'n Strukturele en verteltegniese ondersoek na die representasie van die vroulike subjek in Marlene van Niekerk se Agaat

Henn, Maryke (2010-03)

Thesis (MA (Afrikaans and Dutch))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study investigates the representation of the female subject in Marlene van Niekerk’s novel, Agaat (2004). The female subjects, Milla and Agaat, are the focus of this study. Both women are subjected to drastic situations, which not only influence their relationship, but also their respective identities. This turn of events lead up to a power struggle between Milla and Agaat, which eventually gets reversed throughout the course of the narrative. The focus is essentially on the complex structure of the novel, where a prologue and epilogue serve as a framework for the four different story lines, each with its own narrative technique. A number of theoretical approaches will be employed in order to explore the discussion of the female subject. The novel, which is presented throughout by a single narrator, leads the study to concepts such as representation, subjectivity and identity. In an attempt to understand “the other”, the central role of language and mirrors with regard to representation is explored. Van Niekerk’s reinvention and even subversion of the farm novel of the late twentieth century involves ideologies of the Afrikaner such as land and religion, gender, politics and culture. This strategy results in the focus on concepts like subjectivity and identity. Both these processes will be explored in an attempt to gain insight into the characters. Key elements such as displacement, substitution and revenge give momentum to the chain of events in the story and lead up to introspection by both women. It is especially Milla’s terminal illness that induces introspection and preparation, for both Milla and Agaat, towards death. The influence of all these events, Milla and Agaat’s mutual dependence on each other, as well as the way in which they position themselves in the face of death, prompt this study. This study explores the influence of these events on women, the power struggle that developed out of this and the way in which their respective roles are reversed.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek die representasie van die vroulike subjek in Marlene van Niekerk se roman Agaat (2004). Daar word gefokus op die twee vroue in die verhaal, Milla en Agaat. Beide vroue word aan ingrypende situasies onderwerp, wat ʼn invloed op hulle verhouding sowel as hulle onderskeie identiteite het. Hierdie gebeure lei tot ʼn magspel tussen Milla en Agaat, wat tydens die verloop van die verhaalgebeure volledig omgekeer word. Die fokus val eerstens op die roman se ingewikkelde vertelstruktuur waarin daar sprake is van ʼn pro- en epiloog as raamwerk waarbinne vier verhaallyne, elk met sy eie verteltegniek, gebruik word. ʼn Verskeidenheid teoretiese uitgangspunte word nagegaan ten einde die representasie van die vroulike subjek te ondersoek. Die roman, wat deurentyd uit die perspektief van een verteller aangebied word, lei die studie na ondersoekterreine soos representasie, subjektiwiteit en identiteit. Die sentrale rol van taal en spieëls ten opsigte van representasie en in die poging om die “ander” te kan verstaan, word nagegaan. Van Niekerk se herskrywing van die plaasroman in die laat twintigste eeu betrek op subtiele wyse die ideologieë van die Afrikaner rondom grond en religie, gender, politiek en kultuur. Dit lei tot die fokus op subjektiwiteit en identiteit. Beide hierdie prosesse word in die studie ondersoek ten einde begrip vir die karakters te probeer vind. Elemente soos verplasing, plaasvervangerskap en vergelding gee stukrag aan die verhaalgebeure en lei tot besinning by albei vroue. Dit is veral Milla se terminale siekte wat aanleiding gee tot bestekopname en voorbereiding op die dood. Die invloed van al dié gebeure en hoe twee vroue wat op mekaar aangewese is, hulleself posisioneer ten opsigte van die dood, gee aanleiding tot hierdie studie. Die studie onderneem om ondersoek in te stel na die invloed van gebeure by beide vroue, die magspel wat hieruit ontwikkel en hoe die rolle stelselmatig omruil in die verhaalgebeure.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/4248
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