March 20th, 2014
Lily moya and life tells a few brief stories in Not Either an Experimental Doll. Through a discursive paper spanning one hundred years, I argue that in the South African heroine, feminism and revolutionary politics meet in changing ways. Like Lily Moya and her forebears, Olive Schreiner was brought up on a colonial mission outpost. Both Lyndall and Lily Moya exercise insistent independence of mind and will to get such access to formal "academic" education as they manage, pathetically it must be said, to gain. For both it goes badly wrong. Lyndall reviles the finishing school for young ladies her energies land her in, but learns reactively from it her satiric, powerful brand of feminism. In particular, Lyndall seeks sexual freedom and, well in advance of her time, grasps and lives by it, pragmatically dismissing and satirizing her conventional suitors by the way. By contrast, Lily Moya's childish struggle, it would appear, is compromised exactly by her defensive sense of her right to freedom from sexual molestation. Lily Moya,the fifteen year old Xhosa schoolgirl in search of a school in the late forties South Africa of the inception of apartheid (under Dr Malan in 1948). It is in early 1949 that Lily writes her first letter to Dr Mabel Palmer of Natal University. Lily was brought up on a colonial outpost mission, the black child of parents falling upon the bad times of the thirties white land grab, which pushed blacks into 8% of the country, forced black labor into the rapidly industrializing cities and induced the impoverishment of the rural Transkei. Lily’s ambition aspires to the academic education that an earlier time gave her parents and grandparent’s power and status in their rural community. Shula Marks presents Lily's story through the three way correspondence of Lily and her two mentors, Dr Mabel Palmer, the English Fabian feminist and director of the Non-European section of the University of...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document