Female Characters in Phaswane Mpe's Welcome to Our Hillbrow and Niq Mhlongo's Dog Eat Dog
Keywords:postcolonial feminism, patriarchy, double oppression, resistance, post-apartheid
This article examines two novels by Phaswane Mpe and Niq Mhlongo, Welcome to Our Hillbrow and Dog Eat Dog, by focusing on how they portray post-apartheid South African women and their experiences during and after the fall of apartheid. Set in the early years of South Africa’s democracy, these novels can be read from a feminist perspective, which offers an opportunity to investigate the condition of black South African women and their struggle in the context of the legacies of apartheid and the persisting male domination. The article employs postcolonial feminism as an approach and studies the two novels comparatively to see how the authors depict South African women in the face of double colonization and how they stand up to it. As the analysis indicates, Mpe and Mhlongo have voiced the plight of South African women through female characters that have continued to carry the burden of the legacy of apartheid and the persistence of patriarchy in the post-apartheid era. They have also demonstrated the resilience of women by featuring characters that reject exploitation and seize the opportunities offered by the newly-democratized nation.
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