Skip Nav

Nervous Conditions Essays (Examples)

Essay Topic 2

❶Audience The audience an author has in mind for a written work inevitably influences the way in which the author writes it. Harvard Business Review, 35 5 ,

Essay Topic 1

How to Write Literary Analysis
How to cite this page
From the SparkNotes Blog

She is allowed to stay with her aunt and uncle while she attends school at the mission. While there, Tambu shares a room with her cousin, Nyasha and the girls teach each other many lessons.

Nyasha spent most of her formative years in England while her mother and father were getting their education. When she comes back to Africa she realizes the vast differences between European culture and African culture--especially where women are concerned. She experiences inner turmoil as she tries to come to terms with being a woman in Africa.

As we see Nyasha's struggles through the eyes of Tambu, we begin to understand the continuing devastation countries are experiencing as a result of colonization by another culture. Tsitsi Dangarembga was born in Rhodesia, now called Zimbabwe in She lived in England from age two through age six. She then returned to Rhodesia and finished her schooling in a missionary school there. She returned to England to pursue a degree in medicine at Cambridge University but homesickness soon drove her back to Africa.

She continued her education in Africa studying first psychology and eventually film production and direction. Nervous Conditions is Dangarembga's first novel.

She has also written a play entitled She No Longer Weeps. The Duality of Oppression: African Women Fighting for Voice. Women in Africa must not only liberate themselves from the influences of colonial rule--they are also fighting the effects of patriarchal traditions in the history of their culture. Tsitsi Dangarembga's portrayal of five women in her novel Nervous Conditions is a striking reminder that African women are under a double yoke when it comes to making their voices heard.

Pauline Ada Uwakweh, in her essay, "Debunking Patriarchy: The Liberational Quality of Voicing in Tsitsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions ," proposes three categories of women characters in the novel: Uwakweh presents Tambu and Lucia as escaped females, Tambu's mother and Aunt Maiguru as entrapped females, and Nyasha as the rebellious female although there has been some discussion of whether Lucia is truly "escaped" because she is still dependent on Babamukuru's money to gain her independence.

Tambu's mother is one of the entrapped females. She is bound both by the laws of her culture and the social stratification of colonialism. Because of her gender she will never be seen as more than a possession of the men in her family even though it is through the fruits of her labor that her son is able to go to school and food it put on the table.

Because of her poverty, she will never reach an equal status with whites or the educated Africans. In addition, she is consumed with the fear of the fatal attraction of Englishness which, in her eyes, is devouring her family one by one. Maiguru , although educated, is as entrapped as Tambu's mother. Her education only serves to make her more resentful of her entrapment. Maiguru is still subjected to the demands of her husband and the men of her community.

She knows and understands the "European way" but years of ingrained culture and patriarchy force her to keep silent and obedient. Maiguru's education is viewed as an oddity.

The people of her village assume she was simply taking care of her husband and her family while they lived in England. Nyasha is the rebellious female. She has had the benefit of a British education and knows first hand what kind of lives women in Europe lead. She is ever aware of the differences in the way Shona women are treated compared with the treatment of British women.

Unlike her mother, Nyasha has no memories of traditions and customs to silence her voice. Instead she finds herself caught between two worlds.

Her schoolmates shun her for her white mannerisms and she has no Shona mannerisms to fall back on. Nyasha is truly a woman without a home, and as she struggles to make a place for herself in society, she finds that the effort just may kill her. Lucia can be seen as either escaped or entrapped. She is escaped because she doesn't care what people think. She is set on gaining an education and bettering herself and will use any means available to achieve those goals. She is entrapped, however, because she still relies on the men in the family, primarily Babamukuru, to fund her education.

Tambu is the promise of the escaped female. She views the cultural differences in social status and gender equality from a vantage point. She has experienced secondhand through her female relatives the effects of patriarchal rule on women's self-worth and the effects of cultural conflict when Africans allow colonial ideals to displace their African roots.

Tambu comes close to forgetting her culture but her mother's caution always returns to remind her and ground her in the reality of her ethnic heritage. Dangarembga chooses to portray these five women in this way because she is one of them. She is an African woman trying to find her voice in a male dominated world.

Considering the double yoke of the effects of patriarchy and colonization that African women must overcome, it is little wonder that more and more African women writers are creating characters like those in Nervous Conditions.

Stay at home with your mother. Learn to cook and clean. Grow vegetables" from Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga. In contemporary America it is often difficult for us to comprehend the acceptance of status relative to gender, yet, in both of these books we are hit in the face with the reality of gender "discrimination" in the African education system.

