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n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - Women, nation and voicing in Sharai Mukonoweshuro's Shona novels : original research

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Abstract

The article explores the fictional representation of women in two of Sharai Mukonoweshuro's novels, and . Traditional Shona expectations of how a woman should behave have prescribed the roles that women are expected to play in society. In Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), colonialism invented customary laws in which women were further downgraded to social positions akin to those of minors. Although the nationalist struggle was essentially meant to guarantee freedom for all Black people irrespective of gender, the male elites constructed the identity of Black women as their inferior 'other'. Against this background this article argues that Sharai Mukonoweshuro's novels struggle against these male sanctioned stereotypes. However, as will be shown, Mukonoweshuro's mode of resistance to female stereotypes is ambivalent in the sense that the author constructs young women who defy patriarchy on the one hand and, on the other hand, old women who do the unthinkable act of poisoning their own sons.


Die doel van hierdie artikel is om die fiktiewe voorstelling van vroue in twee van Sharai Mukonoweshuro se romans, naamlik en , te verken. Tradisionele Shona verwagtinge van hoe 'n vrou moet optree, skryf die rolle voor wat van vroue verwag word om in die samelewing te speel. In 'n koloniale konteks soos die voormalige Rhodesië het kolonialisme wette in die gewoontereg bedink wat vroue verder gedegradeer het tot sosiale posisies soortgelyk aan dié van minderjariges. Hoewel die nasionalistiese stryd in wese bedoel was om vryheid te waarborg vir alle Swart mense, ongeag van geslag, het die manlike elites Swart vroue as hul minderwaardige 'ander' gekonstrueer. In hierdie artikel word geargumenteer dat Sharai Mukonoweshuro se romans worstel met hierdie manlik-goedgekeurde stereotipes. Maar, soos getoon word, Mukonoweshuro se wyse van weerstand teen vroulike stereotipes is ambivalent; die skrywer skep jong vroue wat die patriargie aan die een kant uitdaag, en aan die ander kant, ou vroue wat die ondenkbare doen om hulle eie seuns te vergiftig.

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/content/literat/34/1/EJC143138
2013-01-01
2016-12-09
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