2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Western Education and Personal Maturation in Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions and Mahfouz’s Palace of Desire
Natalie M. Gorski
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Tsitsi Dangarembga and Naguib Mahfouz explore the influence of education in Zimbabwe and Egypt respectively, on pre-existing social traditions in their respective novels, Nervous Conditions (1988) and Palace of Desire (1957). In both cases, the authors demonstrate how decisions regarding education affect the socialization of individuals. Kamal, in Palace of Desire, trades social dignity for the discovery of his own beliefs when he pursues a degree from the Teacher’s College and challenges his family’s traditional Muslim beliefs. Tambu, in Nervous Conditions, acquiesces to deracination when, attracted by the opportunities it offers, leaves her family to attend school at the mission, with the intention of improving life for herself and her family. The forms of education pursued separate each from the social norms and customs they were raised to follow, which physically and mentally alienates them from their families as they entertain Western-based thoughts derived from their educations. However, this also results in a more mature understanding of the worlds in which they live.

Keywords: education, socialization, beliefs, opportunities, Western, social, norms, customs


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 42-2
Location: OP 2115
Time: 1:30 pm

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