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Wildness in Doris Lessing's African stories

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dc.contributor.advisor Hooper, M.J.
dc.contributor.author Louw, Pacticia Marion
dc.date.accessioned 2013-04-18T06:48:53Z
dc.date.available 2013-04-18T06:48:53Z
dc.date.issued 2003
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10530/1185
dc.description Submitted to the Faculty of Arts in Partial Fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Arts in the Department of English at the University of Zululand, South Africa, 2003. en_US
dc.description.abstract Doris Lessing's two volumes of African Stories, This Was the Old Chiefs Country and The Sun Between Their Feet, are an important part of her African writings. Perhaps not as well known as her novel, The Grass is Singing, and The Children of Violence series, the stories reflect her childhood and adolescence in a district of Rhodesia in the colonial era and they give a vivid picture of the settler society and the African terrain. Settler society, in the stories, is made up of various subgroups defined by age, culture and gender. My study analyses the way in which members of these subgroups react to wildness in the environment. Recent trends in ecological criticism have drawn attention to the significance of landscape in literature. Indeed, in Lessing's stories 'wildness', the natural environment, the 'bush', serves as far more than a mere background to human activity. Often it acts as a point of reference in terms of which different individuals define themselves and interact with others. 'Wiidness' is particularly significant in this regard as it stands as a challenge to the colonial imperative of taming and cultivating. Thus there is often a tension between those who embrace wiidness and those who reject it. Children are a particularly significant sub-group because they respond with openness and imagination to the invitation of wild spaces, and because their presence on the margins of the adult world enables them to act as silent and unnoticed observers in places where adults would have been denied access. The freshness of the children's responses to people and to nature shows up the limitations of the adult world and so provides an ironic commentary which exposes some of the forces underlying colonialism. Relationships across linguistic, cultural and racial barriers are likewise affected by wildness and defined in terms of it. The short story is a particularly flexible genre. My study demonstrates that the two collections are a significant part of Lessing's representation of colonial society because they allow her to explore the complexities of the colonial situation and the colonial process. The construction of 'wildness' in the stories is a crucial aspect of this exploration. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Zululand en_US
dc.subject English literature. en_US
dc.subject Doris Lessing en_US
dc.subject African literature en_US
dc.title Wildness in Doris Lessing's African stories en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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