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What is in Mother’s life

Mother is one of my favorite characters in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s She No Longer Weeps. The mother is one of the important characters in this text. With the aid of her actions, words and relationships it is easier to deal with themes (issues) to do with gender relations, patriarchal influence, inter-generational conflicts, resistance and change in the text.

She bears the brunt of patriarchy regardless of the reasoning she has a person.

She is juggling the responsibility of being a wife to a pastor (or man) who feels entitled to his manhood while mothering a woman who represents a new generation of womanhood different to hers.

She represents one of the crucial actions needed in recognising women as full human beings with rights to enjoy as well as duties and responsibilities to play in a health and complimentary manner. This action is dialogue.

As a woman from a different generation she thought ‘part of a woman’s job … [is] protecting her man’. Therefore, she implores Martha ‘to make sure he never loses control of himself.’ p.28

This of course Martha objected to. She even accused Martha of committing the sin of fornication by falling pregnant. Since it is difficult to go on without offering Martha’s response to the accusation here is her wonderful response during the conversation:

Mother if I tell you I slept with Freddy because I loved him would you understand? I don’t think so, because I don’t want the things you wanted, I am not the same sort of person as you. You grew up in a world where women were mad out of lace vests, or at least they pretended to be. But today we are not afraid to let it be known that we are flesh and blood too, so the problems of the flesh are our problems as well.

She No Longer Weeps, p.29

Mother was even prophetic of her daughter’s end after their conversation. She said ‘Now what madness is this? You sound like one of those we read about who are always being sent to jail or getting themselves jailed or something bad anyway.’

In another prophetic (and cautionary) counsel to her husband she objected to her husband’s idea of sending Martha to he aunt’s. Mother says

We are in trouble because of Martha, but my heart tells me she must stay. She is young. She has not yet developed to an age of maturity where she can use her strong will and intelligence sensibly. Who will counsel her and guide her if we send her away. I think my child will die if we send her away

She no Longer Weeps, p.39

Mother’s conclusion shows that Martha is not alone and also depicts the dire consequences of failing to reform the society into a habitable place that treats women like the human beings they are.

Mother objected to the idea of sending Martha away to her aunt’s place.

Mother realized the predicament of her daughter she she says ‘there is no one for her to turn to but God … She cannot even turn to other women because we are all so afraid of being alone and this fear poisons our thoughts against each other.’ p.37

Mother is intelligent enough to know that Martha was not mad. She sees Martha as someone to be remembered for her foresight to see ‘further than most of us are prepared to look.’ p.38

Published by advocateofunpopularopinions

I am a preacher confused in the constant happenings of life. I have been secretive about inner thoughts. Now I want to flow with them. I want to vomit. The pen is my link to the paper. The keyboard becomes the first step towards you. The internet will sort everything else considering I am not broke.

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