Colonization was one of the bitterest phenomena during the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century. Imperial powers colonized some particular territories and plundered their capital. Beside economic damages, the colonizers obliterated local cultures of their colonies and imposed new ideologies on native people. Western cultural hegemony resulted in the formation of a new hybrid identity in the colonized natives. This article investigates Tsitsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions (1988) through a postcolonial approach. Nervous Conditions relate the double suffering of females in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, a former colony of Britain. Rhodesia was a settler colony where the whites’ minority deposed local rulers late in the nineteenth century and began to administer the territory. The main discussion of this paper consists of two sections. The first part analyses gender discrimination as a great obstacle for women in the colonized Rhodesia, and the second part deals with racial discrimination practiced by colonizers, as well as the identity crisis experienced by the natives. Since colonization is one of the consequences of imperialism and postcolonial literature examines its consequences, this article begins with a brief introduction regarding postcolonial literature and British imperialism followed by a short background of Rhodesia.
Key words: Nervous Conditions, postcolonial literature, imperialism, racial and gender discrimination, identity crisis.
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