n Latin American Report - The dialogue of the deaf : exploring textual silence in Stephen Chifunyise's play,

Volume 30, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-6060



This article examines Stephen Chifunyise's calculated focus on the domestic spaces - the family, personal relationships and the psycho-sexual dilemmas at the expense of the wider national socio-economic and political context during a period in Zimbabwe that has come to be known as the "decade of crisis". Ignoring a plethora of social, economic and political challenges such as the collapse of a welfarist state, unprecedented inflation, political violence, sycophancy and corruption among others, the dramatist chooses to focus solely on the contradictions within the home and the family. The central question with which the article grapples is the ideological motivation behind this deliberate focus by the dramatist. Using Wall's (1989) theory of the dialogue of the deaf in conjunction with Macherey's (1978) theory of the "unsaid" in a text, the article argues that despite the author's calculated omission or silence on the socio-economic and political realities, the average intelligent reader is not only able to read into the dramatist's ideological position and motive but also the ugly reality that he is trying to cover up or hide from the reader.

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