Thesis Writers in South Africa

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University of the Witwatersrand
2013
SOUTH AFRICAN POETRY
University of the Witwatersrand
2013
SOUTH AFRICAN POETRY

Write a comparative essay in which you provide a close critical analysis of Lisa Combrinck ‘To the Reader and Eva Bezwoda’s ‘A Woman’s Hands’. You should discuss each poet’s treatment of themes relating to womanhood and the desire for freedom. Considering relevant contextual issues as and read where appropriate. University of the Witwatersrand

WISEMAN SHABALALA
722901
ENGL1003

Write a comparative essay in which you provide a close critical analysis of Lisa Combrinck ‘To the Reader and Eva Bezwoda’s ‘A Woman’s Hands’. You should discuss each poet’s treatment of themes relating to womanhood and the desire for freedom. Considering relevant contextual issues as and read where appropriate. University of the Witwatersrand

WISEMAN SHABALALA
722901
ENGL1003

In analysing Lisa Combrinck’s ‘To the Reader and Eva Bezodwa’s ‘A Woman’s hands’ it is vital to take note of the thematic concept of freedom; the power to act, speak or think as one wants without restraint, and woman hood, the qualities considered to be the characteristic of a woman. In this text the concept of womanhood and freedom in relation to the patriarchal system within apartheid is used to interpret the interplay among images, language, tone and other poetic devices in understanding of both poems. These poems illustrate a different struggle to the one established by the concept if apartheid; they show the conflict of interests among sexes as the struggle within the struggle. Furthermore this text will illustrate my thesis in response to the poet’s ideas; patriarchal conservation was necessary to secure racial apartheid. In line 1 of ‘To the Reader, “Why should a woman not write erotic love poems?” This potent rhetorical opening line draws the reader (one that reads in context) to free his mind from stereotypes and interact with the poem within Lisa’s perception. In Eva Bezwoda’s poem, (line 3)”My hands are tired of holding”, her idea of letting go is in sync with Lisa’s line 1 as both women express the desire to be free. Line 1 of ‘To the Reader’ (as well as line 3 of ‘A Woman’s hands’) can be observed as polemic criticisms to patriarchal conservation. In this repute it is imperative to understand the degree at which gender apartheid participated in the progression of the racial apartheid dispensation in South Africa. The male role was generally believed to be superior to the women’s role to the degree that women were paid far less than men even when they did the same job and women worked longer hours for so called ‘women related jobs’ e.g. baking without benefits. The idea of woman oppression was always under the shadow of racial oppression and these poems address this issue by suggesting that the gender struggle is more important than the racial struggle. Now that the text has covered the contextual issues of the poems understanding these women’s ideas in context makes their work more coherent. The style in which both these writers convey their message is fairly similar to point that the reader would feel like they are having conversation with the speaker in regards to the fact that these poems are written in the first person voice. This idea is emphasised by the use of free verse (in the sense that there is no structure to follow the reader can read the poem without the technicality of rhythm diverting his attention from the content) and pause in some places to allow the reader to reflect on their understanding on certain lines. In Lisa’s poem she places words such as ‘oppressor’ and ‘wounds’ on separate lines independently to Challenge the reader’s perspective of these words in context. It seems like she wants the reader to reflect on these words in the sense of a different struggle, the struggle she introduces in line nine; the struggle for love. Lisa mentions the racial struggle as a reference tool for her argument where the...
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