Nervous Conditions

Victims Victims Everywhere!: Getting to the core of the anti-colonial struggle and the relationship between African men and women

"The victimization, I saw, was universal. It didn't depend on poverty, on lack of education or on tradition. It didn't depend on any of the things I had thought it depended on" (Dangarembga, 115). These ideas, which had been ingrained in Tambu since she was a child, came crashing down while she attended her uncle's school. Her education there was not only one of textbooks and essays, but also an unveiling of the awful truths about the male-female and settler-native relationship that existed in her society. Her cousin Nyasha was already aware of the intricacies of these relationships and eventually had an emotional breakdown because of them. Through Tsitsi Dangarembga's skillful writing of Nervous Conditions, one can see the core of the conflict between Nyasha and her parents when they examine her sudden breakdown. The dynamics of their relationship stem from the colonization of Babamukuru and Maiguru's past and parallel the relationship of African men and women.

Nyasha's outburst hits the core of the problems that exist between her and her controlling parents. Dangarembga carefully chooses Nyasha's words when she says, "'They've done it to me,' she accused, whispering...

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