Style of language

The novel Mother to Mother by Sindiwe Magona uses an informal style of language. The narration uses colloquial words and phrases, as well as contractions, offering an informal, conversational tone. 

Short or incomplete sentences are sometimes used to reflect spoken words or to add drama and dynamism to the narration, for example: “The cup You have given me is too bitter to swallow. The shame. The hurt of the other mother. The young woman whose tender life was cut so cruelly short” (p. 4). In this case, the incomplete sentences give the impression that Mandisa is speaking from the heart, without having deliberately chosen her words before, and gives the impression of sincerity and emotion. 

The novel also includes many passages with vivid descriptions. For example, when Mxolisi and his friends find a burning car, descriptions and personification are used to make the passage more engaging: 

a big van was doing a slow motion dance to the shimmering rhythms of orange and red flames caressing it. […] Only the eager orange tongues frolicked all around it, licking it, consuming it, making it look as though it were shaking and shivering. Even as the spectators held their breath, eyes popping, the van appeared to sway, teeter and falter drunkenly. Then, trembling still, with a deep crackling sigh, down it went, slow...

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