaction. Our study involves consideration of the SFL theoretical framework as a way into the examination of the use of predicated Themes and in terms of the relations of their use to aspects of the social context of the novel. We conclude that Paton's use of predicated Themes allows him to not only make the text a more coherent unit – a text – and to make a more authentic representation of character dialogue, but more importantly allows him to make a more interactive textual engagement with the reader.
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