Focalization schemas, transnational formations and social remittance in the works of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Maritim, Eric Cheruiyot (2020-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This work contextualises Chimamanda Adichie’s novels and collected short stories within the area of migrant transnationalism, arguing that this is an inherent feature of the content and form of the texts. Adichie’s narrative are pre-occupied with motif of migration that, in the contemporary context, is characterised by what David Harvey terms time-space compression. This has facilitated spatio-temporal disjunctures as a result of migrants’ simultaneous embeddedness in multiple cross-border localities. This work therefore contributes to the burgeoning research on transnationalism but gives it a literary dimension by narratologically exploring how border-crossing narratives which trace experiences of migrants and non-migrants, implicate transformations in worldviews of individual migrants and how these idiosyncratic transformations have far-reaching collective implications in their points of origin. This is operationalised through analytic mining of how the presented non-migrants’ and migrants’ encounters are focalised in the narratives at the points where they emigrate, where they immigrate as well as the emergent in-between spaces they inhabit as transnational persons. In tandem with seizing upon how these encounters are focalized, the postcolonial notion of liminality is adopted to account for the processes by which the characters in these transnational locations generate various agentic capacities that are trafficked to their countries of origin as social remittance. Towards this end, it reasons that, with the transnational space conceived of as a liminal space rife with possibilities for socio-politically innovating, migrant characters are veritable agents of socio-political transformation in the communities where they originate and to which they are still emotively attached and committed. Despite this optimism in approach to their transformative function, however, the less salutary implications of their transnational locations are considered.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie kontekstualiseer Chimamanda Adichie se romans, Purple Hibiscus (2003), Half of a Yellow Sun (2005), Americanah (2013) en geselekteerde kortverhale uit The Thing Around Your Neck (2009), binne die omgewing van migrerende transnasionalisme en argumenteer dat dit ’n inherente kenmerk van die inhoud en vorm van die tekste is. Adichie se narratiewe word in beslag geneem deur die migrasie-motief wat in die hedendaagse konteks, gekenmerk deur wat David Harvey tyd-ruimte-kompressie noem, ruimtelik-temporale disjunkture vergemaklik vanweë migrante se gelyktydige ingebedheid in veelvuldige oorgrens-lokaliteite. Hierdie navorsing gebruik ’n narratologiese lens om ondersoek in te stel na hoe grensoorstekende narratiewe, wat die ervarings van migrante en niemigrante naspeur, transformasies in die wêreldbeskouings van individuele migrante beïnvloed, en hoe hierdie idiosinkratiese transformasies verreikende kollektiewe gevolge by hul oorsprongplekke het. Dit geskied deur ’n ontleding van hoe niemigrante en migrante se ervarings in die narratiewe by die emigrasiepunte gefokaliseer word, waar hulle immigreer, sowel as die opkomende tussenruimtes wat hulle as transnasionale persone bewoon. Tesame met die ondersoek na hoe hierdie ontmoetings gefokaliseer word, word die postkoloniale begrip liminaliteit aangewend om rekenskap te gee van die prosesse waardeur die karakters in hierdie transnasionale lokaliteite verskeie agentkapasiteite genereer, wat as maatskaplike oordragte na hul herkomslande verplaas word. Met die oog hierop word daar geredeneer dat, waar die transnasionale ruimte as ’n liminale ruimte met volop moontlikhede vir sosiopolitieke innovasie voorgestel word, migrerende karakters ware agente is van sosiopolitieke transformasie in die gemeenskappe waar hulle ontstaan en waaraan hulle steeds emosioneel geheg en toegewy is. Ten spyte van hierdie optimisme in die benadering tot hul transformerende funksie, word daar oorweging aan die minder heilsame implikasies van hul transnasionale lokaliteite geskenk.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/108197
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