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Word Count: 879
When Opportunity Knocks Tsitsi Dangarembgas novel Nervous Conditions explores the complex and subtle sets of obstacles that women in 1960s Rhodesia had to struggle with Throughout Nervous Conditions Tambu the protagonist is confronted with opportunities and obstacles Nervous Conditions depicts social progress with a conformist attitude one needs the approval of accepted defined members of a higher social class in order for ones actions to be viewed as progression Tambu dealt with the development of intellect and self amidst a society that values education as the only way of progress Yet with education comes the development of free will and independent thought One might think that Tambus biggest obstacle was societys predetermined roles of the sexes women are capable but are bound to their more industrious and less cerebral jobs However this is not the case Tambus biggest obstacle was being independent while still being grounded to her culture background and beliefs It is quite evident from the very beginning that Tambus ties with the immediate family were anything but tight when she states I was not sorry when my brother died Nor am I apologizing for my callousness as you may define it my lack of feeling pg 1 Nor was she hesitant to leave her mother and father to attend her Uncle Babamukurus school Tambu was continually looking for a way out throughout Nervous Conditions After her brother died Tambu took up her uncles offer to live with him and his family and to attend his school Knowing that an education was her only way out Tambu happily obliged Babamukuru was educated in England and worked very hard to make the leap in social status that he made Granted that he worked very hard he was an outcast in society because it would take a much longer time for his poor relatives to catch up with all he learned and experienced from his years abroad in England Before Tambu became bewitched with
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