Welcome to our class blog

Please feel free to use this blog to post ideas and comments related to the readings and topics of the course, or spurred by class discussions.

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6 thoughts on “Welcome to our class blog”

  1. Questions for discussion Fri. Sept. 7th:

    1) Something that stuck out to me was the use of Tambu’s native language throughout the novel with little explanation of the meanings of these words. Tambu also expresses a lot of anger when she finds out that her cousins and her brother have forgotten Shona (pg. 42, 53). What role do English and Shona play in the novel? What is the significance of Tambu’s own story being narrated in both English and Shona?

    2) Another quote that has stuck with me as we continue to read is from Tambu’s mother’s speech early on in the text about the “burden of being a woman” where she ends with “As these days it is worse, with the poverty of blackness on one side and the weight of womanhood on the other” (pg. 14) How does this tension play out in the lives of the other women in the novel? Even though Miaguru is kind of alienated from the rest of her family because of her education, is her situation (or Nyahsa’s) really better off or different from the other women?

  2. Discussion for Sept. 12 (I posted this as a comment because I could not figure out how to create a post. I will convert this into a post when I educate myself on how to do so.)

    1. On page 115, the scene in which Nyasha hits her father takes place. This is a very interesting moment because Tambu starts challenging her perceptions of proper and improper female behavior. Tambu observes that Babamukuru condemns Nyasha to “whoredom, making her a victim of her femaleness…” (pg. 115) She goes on to say, “Femaleness as opposed and inferior to maleness.”
    Why does Tambu have such a hard time contemplating these concepts in that particular moment? What kind of challenges do these realizations present?

    2. My favorite quote of the book so far occurs on page 119. Tambu explains, “Now that Nyasha was alright I felt sorry for my uncle, who would not be able to shed the tears that would wash away his grief.”
    It is extremely important to understand that feminism not only challenges beliefs that create an inconvenient world for women, but also challenges beliefs that are detrimental to men. What does this quote say about masculinity? In what other ways is Babamukuru weighed down by his manhood?

  3. The reoccurring theme of womanhood is presented several times throughout chapters six and seven as we get a sense of what kind of “freedoms” women have at this time in the novel; The argument that turns into a physical fight between Nyasha and Babamukuru is a pivotal moment showing the extent of women’s “freedoms”. Nyasha is defiant of her father throughout the novel, but in this argument Babamukuru makes it clear that there cannot be “two men” in the house. I think that this is important because it shows the patriarchal way of life that is reflected not only in society, but in the home. It shows what women are and are not expected to do and the manner that these expectations should be taken. I think that Nyasha is trying to rise above the patriarchal way of life and the expectations of women. She feels the “victimization” that Tambudi reflects thoughtfully on at the end of page 117 to page 118.

    This conflict brings about another theme of the book of how the characters identify themselves.
    “So to put myself on the right path I took refuge in the image of the grateful poor female relative. That made everything a lot easier.” Pg. 118
    Nyashas argument with Babamukuru reminded Tambudi of the determination she had to get out of her situation back on the homestead, striving to make enough money to go to school and better her circumstances. Nyasha is doing the same thing but in a different situation. She is determined to not be controlled by men, but to be able to control her own future. Tambudi would rather not be defiant and do what is expected of her in order to make things “easy” now that she is being educated. I think that Tambudi has yet to see what it is like for women to control their own lives and so she accepts her situation. Nyasha has seen what it is like in England and therefore wants the freedoms that women have there. Pg. 119
    “… I sensed the conflict she was going through of self versus surrender…” pg. 120
    I think this conflict inside Nyasha is her trying to decide to be true to herself and her desires or to surrender to her father by being the woman she is expected to be, doing what the men think she should do.
    “…But he has no right to treat me like that, as though I am water to be poured wherever he wants.” Pg. 121

    1. How is education beneficial for a woman in this strong patriarchal situation?

    2. Should Babamukuru be regarded as a “hero” for the opportunities he has given his wife, Nyasha, and Tambudi?

    ** I did not see the “new post” link/button on the page so I left my information as a coment as well …

  4. Once you’re logged in, go to the “Introduction to World Literature” label on the black ruler at the top of the blog. You will get an option to post under “new”

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