Patterns in personal experience narratives: storytelling at cod harbour - a Newfoundland fishing community

Small, Lawrence George (1971) Patterns in personal experience narratives: storytelling at cod harbour - a Newfoundland fishing community. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This study is concerned with storytelling as a part of the folk culture of a fishing community on the north east coast of Newfoundland. The study is based on field work done in the community throughout the summer of 1969 during which I tape recorded oral narratives along with other folklore and folklife material . The principal genre discussed is the personal experience narrative which is an account of the experiences of either the narrator, someone in his kin network, orhis friends. It was found that a large number of community residents communicate in narrative form and that the narratives function to substantiate conversation preceeding the narrativei have a didactic function; function as a means of entertainment~ and reflect the narrators' and the community's value system. The methods employed in collecting the material were the directive and the non-directive interview techniques and participant observation. Collecting was done mainly among fishermen between fifty and eighty years of age and who, on -the average, had not gone beyond the sixth grade in school. Since the narratives are so much a part of the environment, I give an account of the community culture. The principal things that I deal with are the community's history, economy, education, religion, and social life which includes rites of passage, calendar customs , social events, visiting patterns, and gossip. Information in each of these categories is based primarily on oral reports, narratives and documented materials. After a discussion of the storytelling process in the community, I deal specifically with four male narrators. For each I give biographical information, discuss his repertoire, telling situations, style, and give a sampling of his narratives. The fourth narrator is discussed in more detail than the first three. The narratives of the latter comprise the final chapter in the study, and have been analyzed to show what they tell us about the narrator's style, his value system, and the community culture.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/12086
Item ID: 12086
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 271-279).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: November 1971
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Folklore--Newfoundland and Labrador; Storytelling--Newfoundland and Labrador; Fishing villages--Newfoundland and Labrador; Newfoundland and Labrador--Social life and customs

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