Chanda's Secrets-the Stigma of Aids

1429 Words Dec 19th, 2011 6 Pages
Stigma is shown throughout many subjects; obesity, mental illness and the most powerful and worse stigma; the stigma of AIDS. The stigma of AIDS is clearly shown through a powerful story set in the middle of the African HIV and AIDS pandemic. The novel Chanda’s secrets accurately demonstrates the stigma of AIDS by portraying characters blinded by fear, being ashamed, feeling sinful, and living in denial. The stigma is shown through a maturing young girl’s point of view, seeing others and as well as herself confronting the different ‘symptoms’ of the stigma and what steps both she and the other characters took to overcome them.
To begin with, being blinded by fear is associated with the Stigma of AIDS. Most people are blinded by fear when
…show more content…
Mrs. Tafa did not want Chanda being around Esther because she knew what would be said behind Chanda’s back. She knew what rumours would be spread, what gossip would be exaggerated. She also said this because she did not what the neighbourhood to know she was living next to children who associated with AIDS infected people. This is a method on how the author chose to show that being ashamed is part of the stigma of AIDS.

Likewise, sin/feeling sinful is also part of the stigma of AIDS. In small, sub Saharan African villages such as the ones previously mentioned, having such a well known, yet feared disease could begin questions, and judgemental opinions to be made. If a person has the virus, it could send a message that the person has been ‘sleeping around’. To further explain how sin is part of the stigma of AIDS, Mama was thought of as somewhat of a whore/slut by her family, because she had four husbands, when she was originally supposed to marry the man her parents picked out for her. Lilian’s family believes that because she refused to marry Tuelo, a curse was brought upon her. They concluded that her loved ones were dead because she dishonoured the family and ancestors. They believe her children and husbands died as a form of punishment. An example of Mama feeling sinful would be when just as Auntie Lizbet is just about to leave for Tiro and she says to Mama “as you sow, so you reap sister. The sins are visited upon
Open Document