Graduation Year

2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

English

Major Professor

Hunt Hawkins

Keywords

ecocriticism, gardens, patriarchy, postcolonial, solidarity, utopianism

Abstract

This thesis examines the presence of unhu, a process of becoming and remaining human through community ties, in Nervous Conditions and The Book of Not by Tsitsi Dangarembga. Dangarembga interrogates corrupt versions of community by creating positive examples of unhu that alternatively foster community building. Utilizing ecocritical, utopian, and postcolonial methodologies, this thesis postulates that these novels stress the importance of retaining a traditional concept like unhu while also acknowledging the need to adjust it over time to ensure its vitality. Both novels depict the creativity and resilience of unhu amid toxic surroundings.

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