Essay Nervous Conditions By Tsitsi Dangarembga

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The answer she gets is clear but not satisfiable: “It’s the same everywhere. From this moment she becomes determined to change her position and she starts doing it by making her own money for the primary education from the maize she grows in her garden.

“Symbolically, it is also an attempt to define herself in a male world” (Uwakweh n. In Tambu’s life this is the first and major step towards her escape as by making money from the maize she can break free from the environment of inequality by going to school and also prove to her parents that she can pay for her education when they are not able to.

Although the Africans had an established medium of education, western education came to replace it and this education under the fa�ade of benefiting the society was there to exploit the people.

Western education destroyed the people's culture exploiting their intellect and their labor.

Thus, when her brother dies she is not sorry as she cannot wait for her opportunity to go to school at the mission and escape from the place of oppression.

Even though, Tambu succeeds in getting her education by moving to her uncle’s house at the mission, she does not get better treatment from men as Babamukuru controls her and defines her social status, which has not change.When Tambu makes the effort to change her status it is Nhamo who tries to destroy her dreams and their father does not support her either.After getting an opportunity to be the only educated man in the family, Nhamo easily falls into his gender role of a patriarch and he uses his position to cause Tambu pain.According to Moyana, Nhamo stands for patriarchy and sexism in this novel because he not only destroys Tambu’s effort to get to school by ruining her garden but he also bullies both sisters around when making them carry his luggage and therefore, he practices sexism and male chauvinism on both (28).Tambu successfully resists the oppression from her brother when she ignores him; however, as a child of eight she does not understand the gender roles and the unjust treatment.Their father provides no encouragement for Tambu either but quite the opposite as he says: “Can you cook books and feed them to your husband? He defines Tambu’s future role of a wife and mother and does not let her wish for anything more than is her gender role.The actions and comments from the men in Tambu’s family make her question things and ideas of the society.He is her guardian at the mission and because he provides for the whole family he demands to be even more respected than Tambu’s father did.As Tambu is the narrator of the novel one reads her thoughts and senses how important Babamukuru is for her.The experiences they have from childhood have shaped their characters so even when they become best friends at the mission they choose to react to the patriarchal society in different ways and they never approve of each other’s decisions.Tambu has been raised in Africa and so the African tradition is rooted deeply inside her.


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