I put discrimination in quotation because I am viewing this from an ethnocentric background which believes in equality regardless of race, religion, gender, etc.

In The Joys of Motherhood, Nnu Ego and her husband, Nnaife, give up everything so that their eldest son, Oshia, can have the benefit of an education. The leftover money, if there had been any, would go to educate their second son, Adim. There was never any thought given to educating their daughters. Daughters were looked at as an investment. Hopefully, they would marry well and bring in a good bride price which would most likely go towards their brothers' education. Nnu Ego assumes that her sons will come home to live and will care for her as she ages.

Nervous Conditions, although it takes place in an entirely different area of the African continent, reflects the same values of gender education.

Nhamo, the only male heir, was selected by the elders of his family to receive an education. He was then expected to get a good job and provide for his family. When Nhamo dies, the family eventually decides that it will be acceptable for Tambu, the eldest daughter, to receive an education since there were no more male sons. Tambu is also expected to provide for her family after she graduates and there is quite a bit of discussion among her family members about the worthlessness of her education since she would eventually only be helping out her husband's family and not her own.

Both of these books seem to reflect the experiences women have had all over the world as they fought for their independence and equality. We have a difficult time accepting that these beliefs are still being practiced in some areas of the world. Adeola James goes so far as to suggest that "the real reason for the tragic disruption of society depicted in Things Fall Apart [by Chinua Achebe] is because the female principle is neglected whilst the male principle, with its strong-headedness and inflexibility, is promoted above all else" James In her interview with James, Buchi Emecheta responds to James' assertion: At the end of that rape we find it is women who bring things together.

Whereas, if they had allowed women to take part all along, maybe the rape would not have taken place" James Through their writing both of these authors attempt to bring to light the unfairness that still exists between genders regarding education in Africa. Although both writers were able to eventually receive an education, they realize that many of their African sisters do not and will not have the same opportunities unless someone speaks up for them--at least until they learn to speak for themselves.

Why Dangarembga Chose Anorexia. The first white couple they approach demonstrates the attitude of whites toward blacks in Rhodesia: Matimba for putting a little girl to work selling mealies. They do not buy any, but Doris hands a wad of money to Mr. Matimba anyway, after he lies to her, telling her that Tambu is an orphan.

When Babamukuru and his family returned from England, Nhamo and his father take the trip to meet them at the airport and Tambu and her mother scramble to find the provisions for a feast. Although Babamukuru seems to have remained humble and helps with the physical labor on the homestead whenever he comes to visit, education affects Nhamo differently; he resents the poverty he was raised in. As the narrator describes the scene in when her brother did not return home from school on the bus as expected, the theme of gender inequality is introduced.

Nhamo never carried his own luggage, but expected the women in his family to serve him. The tone of her language is resentful; obviously, seven is old enough, but the Government has low expectations for African children.

Matimba takes Tambu into town for the purpose of selling the maize she has grown on her garden plot, they end up begging for a handout instead. Black people who gather to watch Doris hand Mr. Matimba a wad of money are of mixed opinions: Eventually he earned a scholarship to South Africa because he worked so hard: Nervous Conditions Summary and Analysis. Accessed September 14, We will write a custom essay sample on Nervous Conditions Summary and Analysis specifically for you.

Leave your email and we will send you an example after 24 hours If you contact us after hours, we'll get back to you in 24 hours or less. Nervous Conditions Summary and Analysis Essay. How to cite this page Choose cite format:

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

- "Nervous Conditions" is a semi-autobiographical story about Tambu, a young girl growing up in rural Rhodesia in the 's, and her search for a way out - for both herself and her family - of the tremendous poverty of homestead life .

Privacy FAQs

Nervous Conditions Questions and Answers. The Question and Answer section for Nervous Conditions is a great resource to ask questions, find .

About Our Ads

Although the situation has improved a lot with the enforcement of laws and with the help of education, there are still many girls out there who are still suffering silently, helplessly, in the dark. This is exactly what happened to the African women and girls in Nervous Conditions written by Tsi Tsi Dangarembga in The narrator, Tambudzai, Tambu for short, begins this story at the end: “I was not sorry when my brother died. ” That happened in the year , and the first chapter sets the context for that event.

Cookie Info

Nervous Conditions Essay Topics & Writing Assignments Tsitsi Dangarembga This set of Lesson Plans consists of approximately pages of tests, essay questions, lessons, and other teaching materials. Nervous Conditions essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis .