Last Updated 10 Mar 2020

Notions of Differences in Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga

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Identify the three notions of differences mentioned in the attached documents in Nervous Conditions and show how they relate to issues of identity. Three notions of differences : 1. The act of veiling 2. The use of silence 3. The question of subjectivity 1)The act of veiling will result in loss of identity as the people choose to remain oppressed by the so called more superior people. These people chose to stay veiled by the more superior and fighting against because they somehow felt comfortable and is alright with the current situation.

However, this is extremely injustice towards the people who takes the act of veiling to protect themselves. Eventually, the so-called more superior people will dominate the people and seize more power against them. Tambudzai, the main character of Nervous Conditions who realizes that she did not want to be oppressed, stood up to take off the mask of veiling to avoid being continuously oppressed by the more superior men in her life.

Slowly, Tambu is said to lose her identity as an African as she no longer follows her original traditions and yet started to fantasize the West and follows the western culture. 2)The use of silence can be clearly seen in mostly the elder women in Nervous Conditions. Women in the story is constantly oppressed by the men however they did not choose to fight for their rights but remained silent and followed whatever the men says. This can lead to the loss of dignity of women and also human rights.

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Tradition says women should only learn how to be housewives and not receive education. Looking into this matter, women should all stand up and protest against their rights and that women too can serve the country well with proper education. Remaining silent is really not a good solution to problems as it will only lead to greater problems in the future. 3) The question of subjectivity consists of ideas and opinions of a person and the choice that would like to be made by the person.

Everyone has their own thinking and behaviour and people are different in terms of that. Oppression is an act that takes away people’s thinking and in fact oppressing them with matters that they don’t like. Subjectivity is indeed a subjective matter where normally people cannot question about it. People should be given opportunities to have their own opinions and not having to blindly follow what other people says. At times, we might be at the right side and we do have to voice out if the opponent is actually wrong.

There are distinct differences between the three notions but they actually work together to form a strong barrier that makes people fear of voicing out or speaking out. The women mentioned in Nervous Conditions often comprises the three notions that made them incomparable the men. They had to follow what the men say and silently doing their assigned duties without uttering a word. This is hard for the women as they slowly lose their identities as women and the chance of being at equal with the men.

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Notions of Differences in Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga. (2017, Dec 16). Retrieved from

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