A BRAVERY WOMAN

Since it is a celebration of a woman’s month, lets look at one of the films that embrace the victory of women. Alice in wonderland.

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Alice

Alice shows the interpretation of not an ideal Victorian young woman but rather a rebellious, confused and unpredictable teenager. During this Victorian period, Alice’s character would have been seen as a disgrace and disrespects her tradition. The author, Carroll, poses intentions to show how women can either choose their own paths or to conform to what society (Victorian) finds acceptable. Auerbach also identifies Alice as not the presentable example of a Victorian girl. (Carroll, 1968: 63).

Alice is more intrigued in the fantasy world and is uncomfortable with the classic appeal of looking formal and secure. She has little memory of her childhood which seems to be wiped out and she believes that whatever she can remember is from a dream as it is too unreal to believe. She is confused and lost in the beginning of her journey but eventually overcomes obstacles that make her a new version of what a woman is.

The Victorian world was rather boring and formal for Alice’s imagination; the fantasy world excited her and is different from what she knows. She feels stagnated in a world of submissiveness that her mother tries to prepare her for and to marry like any other Victorian girl. The decisions she makes from abandoning the altar and following The White Rabbit leads her to the unknown and her rise of curiosity builds up once she falls in the hole. She shocks the crowd that she left behind, which is not seen as appropriate for a female to reject and question the “male domination”. Making her own decisions expose the truth that females are capable of thinking and doing as they please just like men do. (Rickard, 2010).

Despite the actions of Alice rebelling against Victorian society, she is conscious of this and reality hits her once she makes sense of what is happening around her with her friends in Underland. She becomes conscious and determine to continue the journey that seems dangerous and more suitable for a male figure. Instead she shows the growth of female consciousness from feeling inferior, lost and uncertain to bravery, ambition and self-confidence.

There are some stereotypes throughout the story. The Victorian society chose to not acknowledge that women are capable of acting and thinking for themselves, they had to conform to what the male species wanted or desired. Females were rather thought of as weak and less important. Society has played a role in carrying on the tradition of being submissive and turning it into a norm. At the end of the day women have the decision to both act and think with their own desires like Alice or to be what society expects them to be. (Thessayist, 2011).

*SOURCES:

Rickard. E.  (2010). Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is Almost a Great Feminist Fairytale. Available: http://www.genderacrossborders.com/2010/03/21/tim-burtons-alice-in-wonderland-is-almost-a-great-feminist-fairytale/

Thessayist. (2011). Alice In Wonderland- Reinforcing Victorian Gender Stereotypes. Available: http://www.articlesbase.com/literature-articles/alice-in-wonderland-reinforcing-victorian-gender-stereotypes-4569416.html

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BE A HEROINE

 

WHOOPI
Once a victim twice a heroine!

THE COLOR PURPLE

This book is written from a unique writer, Alice Walker, that tells a story of black women and which some parts could be a story of her own as a black woman. She demonstrates the brutal living conditions of what women face and how they live with abusive, arrogant male partners with more pressure from the white domination.  Walker intends to show the imbalance of freedom, liberation and equality. The main character, Celie, becomes a link towards female consciousness as she goes through a journey of hardship and later a heroine. (Ping & Jinling: 2006).

Women are transformed to what they are usually known for to unheard stories like those of Celie’s story. Gender roles are questioned and the concepts of married wives at home are revealed under shocking circumstances. Celie acts as a voice for young girls that go through a journey of silence and no control over their livelihood.  The black cultural heritage is presented into the book and Walker challenges the domination of the male species which is quite similar to the white domination; the desire to control.

COVER PURPLE

LANGUAGE AND GENDER

Walker’s work is more of a Black feminist, not only does she point out the patriarchal oppression but voice out the stories of black women. Walker demonstrates the lines between femininity and masculinity. She develops her characters through analysing gender roles and the impact they have on one another.

Gender is explored through language; men and women use the same words but can be said differently. When a woman embraces her feminine side it becomes part of her culture which Simone de Beauvior states. Nettie sends a picture to Celie of the Olinka wives and talks about how these women were treated remind her so much of their vicious father. They lived in a male dominated environment and had to respond to the men’s instructions. The women are taught a submissive language as to always obey while men use language to gain power. Power is only known to be for a male being only and since women are not educated their first goal is to marry in the Olinka culture. Tashi’s parents were not supportive of her interests of studying and learning with Olivia (Celie’s daughter); she can only be regarded as something once she marries. They believed that a woman’s identity can only be defined through her husband and the greatest victory would be to marry the chief. Once a woman rebels against her husband she will be sold and is considered useless.

A bravery character, Sofia, that chooses to not be suppressed by anyone even the white domination. She stands up for herself and fights her way through abusive men. Her strength to fight back makes Harpo father dislike her more. Harpo tries to be the masculine one and have control over Sofia but he has been following instructions from his father that he does not know how to take control. Sofia has masculine features and seems to be in more control over their relationship. However later on, Sofia gets a new boyfriend that has the common features of a tall black masculine man but is not violent and harsh; Sofia is still able to remain the dominant figure in the relationship. Walker shows the intention of women having the desire to think as they please and to act against violence and inequality with a character like Sofia.

Shug has both feminine and masculine characteristics, she in between the lines of what is expected from a woman and what a woman desires. Shug introduces Celie to a world of freedom, bravery, and happiness. Celie becomes more aware of her sexuality and attraction towards Shug. Shug also inspires Celie to sew pants not only for men but for women too; they grow into having a more than a “friend” relationship.

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Childhood of Celie and Sofia

Shug makes Celie aware of God, she describes God as “it” and is everywhere around us including the “color purple field”. The God that Celie prays to and writes letters to is right beside her. When she realises that God is actually in every aspect of her life just like how nature surrounds her, she begins to refer God as Dear Stars, Sky. Trees, Everything. Her image of God transforms from a white male figure that the white race describes Him as to a loving Mother Nature which Shug shows to Celie.

 

The gender conflicts experienced in society can only be explained through social relations. How men and women treat one another socially becomes their everyday routine and it is up to individuals to act to according to how they feel what may be right or normal. Overall race plays a role in the social environment; one is treated differently based on their race which impacts their social interaction towards others. Miss Millie (the mayor’s wife) takes advantage of Sofia by mistreating her and putting her in prison, she then later becomes her maid. Sofia had a stable financial status with her boyfriend and could not tolerate the unfairness of the white race, but Miss Millie could still take away everything away from her because she is white and represents the male domination.

In the black culture even the different shades of colour, makes people treat them differently. Mr._’s father disapproves of Shug, simply because is considered as “black as tar”. On the other hand, Squeak, which is Harpo’s girlfriend, is more pride in her lighter complexion. She discovers she is related to Bubber Hodges, her uncle (a white man). This explains her lighter complexion that the black community finds pleasant especially to men. When she goes over to Hodges to help Sofia with her time in jail, she is raped by her own family member. Squeak is still considered weak, vulnerable and insecure even though she has a white relation. The authority seems to only belong to men and this shows a cycle of abusive men whether black or white. (Pi-Li Hsiao, 2008).

Sources:

Pi-Li Hsiao. (2008). Language, Gender, And Power in the Color Purple. Available: http://www.scribd.com/doc/213193066/Language-Gender-And-Power-in-the-Color-Purple#scribd

Ping & Jinling. (2006). The Color Purple and Alice Walker’s Female Consciousness. Available: http://en.genderstudy.cn/html/scholar/4686-0.htm

A SWEET BREAKFAST

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Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana sandwich

I woke up with a sweet tooth and an excitement of cravings of banana and peanut butter. Since I favour those two combinations, I decided to make a Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana sandwich. As easy as 1 2 3. I first saw this recipe on Pinterest and was curious, later on, I saw a similar recipe on TV on Siba’s Table. I knew I had to give it a try. With these two recipes in mind, I created my very own recipe:

Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana sandwich

All you need is one banana, sliced in half, peanut butter (chocolate peanut butter with choc chips), white or brown bread (two slices) , butter, and honey.

