Tsitsi Dangarembga Nervous Condition

1598 Words 7 Pages
Aysha Rathor


Nervous Condition

Nervous Condition is an autobiographical novel written by a Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga that takes place in Rhodesia in early 1970s. The book focuses on themes of gender, class and race through the eyes of a young female(Tambu) protagonist. The title of the book references Jean Paul book The Wretched of the Earth in which he states, “status of 'native' is a nervous condition introduced and maintained by the settler among the colonized people with their consent.” Dangarembga further explains Fanon’s exploration of African people oppressed by colonial regime by introducing the gender-role of black women who are arguably oppressed. The women in nervous conditions born into
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She views the gender equality and the cultural differences in social status differently as she has experienced the effects of cultural conflict when African allow colonial ideals to replace the African roots. Living away from home she faces the dilemma of forgetting her culture, but her mother always helps her in returning to remind her and keep her grounded with their ethnic heritage. The novel started with Tambu’s quote “ I was not sorry when my brother died.” (Tsitsi Dangarembga 1). The quote show that Tambu didn’t like her brother even though her brother played a crucial role in the family. He was the soul future provide for his family and had been given the chance to study in a mission school. As being the eldest male figure, he represents everything in his family. Even though Tambu is more hardworking and intelligent in comparison to her brother. She isn’t seen as an important part of the family until her brother passes way for which know she is expected to step into her brother role therefore she is not very sad for her brother’s death. Women being oppressed and undermined is not only a problem in Africa but all around the world especially in developing countries. Now women in society are finally taking their rightful place and standing up for their rights. The author explains these issue in such descriptive ways that It draws the audience in as if they are living in the moment of the event. The author portrays these five women in the novel because she is one of them. The novel portrays a clear relationship between the oppression women face, they need to obey their men and suppress their voices as the traditions have passed down for centuries. An example of this in the book can be found when Maiguru who is a well-educated headmaster of the mission school is expected to clean and cook and prepare everything for her extended family as they were visiting from school

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