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African American Womans cultural production is about change. Many African American writers have confessed that they are motivated to write by the constant urge to change the status quo: (patriarchy), to begin to recreate positive selfrperception, Many of these writers have created woman in their literature as woman of strength and stride but also of active sociopolitical change. Several AfricanrArnerican woman, are highlighted in this chapter as agencies of change, Nervous Conditions, by Tsitsi Dangaremjas, was one of my favorite story lines.
The woman characters in Nervous Conditions show a radical change in awareness, although they are unable to change their Situations entirely. Tambu represents a woman who is always aware of her oppression as an African American woman in the 605. Tambu takes initiative to fight this discrimination and she is very anxious to pull away from the circle of poverty she is surrounded by. Furthermore, her parents stop Tambus education because they would prefer to educate her brother instead.
Outside of the home duties, very seldom did woman further their education, during this time, Tambus dreams appear to be lost, Tambus cousin, Nyasha helps her to see that it isjust as important for her to go to school as it is her brother.
In Nervous Conditions. Tambu and Nyasha represent woman who are fully aware of their oppression and are ready to resist it. These women are redefining themselves socially. Tambus father raises certain ideas that signify the beliefs and ideologies of men during this period. Tambus father asks her, Can you cook books and feed them to your husband, Like many other woman today.
I found this comment to be quite discriminatory, it really hit home!
At the end of the story, many of the female characters have evolved from a passive awareness. These women are ready to rise to their feet and no longer accept subiugation. What i found to be particularly interesting about this story were the names that Dunjarebias chose to use in her stoiy. The names chosen are deliberately used to highlight the gender preoccupation. For example, Tambudzai means struggle to point out this unrest child struggling to break free from a society that tells her. she isnt allowed to further her education. Another story that is touched upon is Ama Ata Aidos, Changes. Her brave woman. Esi Sekyi is split between her successful career and meeting the demands of her husband, who is not happy With their situation. Sekyi is working all the time. Her career is more important in her life, at this time in her life and chooses work over her husband. Sekyi then accepts a poiygamous marriage, as a means of placrng herself in the new social envrronment. From a womans standpoint, I found this story to be extremely empowering. The ladies in, Woman are Different, demand respect from society In this novel Nwapa portrays these woman as strong, foot soldiers, Like our foot soldiers; the characters depicted in modern African settings have begun to shift. for the better. These writers are searching for self respect and selfrassertion they are on ajourney to redefinition.
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