Presentation on theme: "Butterfly Burnin Butterfly Burning By Yvonne Vera."— Presentation transcript:
Butterfly Burnin Butterfly Burning By Yvonne Vera
Setting of Butterfly Burning When: 1945-1948 Where (see handout): Zimbabwe, Bulawayo (city), Makokoba (suburb of Bulawayo) Two main ethnic groups: Shona (majority) and Ndebele (minority) Colonial history of Zimbabwe divided into 4 phases: British South Africa Company (BSAC) (1890-1923), responsible government (1953-1963), the federation (1953-19?3), and the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (1965-1980)
Historical Context The BSAC was a mercantile company based in London. Granted royal charter in October 1889 to enter south-central Africa Led by Cecil Rhodes Forcibly took land and cattle from residents and redistributing it to white settlers. Africans relocated to less fertile, overcrowded reserves Poor living conditions impoverished Africans, forcing them into wage labor on white farms in order to pay taxes in the required European currency 1896 - The First Chimurenga / The First War of Liberation A BSAC stamp
Historical Context cont’d Responsible government institutionalized the racism of the BSAC, e.g. through the Land Apportionment Act of 1930. 1940s – Unprecedented rural-urban migration (among African population). 1946 – Native (Urban Areas) Accommodation and Registration Act Segregated living areas in cities 1946 – Widespread protests; 1948 – General strike 1965 – Unilateral Declaration of Independence. Yvonne Vera was born in 1964.
About Yvonne Vera Born on September 19, 1964 in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia Attended primary school in rural Matabeleland, then transitioned to secondary school in urban areas (during the 1970s). Attended York University in Toronto, Canada. Studied literature and film criticism up to a doctorate degree. Married John Jose, a Canadian she had met while teaching in Bulawayo. Wrote 4 award-winning novels, 1 collection of short stories and edited several anthologies of African women’s writings. In 1997, became Director of the National Gallery in Bulawayo. Died April 7, 2005 (40 years old).
When Yvonne Vera was writing Butterfly Burning (1998)… 1970s: Guerilla warfare led by African resistance movements, leading up to Chimurenga II (1966-1979) Robert Mugabe, one of the leaders of the liberation movement, is appointed first prime minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe on March 3, 1980. “Although Zimbabwe’s independence of 1980 was achieved after a protracted civil war prompted by racism, sexism, infringement of blacks’ fundamental human rights, and persistent inequities in resource distribution, no radical changes were introduced after independence and the racial tension continued through the 1990s.” – Saliwe Kawewe Prime Minister Robert Mugabe
Themes: Childhood How and where (and why) are children present? Fumbatha as a child (Chapter 2) Children of Sidojiwe E2 (Chapter 3, pp. 16-22) – : Why are they included, and positioned where they are in the book? Phephelaphi’s first child (Chapter Phephelaphi’s second child (Chapter Is the representation of children in this book similar to any we have read?
Themes: Womanhood ‘Of the recurrence of normally private, painful themes in her novels, Vera told The World and I, "The position of women needs to be reexamined with greater determination and a forceful idea for change. In Zimbabwe, as perhaps elsewhere in the world, there is limited understanding of each moment of a woman's worst tragedy or her personal journey. Women have been expected to be the custodians of our society as well as its worst victims, carrying on no matter how hemmed in they feel and how abandoned in their need.”’ - "Yvonne Vera." Contemporary Black Biography. Vol. 32. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 4 Mar. 2012. Who are the main women in the text and why are they there? Do they represent different “facets” of womanhood?
Themes: Butterflies/Fire Why the title? Butterflies: pp. 3, 46, 64, 103. Fire: pp. 21, 117, 120, 150.
Vera’s writing style, AKA Why we should have more than 1 week to read this book What makes Vera’s writing style so unique? What adjectives would you use to describe the narrative voice? What effect did this voice have on you? Like/dislike/indifferent? Why does she use first person when she does?
"I would love to be remembered as a writer who had no fear for words and who had an intense love for her nation." – Yvonne Vera
References BBC News: Africa, “Zimbabwe profile,” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14113618http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14113618 Britannica, “British South Africa Company,” http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/80349/British- South-Africa-Company-BSAC-BSACO-or-BSA-Companyhttp://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/80349/British- South-Africa-Company-BSAC-BSACO-or-BSA-Company Electoral Institute for the Sustainability of Democracy in Africa, “Zimbabwe: British South Africa Company Rule (1890-1923), http://www.eisa.org.za/WEP/zimoverview1.htmhttp://www.eisa.org.za/WEP/zimoverview1.htm Embassy of Zimbabwe, “History of Zimbabwe,” http://www.zimembassy.se/history.htmlhttp://www.zimembassy.se/history.html Encyclopedia of African History, Vol. 3. Ed. Kevin Shillingto. Fitzroy Dearborn, New York, 2005. “Kwela.” Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwelahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwela National Geographic, “Kwela Music,” http://worldmusic.nationalgeographic.com/view/page.basic/genre/content.genre/kwela_744/en_US http://worldmusic.nationalgeographic.com/view/page.basic/genre/content.genre/kwela_744/en_US Vera, Yvonne. Butterfly Burning, “Yvonne Vera.” Contemporary Black Biography. Vol. 32. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 4 Mar. 2012.