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The stories Masilo’s Adventure and My cousin comes to Jo’Burg compare South African reality with the ideal

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“Masilo’s Adventure” is about a boy who leaves home to try and find his fortune by finding a pot of gold under the rainbow. He doesn’t find the end of a rainbow but finds a giants cave, the giant is evil but his wife is good. The giant has lots of riches, which Masilo takes and his mother and he live happily ever after! It is a bit obvious that this story is fantasy/fairy tale based. The story is a bit like “Jack and the beanstalk” but was written in a different part of the world. “My cousin comes to Jo’Burg” is about a young man who moves to Johannesburg to live with his cousin.

He doesn’t fit in and gets picked on by the ‘street kids’. He doesn’t understand the ways of city life. He was supposed to get a pass that allows him to stay in the city but when he gets caught without having one by the police is lucky to get away. In the end he gets his pass and gets a job, but he doesn’t” like to be tied down to one job and therefor goes through a large number of different jobs. This story seems more likely to happen than “Masilo’s Adventure”, it is a story that seems like it could actually happen and is therefor the ideal.

It is set in Johannesburg in South Africa. “Masilo’s Adventure” uses simpler wording than “My cousin comes to Jo’Burg”. “Masilo’s Adventure” uses phrases such as “there lived a very very poor woman” but “My cousin comes to Jo’Burg” uses more complex wording like “significant acquaintances”. This suggest that “Masilo’s Adventure” is aimed at younger audience than “My cousin comes to Jo’Burg”. Younger audiences normally prefer a ‘fairy tale’ like (ideal) stories written to teach children things like good will triumph over evil and keep trying and you will succeed.

My cousin comes to Jo’Burg” is aimed at an older audience than “Masilo’s Adventure” as is suggested by the more complex wording. Another point which suggests that “Masilo’s Adventure” is aimed at a younger audience than “My cousin comes to Jo’Burg” is the sentence structure. “Masilo’s Adventure” is mainly made up of compound sentences which are easy for younger children to understand yet at the same time do not seem patronising. “My cousin comes to Jo’Burg” uses a mixture of compound and complex sentences to try to keep the reader interested but do not overpower him with too much complexity and sophistication.

This sort of style that uses some but not too much complexity and sophistication is more recognisable with reality literature rather than the ideal. This is because it is more suitable for older readers who reading abilities are more advanced and therefor want more complex writing. It is more recognisable with reality rather than the ideal because older readers tend to prefer reality-based stories. The sentence structure therefore shows that “My cousin comes to Jo’Burg” is the South African reality and “Masilo’s Adventure” is the ideal. Masilo’s Adventure” is all written in past tense.

“Long, Long Ago” is just one quote that proves that the story is written in past tense. Phrases like the one quoted above make the story seem as if it being read out to an audience by a narrator, stories that are normally read by a narrator are normally aimed at a younger audience who find reading hard and prefer to have stories read to them. “My cousin comes to Jo’Burg” changes between two verb tenses, past and present. It starts of in present tense with the story being written in first person.

My cousin, Jola, comes from Tsolo in Transkei” this is showing that the main character is related to the person speaking so the story is written in first person and present tense. Further on there are quotes like “they laughed” this is written in past tense as if there is someone who has watched what happened and is now telling the story back to you. The audience a story is aimed at can often give us an idea of the substance (reality or ideal). The fact that “Masilo’s Adventure” uses simpler wording than “My cousin comes to Jo’Burg” suggests it is aimed at a younger audience who in general prefer stories based on the ideal.

My cousin comes to Jo’Burg” is aimed at an older audience who normally prefer more reality based stories. The colloquial use of language such as “Molamu stick” and “makwedini” tells us that it is a South African story. In conclusion I have established that one story is reality based and the other is ‘the ideal’ and have managed to prove this through both the content of the stories and the structure whilst both are South African so enough evidence to prove the introduction correct.

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