Patriarchal Oppression In Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions

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Patriarchal oppression is one of the major themes in Dangarembga’s Nervous conditions. According to Dambe 2014, patriarchy refers to a system of practices and structures in which men have more power than women and are able to use their power to dominate and oppress women. It is this patriarchal distribution of power that puts women in all kinds of dilemmas in the novel. One of weapon men use to oppress women is “silence and obedience’. Silence and obedience are considered as important values in Shona culture and colonial Rhodesia. This essay will therefore, explore the kinds of dilemmas nyasha, Tambu, Lucia, Mainini and Maiguru go through in the hands of patriarchal system and how they come to terms with it. Tambu watches her dream of going to school being crunched because of her gender. According to colonial Shona tradition, it is of no use to educate female children as they are expected to fulfil kitchen duties in their husband’s homes. When Tambu questions her…show more content…
She allows Babamukuru oppress her and pretends that it does not affect her. Just like her husband, Maiguru holds a Master’s degree .Sadly as a working wife; she does not enjoy her earnings because it is used to help Babamukuru’s extended family members and not the family she was born into. Maiguru’s contributions and the sacrifices she has made to the family are however overlooked and all the approbations go to Babamukuru. In one of her conversations with Tambu, Maiguru expresses her bitterness towards her situation “When I was in England I glimpsed for a little while the things I could have been, the things I could have done if- if –if things were- different- But there was Babawa chido and the children and the family. And does anyone realise, does anyone appreciate, what sacrifices were made? As for me, no one even thinks about the things I gave up. (Dangarembga, 1988:

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