Tambu’s journey progresses from “entrapment to rebellion to escape”. How is this made clear in the novel?
Tsiti Dangarembga’s novel ‘Nervous Conditions’ follows the main character Tambu and her desire and attempts to receive an education. In this novel, to achieve her goal, Tambu escapes entrapment, rebels against her familiy’s and culture’s ways, before she escapes from poverty which restricted her and the burdens and expectations of womanhood. This process from “entrapment to rebellion to escape” is made clear to the reader through Tambu’s actions, her interactions with others and how other characters respond to her. Tambu’s life revolves around gender inequality and poverty and the only way she will escape from these “burdens” to freedom is through her persistant attempts in order to gain it. Tambu was raised on her families farm and in deep poverty and was supported by her Uncle, Babamukuru. At the beginning of the novel, Tambu and her family believes that she will be another victim of gender inequality and restricted by the traditions and expectations of women in her culture. Also, the effects on colonialism and settlers on Tambu is disasterous as she is destined to be forever in poverty and never in the same social class or level as the ‘Whites’ if it wasn’t for the death of her brother Nhamo, which gave her the opportunity to attend school.This caused controversy in her family because that she was a girl and in that time and in her culture and family, “the needs and sensibilities of the women” were “not considered a priority or even legitimate” thus Tambu’s education was not essential. Tambu has the opportunity to escape the entrapment of poverty, colonisation and being a female. It is largely through her actions that Tambu’s journey and escape from poverty and womanhood which warrants rebellion. Tambu’s rebellion was her desire to continue her education so she could escape poverty and gender inequality and not fall for the expectations of woman in her...
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