Representations of women, identity and education in the novels of Tsitsi Dangarembga and Kopano Matlwa

Rodgers, Randi Jean (2013-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis explores the representation of women, identity and education in the works of Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions (1989) and The Book of Not (2006), and Kopano Matlwa, Coconut (2007) and Spilt Milk (2010), through the lens of postcolonial studies. The arguments presented deal with the complicated factors associated with the formation of new identities in independent Zimbabwe and post-apartheid South Africa. I focus on how African women are represented in the texts taking place at particular socio-historical moments, including implications and interpretations of the literal and cultural shift from the indigenous, rural or segregated environments to Western, urban and racially mixed ones. My argument outlines the ways in which the stories are allegorically the stories of the fledgling democracies from which they emerge. I explore the texts in terms of symbolics of food, language, accents, family, academic settings, and the liberating and limiting elements associated with each. The authors present a complicated reality for the women of the novels, one where education is prioritized although somewhat to the detriment of traditional values and norms. The representation of women in the novels varies, leaving few successful role models for navigating workable identities for the characters as mothers, wives, and autonomous individuals. The novels offer interesting imaginaries for the future of their respective countries. The texts promote education tempered with a respect for home cultures and racial reconciliation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis ondersoek die uitbeelding van vroue, identiteit en opvoeding in die werke van Tsitsi Dangarembga en Kopano Matlwa vanuit die oogpunt van postkoloniale studies. Die voorgestelde argument hou verband met die ingewikkelde faktore van identiteit-vorming in 'n onhafhanklike Zimbabwe en 'n post-Apartheid Suid-Afrika. Ek fokus op die uitbeelding van swart vroue in hierdie tekste wat gedurende spesifiek sosio-historiese oomblikke plaas vind. Dit sluit in die gevolge en interpretasies van letterlike en kulterele verskuiwings vanaf inheemse, landelike en gesegregeerde omgewings tot Westerse, stedelike en veelrassige omgewings. My argument sit uit een hoe hierdie vroue se stories as allegorieë vir die jong demokratiese lande waaruit hul na vore kom, beskou kan word. Ek verken die tekste ook in terme van die simboliek van voedsel, taal, aksent, familie en opvoeding, en fokus verder op die bevrydende en beperkende elemente van elk. Die skrywers bied 'n ingewikkelde werkliheid vir vrouens in die romans aan, een waar opvoeding 'n prioriteit is, maar ietwat tot die nadeel van tradisionele waardes en norme. Die uitbeelding van vrouens in die romans wissel en bied min suksesvolle rolmodelle aan waarvolgens die karakters identiteite soos moeder, vrou en selfstandige individue kan vorm. Die tekste bevorder wel die verkryging van 'n volledige opvoeding, maar nie tot nadeel van tradisionele kulture, of die moontlikheid van rasseversoening nie. Beide die romans bied 'n interessante blik op die toekomste vir die onderskeie lande dur hierdie uibeelding van die vroulike karakters.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85705
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