A Critical Appreciation of Victimhood in Mungoshi’s Shona Novels

  • I Muhwati

Abstract

The paper is a deliberate problematisation of the study of Mungoshi’s Shona literature with a view to initiate new critical perspectives absent in current Shona critical scholarship. The author problematises the study of the author’s novels by advancing the argument that while the author deals with the tragedy engendered largely by a crisis of identity, his novels are also in a similar crisis of identity. This crisis manifests itself through the writer’s undeviating obsession with victimhood. It appears as if Mungoshi has become eloquent in visualising Shona experiential exigencies through the lenses of victimhood. However, the paper argues that such a position is not only culturally debilitating, but also constitutes a very narrow perspective of viewing family and cultural realities. The paper also problematises Mungoshi’s Shona literature by transcending the arguments raised by pioneer critics who include George Kahari (1990) and Emmanuel Mudhliwa Chiwome (1996) who tended to confine their analysis to the crisis of identity triggered by the clash between Shona and Western culture that the writer deals with. Their criticism is, therefore, celebratory

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eISSN: 0379-0622