Nervous Conditions Paper

1781 WordsApr 7, 20048 Pages
"Pass the Brainwash Please, On Second Thought…" "Quietly, unobtrusively and extremely fitfully, something in my mind began to assert itself, to question things, and to refuse to be brainwashed…" The main character, Tambudzai, in the novel Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga, is determined to get a white education without losing her native tongue and ways. However this proves to be more difficult that she would expect and seeds that are planted in her mind by the whites begin to take shape, and greatly affect her existence. I will begin by giving an overview of the story leading up to the point where Tambu heads off to begin her education at the missionary school. Next I show how Tambu has already been brainwashed into believing…show more content…
What she does not see directly is the effect that a white, English education will have on her. She has been brainwashed because she believes that a white English education is better than the education she would received within her hometown culture. Tambu has to battle several influences in order to refuse to be brainwashed. First and foremost she had to overcome her own thought process that a white education was better than the education she received at home because it was white. Originally Tambu's pursuit of this white, English based education causes her to be cut off from her parents who maintain the traditional cultures and values. The very education that allows her to survive in this magical new world of education which was created by colonialism is the same thing that cuts her off from her heritage. Second she must overcome the influence that her uncle's ideas have over her. Tambu must realize that her uncle's ideas are often white and were assimilated into him while he was attaining his white education. For example her uncle Babamukuru comes up with the idea that Tambu's parents must get married, which is a white tradition, to clear their family of the sins that are causing the families hardships. The idea that sex outside of marriage is a sin was brought about by the whites. The Africans believed in sex
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