The Whale Rider

“Now I shall make myself a man” Nany Flowers

“Now I shall make myself a man”, said Nanny Flower’s ancestor Muriwai when she had to take charge of a crucial situation in the past. Can someone give examples of other situations in the novel when this theme comes back and can someone describe it with feminist criticism terminology? Are there comparable situations in reality? Which ones? How could that affect the relationships between the sexes in society?

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Last updated by Aslan
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The story is all about strong-willed female characters. The main protagonist of the story—Kahu—as well as many of the other protagonists, including Nanny and Muriwai all are brave, independent female characters. Their stories are meant to empower young women by giving examples of heroines, brave, strong, and dedicated who can do just as much as any male. This is particularly poignant in the setting of Whangara, whose chief Koro refuses to see women as potential leaders in Whangara’s future. As the author explains in his introductory notes, the inspiration of this story came from his two young daughters, who were seeking female role models in a male-dominated literature. This work is meant in part to fulfill that desire by being, in a way, an expression of the "Girl Power" trend of the 90s.