Unfair Domination In Nervous Conditions

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The analysis of unfair domination in the coming of age novel ‘Nervous Conditions’ written by Tsitsi Dangarembga, is based in 1960’s Rhodesia. The novel has a clear message of not only the struggle that African people had to endure as a result of the colonization of the British Empire but also the struggle of unfair domination. The novel perfectly paints the unfair picture of the lives of the black community under a time of the white colonial rule as well as the oppression of women. The dates in the novel indicate a bitter time period of white hostility to black liberation. Patriarchy is one of the most important themes in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s novels and the focus will be on discussing how one male and one female character attempts to deal with…show more content…
The story is told by the first person narrator which assists in drawing in the reader and making a connection between the writer and the reader. The time period in which the novel is written is in the 1960’s when Rhodesia was a British colony. Villagers were at the time forcefully evicted from their lands and moved to less fertile areas resulting in unfair racial domination as rights and favor was given to one race above the other based merely on skin colour. This brings me to one male character in the novel who faces unfair domination based on both racial and gender domination. Mr Matimba is a teacher who lives in the same town as the narrator. He faces unfair domination when he attempts to assist the narrator, Tambudzai, with selling her mealies in town in order to pay her way through school. Mr Matimba’s involvement in assisting Tambudzai to sell her mealies is a way in which he mildly fights unfair domination of women, as it is not seen as a top priority in the novel for women to receive an education. This shows that he does not agree with the oppression of women in a male dominated society by going the extra mile in assisting Tambudzai in her dreams of becoming an educated…show more content…
Maiguru falls into the category of ‘female’ gender constantly singing her husband’s praises by pampering his male ego and referring to him as ‘my Daddy-dear’ and ‘Daddy-pie’. This scene of the novel shows how Maiguru deals with her dominant husband as she submissively, ‘picked up a plate from the pile in front of Babamukuru and held it respectfully for him with both hands’. The word ‘respectfully’ speaks volumes in how she respectfully accepts the role of a submissive wife by obeying and respecting her husband at all times. This furthermore shows that by being a female, she will never have equal rights and power in her relationship due to her gender. Despite her education she is no different to her husband compared to any other women. Maiguru’s submissiveness is so evident towards her husband that she feels obligated to kneel down beside two other characters in the novel to thank him for a matter that is of no concern to her. The narrator uses the word ‘worshipping’, and this furthermore proves the women’s response to his gratitude by treating him like a God. The narrator confirms Babamukuru’s dominance when she mentions that his daughter is ‘a victim of her femaleness’ as well as ‘Men took it everywhere with them. Even heroes like Babamukuru’, which further verifies Maiguru’s suffering at the hands of unfair domination

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