Critical responses to rebirth and reconciliation : a comparative study of Zake Mda's 'ways of dying ' and J.M. Coetzee's 'Disgrace'
Mbaluka, Rosemary M
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Proceeding from a sociological literary criticism framework, this study focuses on a comparative textual analysis of two novels, both written during the post-apartheid era namely Zakes Mda's Ways of Dying (1995) and lM. Coetzee's Disgrace (1999). The study explores (black and white) bi -racial writers responses, to the realities of their racial and social groups concerns and hence the nation's responses to the post-apartheid era. The study analyses Coetzee's and Mda's concerns as brought out by the portrayal and preoccupation of male and female characters, through the characters social interactions, an analysis of the writers artistic choices, which largely bring out the authors thematic concerns. The study is fore grounded by a review of the apartheid tradition and practice, a trace of events leading to the struggle and liberation of the nation as well as a review of efforts made at the political and literary front to re-appropriate a new order after the political acclaim of freedom. The study reveals that bi-racial writers are concerned and therefore are responding to the realities engulfing members of their social and racial grouping in the post-apartheid era. The study further reveals that the individual is involved in a soul-searching effort, a journey in the mind and character of the individual, which eventually reconcile the individual to the inner self, the society and nation. Rebirth and reconciliation of the nation is marred by a number of realities that the individual has to overcome for the nation to attain one identity. the study concludes that: Despite the bi-racial nature ofthe writers, the responses that come out seek to reconcile the nation as one identity as the nation goes through the process of rebirth. The works bring out the responses of the nation. Rebirth is seen as a process rather than an end in itself and the nation's effort to reconcile its various facets is paramount to creating the spirit of nationhood.