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The contexts of her story : an exploration of race, power and gender in selected novels of Bessie Head

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dc.contributor.advisor Levey, David en
dc.contributor.author Ngomane, Elvis Hangalakani en
dc.date.accessioned 2009-08-25T10:50:06Z
dc.date.available 2009-08-25T10:50:06Z
dc.date.issued 2009-08-25T10:50:06Z
dc.date.submitted 2004-11 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10500/1157
dc.description.abstract This study explores the triple imbrications of race, power and gender in the selected novels of Bessie Head. A critical analysis of Maru (1971) and A Question of' Power (1974) is undertaken with a view to identifying the subordinating and the marginalising tropes that result in silencing of female subjectivities in Head's protagonists. Linked to a critical reading of the novels, this study examines the role of cultural and psychological forces in maintaining patriarchal hegemony, which is based upon hierarchy and domination of women rather than equality. Furthennore, this dissertation suggests that Head's depiction of narrow ethnic and racial bigotry serves a broader etiological purpose of accounting for "the state of thingsff within the South African context. Thus this study oscillates between the abstract constructs and the concrete social experiences within which Bessie Head's literary imagination subsists. In this study, particular attention is paid, in addition to critiques of individual texts, to some of Head's biographical elements with a view on the one hand, to highlighting the moments, events and issues which are reflected as " contexts of her-story" and on the other, to amplifying how Head's formative experiences contribute to her critique of the exploitative racially structured narratives. By using Foucault's theories within the social constructionist model, this dissertation aims to demonstrate the insidious intersections between racism and sexism and how these constructs are implicated in the conception and construction of power. Specifically, this study argues that due to their arbitrary applications, racial and sexual difference be viewed as dynamic and contested, rather than fixed. A synthesis is reached which accords literarure a role within the framework of socio-cultural practice in general. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (103 p.)
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Bessie Head en
dc.subject Power
dc.subject Gender
dc.subject Identity
dc.subject Margin
dc.subject Centre
dc.subject Race
dc.subject Discourse
dc.subject Novels
dc.subject Patriarchy
dc.subject Sexuality
dc.subject Madness
dc.subject.ddc 823.914
dc.subject.lcsh Head, Bessie, 1937-1986 -- Criticism and interpretation
dc.subject.lcsh Head, Bessie, 1937-1986 -- Question of power
dc.subject.lcsh Gender in literature
dc.subject.lcsh Identity (Philosophical concept) in literature
dc.subject.lcsh Power (Social sciences) in literature
dc.subject.lcsh Women, Black -- South Africa -- Social conditions
dc.title The contexts of her story : an exploration of race, power and gender in selected novels of Bessie Head en
dc.type Dissertation en
dc.description.department English Studies en
dc.description.degree M.A. (English) en


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