Essay on Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga

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The bridging of native traditions with modern imperial ways has a direct effect on the minds of Zimbabwean girls and women. Dangarembga drew inspiration for her title from the quote “the condition of the nation is a nervous one”, from Frantz Franon’s book Wretched of the Earth. The reader sees this idea of nervousness displayed within the female main characters of this novel. “ Its bad enough, when a country gets colonised but when the people do as well! That’s the end, really, that’s the end. (Nervous Conditions,150). This quote stated by Nyasha addresses how colonialism and imperialism are not just cultural, political and economical, but psychological as well. It infiltrates the minds of the citizens and their very cultural existence. …show more content…
There was something unnatural about me"(Nervous Conditions,167). This deep anxiety she felt lies in her inability to stand up for her family, which because of the wedding she feels is being the joke of the family. In fact Tambu expresses while trying on her bridesmaid dress that “ the whole business reduced my parents to the level of the stars of a comic show, the entertainers. I did not want to see them brought down like that and I certainly did not want to be apart of it” (Nervous Conditions 165). Babamukuru is forcing the wedding upon her mother and father because he is dissatisfied with the un-sanctified domestic status. He sees her parents as sinners and feels the need to fix their immoral choice. Another example of imperialism invading Tambu’s mind, is when it comes to her education.Tambu feels this nervous condition take over as she prepares to start her new life at the convent. Her excitement about the opportunity she is about to embark on at the convent was met with Nyasha’s disappointment. Nyasha saw the convent as a place where you “forget who you were, what you were and why you were that”, a place where you are assimilated (Nervous Conditions,182). Once Tambu arrives at the convent she throws herself into her studies, learning “ exotic languages, like Latin, and French and Portuguese”, ( Nervous Conditions,199) which takes up most of her time so that “there was none left in