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I'll be at QuiltCon from tomorrow through the weekend, so there might It's finally time to start the Hidden Stars Sew Along!! I'm so excited that you've decided to sew along with Under the umbrella of feministic practices, women starting with the girl child are no longer to be left behind in the affairs of the society. It is just as Acholonu captures it:. Women should no longer be decorative accessories, objects to be moved about and companions to be flattered or claimed with promises.
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Women must be encouraged to take keen interest in the destiny of the country. The novels under this label are a mixture of realism. In other words, they are graphic representations of ordinary events and experiences and their detailed descriptions, with elements of fantasy and surrealism. Other features of this type of fiction are dreamlike states, mythic elements and supernatural forces, as well as fairy-tales 9. In the characterization of especially the major characters of the novel, Duiker reveals his feminist patterning. We begin with the female protagonist, Nolitye.go site
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Contrary to the traditional gender roles of the female child as weak, uncritical, etc. That she is made a responsible only daughter is worthy of note, given that in patriarchal consciousness, the female child is of little, or no, use in societal development. This pattern of creating useful and responsible daughters resonates in many a feminist novel.
Nolitye is also made to be very intelligent, especially because of her education. This is a very important characterization technique seeing that the girl-child is usually denied education. Thus, by creating an intelligent female character, whose main interest is mathematics a subject that is usually regarded as masculine, because it is wrongly assumed that females are not analytically-inclined , Duiker clearly makes a strong feminist statement: females, like their male counterpart, can be as educated, if not more.
The fact that Nolitye is also made to take on the huge task of reuniting her discordant society is not coincendental. The use of her intelligence and strong-will, as well as empowerment as the keeper of stones is a testament to the fact that, if given the opportunity, women can successfully carry the responsibility of building the society.
Duiker makes his female characters, apart from those of the old generation, leaders. And he ensures that they carry out this leadership role well.
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On her part, Nolitye successfully coordinates the activities of Bheki and Four Eyes. Rotten Nellie also manages her role as the leader of the gang of Spoilers successfully. Rotten Nellie adopts a radical approach to leadership, which could be seen as her way of combating the masculine forces that oppresses her society. She subverts the ordering of male-famale. We find her radical feminist streak especially in this instance:. She knows her comment will drive Rotten Nellie mad. This instance, though vaguely so, encapsulate the feminist pattern of sisterhood, or female bonding—a pattern that is also noticeable in many novels of feminist writers.
Oppositional representation is another feminist pattern that Duiker uses in his characterization. The advantage of these characterization patterning is that it helps to avoid failing of stereotypical representation in the feminist fiction. Even though earlier rejections of the forms of narrative which preceded the emergence of the novel form established by Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, and Henry Fielding, was on the accusation that it is fantastic thus, unrealistic , the coagulation of the magical with the realistic is now regarded as the truer or more enriching form of the novel.
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Magical paradigms in the novel range from myth, the supernatural, folktales, fantasy, surrealism, to dream-like states or trance. At some point, even Nolitye finds no disparity between dreams and reality:. All her father does is hold her close to him. The myth of Nkulunkulu is an example of mythical content in the novel. On fairy-tale, Nomakhosi represents the guardian angel trope. Duiker, through his characterization of both female and male characters along feminist patterns, and his exploration of the magical realist mode of narrative, passes as a writer worth his salt.
It should not be surprising, then, that he becomes a source of inspiration for aspiring south African writers. Like Duiker has done, it behoves on all and sundry to continue to spread the true knowledge and make it become not a hidden, but a conspicuous star. Adunmi, Joseph. Bodunde Eds.
Criticism, Theory and Ideology in African Literature. Ilorin: Dept. Catherine, Acholonu.