AN INTRODUCTION TO LITERATURE - PDF NOTES

 

Part One

FORMS OF ORAL LITERATURE

INTRODUCTION

In this Part One, various forms of oral literature have been discussed widely. Illustrative examples have been plentifully provided; some terms have also been nourished by pictures and diagrams.

Oral literature is a type of literature that is handed down or presented orally through the word of mouth from one generation to another. Historically, this form of literature, oral expression, was practiced much before the invention of writings. Until today, oral literature is still dominant in various societies.

 

(1) Folktales

These are the traditional stories about animals or human beings that are usually passed down from one generation to another in a particular society. For example, many English and Swahili folktales begin with the phrase ‘once upon a time’ and end with ‘they lived happily ever after’. The story of ‘Cinderella’ is one of the examples of folktales. 

(2) Fables

Fables are animal stories that try to teach people how to behave. They are a particular type of narrative in which animals, plants, or similar characters are anthropomorphized or made to seem as if they were human. The best known collection of fables is ‘Aesop’s Fables’ although it is uncertain whether a historical Aesop ever existed. Examples of fables The Hare and the Tortoise, The Lion and the Mouse and others.

 

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