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The "Poverty of blackness and the weight of womanhood" - postcolonialism and patriarchy in Tsitsi Dangarembgas Nervous conditions
2005 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesis
Abstract [sv]

This study focuses on colonial and patriarchal oppression and resistance in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions. Set in Rhodesia (today known as Zimbabwe) after the independence from the U.K., the novel presents a multitude of characters trying desperately to deal with their “nervous conditions” as colonized people. Written in English, Nervous Conditions is an anti-colonialist text; it shows the detrimental effects of colonization on the main characters. The characters cope with colonization in different ways and develop different identities, ranging from genuine rejection of the colonizers’ culture and language to genuine assimilation. Some characters reject the colonizers’ language and culture and feel proud to contribute to the conservation of their own language and culture. In contrast, indoctrinated to believe in the colonizers’ superiority and lured by the material advantages of civilization, other characters become ashamed of their cultural backgrounds. Moreover, other characters become “cultural hybrids”, trying to find a compromise between Western and African traditions and values. Apart from the evil of colonialism, the black female characters have to deal with their conditions as women in a patriarchal society. In patriarchal societies, women are indoctrinated to believe in their inferiority and as a consequence, they resign and assume the roles that society attributes them. Struggling against the “double oppression”, the female characters of Nervous Conditions can be classified as good girls versus bad girls; escapees versus entrapped women. Social group, education, poverty and richness do not seem to play any role; all women are victimized. In Nervous Conditions, all characters try to find a way of surviving in postcolonial and patriarchal Rhodesia. They try to find solutions for themselves and failure is severely punished. In the novel, anorexia is an effect of failing to cope with gender discrimination and colonial oppression.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. , 26 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53924Local ID: ENG D-15OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53924DiVA: diva2:1102484
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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  • apa
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  • ieee
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  • de-DE
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  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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