1. Melt the butter on pan then fry banana slices for a minute on each side.
2. Toast the bread as crunchy as you would like it to be. Spread chocolate peanut butter on both bread slices.
3. Place banana slices on bread with a twinkle of honey, bring along the other slice and there you have a sandwich ready to be eaten.

FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT

“.. Fruits in our lives: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness. ” Galatians 5:22(NLT)

I had eaten a fruit salad and I could not help but reflect on the fruits of the spirit in the Bible.
Below are one of my favorite fruits, so I broke them down into the fruits of the spirit.

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Love- Strawberries are red and ripen with sweet juices. This fruit is commonly associated with love, care and being affectionate. The fruit itself has a similar shape of an heart. As this being one of the fruits of the spirit, we are taught to be loving and caring to one another.

Joy- Grapes can either be green, red or purple. The beautiful changes of colours that show the overwhelming feeling of joy. The sweet juices which can also be served as wine which makes a call for a celebration.

Peace- Peaches can sometimes have a bittersweet taste but once fully ripen, they are as sweet as your daily jam:)

Patience- Mangoes may take a while to ripe but with patience and time, mangoes serve as an fulfilling fruit. Mangoes have one of the best recipes in desserts.

Kindness- Apples are as kind to your health as the doctor, they want you to be in good health. From a variety of colours; green, yellow and red.

Goodness- Watermelon fills the body with goodness of 92% of water. They may have annoying seeds that we come across in life but goodness comes a long way.

Faithfulnes- Bananas can be baked into a banana loaf or eaten immediately. They are reliable and easy to ingest, no need to wash them or remove any seeds. Such as faith, we can leave bananas in the open and trust them to remain clean and healthy without peeling them to check if they are edible.

Once all fruits are digested, the stomach is happy and the spirit is uplifted 🙂

*Note: the fruits were randomly chosen, you may have your own version of preferences.
*Source: All pictures: http://www.flickr.com

CHILDHOOD

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Home in Mahikeng. Photos taken by Joy Bakunzi

As I am enjoying my little break at home, I think about all the wonderful reasons to be home. Endless food, laughter and love. However, not forgetting the dreading chores (rolling eyes).

I’m grateful for the smiles and great energy  that I come across the streets of my neighborhood; they make the day worthwhile. I was going through my old journals that were written 5 years ago when I was in high school and reflected back to one of my poems.

Beware: this is not an academic masterpiece poem, as I said it was written long ago. I was just an confused teenager.

WHY?
Why are you here?
Are you here to make me happy and change the world?
Are you here to answer all my questions?
Because the answers don’t seem to be found anywhere

Why has the world become so evil and betrayal, that I as an individual wants to run away?
Why do you do the wrong and forget the right?
Is it because you are trying to impress me or depress me?

Oh! Why must a child, mother, teenager, or adult feel so lonely and empty that they end up on a suicidal path?

Why must the world live in fear?
When there is so much ahead of them

Are you still listening?
Can you answer my confused mind?
Are you just like me?
So many questions but no answers to be found
Why is that?  Why?

*Date: 17th March 2009

LITTLE VACUUMS HAVE BIG EARS

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I decided to do a little window shopping at the mall and to my surprise I witnessed a couple yelling and cursing , while their toddler in between them (probably 2/3 years old). The little boy looked sad and confused but he did not cry. Observing this whole ordeal, I noticed the boy paying attention to them and listening to what they were saying.

The couple may not realise this, but children see and hear everything. Children are mistaken for being called “children” and they do not understand adult conversation. Only to find that children may not understand at that moment but will understand and pick up the pieces as they grow up. In the long run, they are affected and even without realising it.

Walking slowing closer before entering a store, after a couple of minutes, the little boy tugged at his mother and said, “Mama, let’s go home”.