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E301 the Art of English

  • Date Submitted: 11/04/2013 12:42 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 38 
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TMA 1: Summarise the main points of Mary Bock's 'Telling truths: perspectives on a human rights violation' and evaluate, with reference to other material in the module so far, the extent to which it helps you understand how to identify creativity in everyday language.

Although the narratives that Mary Bock analyses in her article can be said to be anything but 'everyday', given that they are testimonies on the killing of seven people by police officers in apartheid era South Africa, she does succeed in illustrating the use of creativity used in narrative even in examples where we may feel that it is least appropriate; the purpose of the testimonies was hear the unadulterated truth. To clarify, Bock shows that both narrators, to different degrees, adopt Labov’s standard narrative structure (Toolan, 2006 [pp 55-58]) in their retelling of events and that both are contextually bound to the events in their narratives making them emotionally and socio-culturally involved and leading to interference from notions of identity and afiliation. As Toolan points out narrative is always identified by its ‘… (emphasizing or downplaying) certain events and representing these from a partial perspective. In all these ways, everyday storytelling can be seen as a creative activity’ (pp. 54-55), and Bock does illustrate this creative processes taking place in both narratives.  a productive querying of the terms of the question

The first issue I would like to address in this essay is that of the distinction between everyday storytelling and the highly unusual narratives used by Bock in her article, and to give some context so that the two men’s narratives can be better understood in terms of storytelling. Secondly, I will look at notions of creativity and try to identify what this means I linguistic terms. I will then go on to look in more detail at how Bock manages, quite successfully in my opinion, to demonstrate that both of the men, journalist Chris Bateman and policeman...


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