The unspoken voices of apartheid : confessions of the interregnum

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Shawndee Marie Jenkins (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Laura Wright

Abstract: This thesis examines the relationship between silence and confession in Athol Fugard’s Tsotsi, Sindiwe Magona’s Mother to Mother, and J. M. Coetzee’s Disgrace in order to show that the act of confession is often problematic, specifically when some characters choose to remain silent while other characters encourage their speech. The withholding of speech, then, becomes an act of empowerment and a rhetorical endeavor, where silence is more than the absence of speech; it is a way to communicate. Whether silence is to bring about a specific purpose, or is enforced because a character does not understand his or her situation and therefore cannot offer a sincere confession, the character has the power to choose whether or not to confess his or her story. Furthermore, this thesis explores the shift of control in three political climates: During apartheid, at the end of apartheid, and in post-apartheid South Africa in order to reflect the transferal of power from white hands to black hands. As suggested in the novels, the ability to speak correlates with the amount of power a subject has.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Apartheid, Confession, Interregnum, Power}Silence, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Fugard, Athol. -- Tsotsi
Magona, Sindiwe. -- Mother to mother
Coetzee, J. M., -- 1940- -- Disgrace
Apartheid in literature
Confession in literature
Silence in literature
South African literature (English) -- History and criticism

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