• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Use the concept of transculturation to explore 'Our Sister Killyjoy' and 'Nervous Conditions.'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Use the concept of transculturation to explore 'Our Sister Killyjoy' and 'Nervous Conditions.' Postcolonial insights include theories of Diaspora, cultural hybridity and transculturation. The latter, 'transculturation' is the term used to define 'cultural change induced by introduction of elements of a foreign culture.'1 The term 'transculturation' was first coined by Cuban anthropologist and sociologist Fernando Ortiz in 1947 to describe the phenomenon of merging and converging cultures. Transculturation covers war, ethnic conflict, racism and multiculturalism, hence it is a concept very relevant to the postcolonial period and subsequently to postcolonial literature. When transculturation affects ethnicity the term 'ethnoconvergence" comes into being and is opposed by 'ethnocentrism' the view that one's culture is of greater importance than another's. Ethnocentrism manifests itself in various aspects of culture, though the main ethnocentric divider is always religion or belief, these ethnic divides are most frequently binary. 'Our Sister Killjoy' and 'Nervous Conditions' both show aspects of transculturation, perhaps the most obvious sign are the narrator's adoption of the dominant English language to write their novels. At varying points in each novel it is also clear that both Aidoo and Dangarembga have difficulty in choosing between the two cultures in their own personal struggles with transculturation. I shall go on to explore these instances of transculturation within both novels. Tsitsi Dangarembga's 1988 novel 'Nervous Conditions' is a landmark in postcolonial literature as it was the first published English novel written by an African woman. Set in 1960's Rhodesia and emerging from the shadows of apartheid, it chronicles the life and education of Tambu and the world around her, ...read more.

Middle

Yet despite all her consciousness Nyasha is unable to save herself as she slides into madness and breakdown at the novel's conclusion. Towards the end of the novel upon Tambu's arrival at her stifled room in the convent, a white nun tells Babamukuru 'We had more Africans than usual this year and so we had to put them all in here.10' 'Neither benefactive nor probative, this colonial administrative judgement and congestive spatial arrangement subtext powerfully the coloniser-colonised relationship, which, markedly favours the coloniser at the colonised's expense.11' It is an anti-climax for Tambu who had long aspired to be there, to find that at it's most basic level the world of the convent school is no different to the world she was in previously and strived so hard to leave behind. It also shows that transculturation, the merging of European and African cultures, hasn't solved the problems. In the conclusion of 'Nervous Conditions' Tambu asks the reader to believe that Africa's absorption of 'Englishness' has caused all of the intricate problems in the story. This disclosure is an example of 'Englishness' as both a tool of revelation and a tool of oppression. Without their 'English' education, neither Nyasha nor Tambu would have had the insight to recognize their predicament. Yet ultimately Tambu takes what she requires from Western culture and brings it to bear on her traditional way of life. 'Our Sister Killjoy' was written in 1977 by Ghanaian writer Ama Ata Aidoo, it deals with the issues of colonialism, race nationality and self-discovery. ...read more.

Conclusion

1 http://www.yourdictionary.com/ahd/t/t0315300.html 2 Cantaloupe, Charles (ed) Ngugi wa Thiongo, Texts and Contexts (African World Press, 1995) Essay - Androne, Mary Jane Tsi Tsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions: An African Woman's Revisionist Narrative. pp.323-333 3 Cantaloupe, Charles (ed) Ngugi wa Thiongo, Texts and Contexts (African World Press, 1995) Article - Androne, Mary Jane Tsi Tsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions: An African Woman's Revisionist Narrative. pp.323-333 4Dangarembga, Tsi Tsi. Nervous Conditions. Scattle: The Seal Press, 1988 page 5 Dangarembga, Tsi Tsi. Nervous Conditions. Scattle: The Seal Press, 1988 page 188 6 Dangarembga, Tsi Tsi. Nervous Conditions. Scattle: The Seal Press, 1988 7 Dangarembg Tsi Tsi. Nervous Conditions. Scattle: The Seal Press, 1988 page 50 8 Dangarembga, Tsi Tsi. Nervous Conditions. Scattle: The Seal Press, 1988 page 76 9 Dangarembga, Tsi Tsi. Nervous Conditions. Scattle: The Seal Press, 1988 page 147 10 Dangarembga, Tsi Tsi. Nervous Conditions. Scattle: The Seal Press, 1988 page 11 Okonkwo p6 12 Odamtten, Vincent O. The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo: Polylectics and Reading Against Neocolonialism (Florida: University Press of Florida, 1994) page 122 13Aidoo, Ama Ata Our Sister Killjoy (New York: Longman, 1977) page 13 14Aidoo, Ama Ata Our Sister Killjoy (New York: Longman, 1977) page 57 15 Odamtten, Vincent O. The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo: Polylectics and Reading Against Neocolonialism (Florida: University Press of Florida, 1994) page 125 16 Aidoo, Ama Ata Our Sister Killjoy (New York: Longman, 1977) page 17 Aidoo, Ama Ata Our Sister Killjoy (New York: Longman, 1977) page 112 18 Pratt, Mary Louise Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation (London, Routledge 1992) Registration No 0249004 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Comparing poems section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Comparing poems essays

  1. American Studies - Migrations of identity in African American literature.

    Jim Trueblood's name is of significance within the broader theme of the novel by means of which it implies that he is "true to his blood" and existence. In the scene in which the narrator meets Trueblood with Mr Norton, it becomes evident that Trueblood's incest has become set up

  2. Free essay

    Love and loss

    telling her husband to remember her and that their relationship will end in her death, but in the last 6 lines she has a softer less demanding tone compared to the first 8 lines, she also realises her death could cause a lot of grief for her husband.

  1. Examine the way in which Culture affects the relationships of the main characters in ...

    Like Okeke and veronica are the main characters in 'Veronica', The main characters in 'country lovers' are Paulus Eysendyk a white boy who lives on a farm and Thebedi a black girl, Paulus from the 'country lovers' is a close friend to Thebedi.

  2. Clash of cultures coursework

    In "The Young Couple", Cathy and Naraian's relationship can be related back to the weather and the sky in India: "So early in the morning everything was still pastel coloured- the sky a pale washed blue, the trees a misty green- all the things which would become violent and hot".

  1. What View of African Culture is portrayed in Veronica(TM) giving a personal view(TM)?

    The story is exaggerated by far to focus these points. Okeke 'night after night...would lie listening to her screams' and all that she ever experienced was insult and abuse. The title itself, being of that nature, i.e. a name of an individual, indicates it is a story intended as an

  2. Comparison of Cousin Kate and The Seduction

    It is told from the cottage maiden's point of view. This is one point where the two poems differ, in 'The Seduction' the young girl doesn't want the baby and resorts to hiding herself away as she is too

  1. Different Cultures

    Due to the roles of men and woman in North Indian culture Guleri spent lots of time cleaning the house, feeding the animals and making food for her parents that she and Manak must have rarely seen each other. What can interest the reader is the symbol of his flute

  2. Discuss how the settings in 'The man with the twisted lip' by Sir Arthur ...

    There is a lot of reference to the after life, death and ghosts in this story. Everything seems to be in someway linked to these types of subjects. For example it says: "...saw my figure high above him." And later says "...it was made through a clammy stone, that became oozier and wetter as I went down."

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work