Cultural issues in Nonyana ya tshepo

Letlala, Bahedile David (2003-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2003.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study examines the aspect of culture and gender in N.S. Zulu's novel Nonyana ya tshepo (The bird of hope) (1997). The approach shall be based on the study of culture and gender representation of male and female characters as viewed by scholars such as Payne (1997), Ruthven (1984), Bauerlin (1997) and Brooker (1999). However, because character is closely linked to plot, the study also outlines plot and character. The study emphasizes the portrayal of male and female characters in terms of culture and gender stereotypes because patriarchy in society dictates that men are seen as superior and women as inferior, women as the dispossessed and men as owners, women as child bearers and men as leaders. The study aims to find out whether or not this modern novel, Nonyana ya tshepo, portrays patriarchal images of men and women. In most of thE! Sesotho older novels sexism was enforced, and sexual inequalities in such novels were taken as universal and therefore normal. The issue of sexual difference and inequality is basically rooted in the tradition of patriarchy that advocates the subjection and oppression of women. Women characters are always subjected to ill-treatment, abuse, torture and suppression as a result of patriarchy and other related factors. In Nonyana ya tshepo women characters are portrayed as being submissive, powerless and easily manipulated by their male counterparts. They are victims of circumstances as they have no power and control. Male characters do not treat female characters with dignity. For example, when Mokwena arrives at his home in the night being drunk, he wakes up his wife Dijeng and swears at her. He accuses her of hiding a man in his bedroom and he finally beats her up. Women characters in Nonyana ya tshepo are also portrayed as victims of sexual abuse by male characters. Mokwena sexually abuses Dikeledi and impregnates her. The same abuse happens to Sebolelo who is sexually abused by her male employee. Sebolelo and Dikeledi become victims of the circumstances. Male characters in the novel are dominant, abusive, manipulative and oppressive. Male and female characters are portrayed in terms of culture and gender stereotypes in Nonyana ya tshepo.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek die aspek van kultuur en gender in N.S. Zulu se novelle Nonyana ya tshepo (die voël van hoop) (1997). Die benadering tot die studie is gebaseer op die studie van kultuur en gender representasie van manlike en vroulike karakters soos gesien deur navorsers soos Payne (1997), Ruthven (1984), Bauer1in (1997) en Brooker (1999). Omdat karakterisering egter gekoppel is aan intrige, ondersoek die studie ook intrige en karakter. Die studie beklemtoon die uitbeelding van manlike en vroulike karakters in terme van kultuur en gender stereotipes aangesien patriargie in die gemeenskap voorskryf dat mans as meerderes en vroue as minderes is, vroue as die nie-besitters en mans as besitters, vroue as voortbringers van kinders en mans as leiers. Die studie ondersoek of, in die novelle, Nonyana ya tshepo daar 'n uitbeelding is van patriargale voorstellings van mans en vroue. In die meeste ouer Sesotho novelles, is stereotipes geforseer, en gender ongelykhede is beskou as universeel in hierdie novelles, en dus normaal. Die vraagstuk van gender verskille en ongelykheid is gewortel in die tradisie van patriargie wat die onderwerping en verdrukking van vroue voorstaan. Vroue karakters word altyd onderwerp aan mishandeling en verdrukking as gevolg van patriargie en ander verwante faktore. In Nonyana ya tshepo word vroue karakters uitgebeeld as onderdanig, magteloos, en maklik-manipuleerbaar deur hulle manlike eweknieë. Hulle is slagoffers van omstandighede en het nie mag of kontrole nie. Manlike karakters behandel nie vroulike karakters met respek nie. Byvoorbeeld wanneer Mokwena besope opdaag by die huis mishandel hy sy vrou. Vroulike karakters in Nongana ya tshepo word ook uitgebeeld as slagoffers van seksuele teistering deur manlike karakters. Mokwena word byvoorbeeld seksueel geteister deur Dekeledi. Soortgelyke teistering word ondervind deur Sebolelo wat deur haar manlike werkgewer geteister word. Manlike karakters word as dominerend en manipulerend uitgebeeld. Sowel manlike as vroulike karakters word l.t.v, kulturele en gender stereotipes uitgebeeld in Nonyana ya tshepo.

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