Binêre opposisies en perspektiewe op die 'ander' in Pieternella van die Kaap deur Dalene Matthee

Symington, Cornelia Isabel (2004-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2004


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study investigates the binary oppositions in Dalene Matthee's historic novel, Pieternella van die Kaap, and the extent to which it correlates with the perspectives on "the other" and the influence of the spatial context on the two main characters, Eva-Krotoa and Pietemella. The study ascertains in which way Matthee's novel falls within the post-colonial framework; whether a tendency towards hybridity can be found and in which cases the binary opposition of "the self" versus "the other", is consequently suspended. Attention is also given to key concepts associated with this, like stereotyping and convention. After exploring the term post-colonial literature, a number of related elements are discussed, such as the post-colonial focus on identity. Via the focalisation of PietenelIa the novel firstly presents a general view of her experiences in the Cape, on Robben Island, on the ship the Boode, and on Mauritius. In the process it also foregrounds the life of her mother, Eva-Krotoa. Both of them are so much affected by the binary oppositions relating to their existence within different, contrasting spaces, that it is justified to call them "two-head" women. While Eva- Krotoa's life is torn apart by the binary oppositions, there are indications that Pietemella moves in the direction of a growing hybridity, that brings about a synthesis between the oppositions and allows her to reconcile herself with her own identity. This is even more pronounced in the case of her daughter, Maria. The study comes to the conclusion that stereotyping is based on convention and that time, place and circumstances determine whether and to what extent the binary opposition of "the self'/"the other" is suspended.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek die binêre opposrsres in Dalene Matthee se historiese roman Pieternella van die Kaap en die mate waarin die perspektiewe op 'die ander' en die invloed van die ruimtelike konteks op die twee vernaamste karakters, Eva-Krotoa en Pieternella, hiermee in verband gebring kan word. Daar word vasgestel in watter mate hierdie roman binne 'n postkoloniale raamwerk val, in watter opsigte sprake is van hibriditeit en in watter gevalle die binêre opposisie van 'die ek'teenoor 'die ander' gevolglik opgehef word. Aandag word ook bestee aan sleutelbegrippe wat hiermee saamhang, soos stereotipering en konvensie. Na 'n verkenning van die term postkoloniale literatuur word verskeie elemente wat hiermee verband hou bespreek, soos die postkoloniale fokus op identiteit. Die roman bied eerstens, via die fokalisasie van Pieternella, 'n oorsig oor haar lotgevalle aan die Kaap, op Robbeneiland, op die skip die Baade en op Mauritius, maar stel in die proses ook die lewe van haar moeder Eva-Krotoa voorop. Beide word in so 'n mate geaffekteer deur binêre opposisies van hulle bestaan binne verskillende, kontrasterende ruimtes, dat hulle tereg 'tweekopvroue' genoem kan word. Waar Eva-Krotoa ten onder gaan aan die binêre opposisies is daar met betrekking tot Pieternella aanduidings van 'n groeiende hibriditeit wat 'n sintese bring tussen die opposisies en haar met haar eie identiteit laat versoen. Dit is in In nog groter mate die geval met haar dogter Maria. Die studie kom tot die slotsom dat stereotipering berus op konvensie en dat tyd, plek en omstandighede bepaal of en in watter mate die binêre opposisie van ekl'ander' opgehef word.

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