n Latin American Report - The search for feminine space and order in the narratives of Sandra Cisneros and Tsitsi Dangerembga

Volume 24, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-6060



The predominant focus on the male protagonist in the Bildungsroman genre has provoked feminist critics to offer a re-definition of the genre, claiming that the female protagonist's development differs in significant ways from the traditionally expected course of development. This article therefore, examines the trope of the daughter as agency for identity formation in postcolonial women's narratives, specifically the Chicano/a and African literary traditions in order to foreground the various rebellious strategies these protagonists employ to locate, retrieve their voices and claim space to render themselves visible. The article equally examines how female writers use this trope as rhetorical device to reflect the complex dichotomous nature of self-identity and re-envision new modes of self-representational writing. Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street and Tsitsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions provide the tool for textual analysis. Besides the appraisal of the daughter as trope and agency in these narratives, the essay also concentrates on the issue of identity formation and how these female writers subvert a traditional male narrative form, the Bildungsroman, to give voice to female characters.

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