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Title: PATRIARCHAL SUPPRESSION AND NEUROSIS: AFRICAN WOMEN'S PLIGHT IN J. M. COETZEE'S IN THE HEART OF THE COUNTRY
Authors: KEHINDE, Ayo
Keywords: Feminism
Patriarchy
Empowerment
Suppression
Neurosis
Coetzee.
Issue Date: Dec-2006
Publisher: The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: African Study Monographs
Volume: 27
Issue: 4
Start page: 169
End page: 185
Abstract: This paper analyzes the socio-political status of African women with regard to notions of femininity, masculinity, and sexism. The discursive strategy involves a concept of feminism that deploys psychoanalytic theory. It also relies on sociological and anthropological analytical tools. The paper critically examines a J. M. Coetzee novel - In the Heart of the Country. Among the issues discussed are the following: What kind of femininity is suggested in the novel? In what way do the implied female qualities mirror a society structured by a racial and gender schism? What are the techniques employed by Coetzee to foreground women's plight in the novel? Generally, Coetzee's depiction of African women subverts and disrupts patriarchal modes of representation and containment. It also suggests that African women's full enjoyment of their human rights is a prerequisite for their empowerment, and constitutes the trademark of democracy in their continent. Magda, the protagonist of the novel, is simply one voice in a chorus that is calling for an end to patriarchal suppression in Africa, as well as for order, unity, security, and gender equality. Coetzee's text mediates the idea that African women should be empowered to decide freely on matters relating to all aspects of their lives.
DOI: 10.14989/68252
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2433/68252
Appears in Collections:Vol.27 No.4

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