Original Research

An approach to power relations: Bessie Head and Luisa Valenzuela

M. Wenzel
Literator | Vol 19, No 1 | a512 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v19i1.512 | © 1998 M. Wenzel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 April 1998 | Published: 26 April 1998

About the author(s)

M. Wenzel, Department of English, Potchefstroom University for CHE, South Africa

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As authors and women writing within a postcolonial paradigm. Head and Valenzuela posit power relations as a prominent feature in their respective novels, A Question of Power and Cola de Lagartija. These texts specifically expose the multi-layered scope of power relations and confirm the presence of such dynamics within the fabric of society and history. Different perspectives/voices represent the dynamics of social context as a series of power relations best interpreted by Bakhtin's perception of the dialogic principle operative in literature. In A Question of Power and The Lizard’s Tail, the abuse of power is challenged and exposed by the different narrators in their capacity as protagonists, narrators and authors. In this way they assert their powers as subjects, individuals, women; they gain a voice, an identity, and can proceed to make history as well as make history (in both the historical and literary sense). By writing, or perhaps re-conceptualizing their past as individuals and writers. Head and Valenzuela have been enabled to forge their own future.


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