Infographic Analysis: Similarities Between Two Post-Colonial Bildungsromans

My infographic explores the similarities between two post-colonial Bildungsromans – The God Of Small Things by Arundhati Roy and Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga – across three different themes namely anglophilia, gender stereotypes and family conflict, all united by English influence. To explore each theme or factor in detail, I dedicated a different slide to each of them. The infographic also includes a ‘Conclusion’ slide, which summarizes and unites all themes into one. After thorough analysis of each factor, one can conclude that western influence unites the laments of protagonists from two completely different countries.

Traditional Love

This infographic explores the relationship between love and tradition in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things. The infographic is divided into three main sections that each focuses on how love in the novel illustrates an aspect of Indian society that stems from Indian tradition or history. Each section is further divided into background information followed by analysis, as the background information is meant to help the reader understand the context of the novel and the basis for the arguments that are presented. This infographic looks at how one-sided love is used to criticize the prevalence of anglophilia, how unhealthy relationships criticize power and gender inequality, and how a healthy relationship is used to criticize Love Laws. In each of these sections, textual examples are organized into certain relationships to produce a coherent and flowing argument. The infographic features a simple design, with simple graphics that are meant to represent the defining characteristic of each relationship and accompany the analysis of the text. Ultimately, the infographic illustrates how the novel uses various forms of love and relationships between characters to criticize the importance of tradition in Indian society, while also illustrating how love can be used to overcome these hindrances.

Works Cited

Roy, Arundhati. The God of Small Things. Random House, 1998.

Anglophilia and British India

This infographic gives a visual/textual representation of the Ipe’s family Anglophilia and how each character was Anglophilic in his/her own way. The infographic starts out by introducing the concept and what Anglophilia is and then smoothly flows with each character, giving a brief description of each character and what makes them Anglophilic with a quote from the book relating to one of the points mentioned. There’s also a scale on the side, representing how Anglophilic each character is, which has Baby Kochamma and Chacko as the highest and Ammu is the lowest since she was abused throughout her life due to Anglophilia. I chose my images based on race, since Ammu, Baby Kochamma and Chacko were all brown, and Sophie mol and Margaret Kochamma were both white, so I represented them using pictures that suit their age and color. What I found most challenging in this infographic was knowing which ideas to represent or how they should be represented so a reader doesn’t feel lost, confused or misguided, on the other hand, my infographic gives a really brief yet fulfilling summary about each family member, which would need much more work if mentioned in an academic essay. I believe being able to express ideas in different ways helps to reach out to different readers of different ages, and with different mindsets, which expands the reading pool yet connects all kinds of people to what you are presenting.

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Control through Culture

This infographic succinctly communicates the thesis of my essay on Tsitsi Dangarembga’s “Nervous Conditions” and the thinking behind that thesis. The concept in “Nervous Conditions” that this infographic explores is the idea of choosing between English and Shona cultural norms in specific situations to place oneself above others. The infographic splits these values into three main categories (gender, language, and education) and describes how social roles or expectations within a category were abused by specific characters. Starting with education, the infographic explores how the Shona education system is viewed in contrast to the English education system in Tambu’s community. The infographic then cites specific examples of how characters such as Babamukuru and Nhamo abuse the perceived superiority of the English education system to assert that they are more educated and refined than those without an English education. The infographic then explores gender and the effects of the Shona culture’s more patriarchal society on Tambu, Maiguru, and Nyasha. Though patriarchal values are not exclusive to Shona culture, these three women are given far less social independence in colonial Rhodesia than they would have in England. In the following panel, the infographic adds a quantitative analysis of the text. Two charts, one focusing on gendered language and the other on language specific to culture, reveal biases that exist between the sexes and between the English and Shona cultures. Finally, the infographic analyzes the divisions that are created by the English language and finishes with a concluding statement that ties back to the opening claim. After completing the infographic, the reader understands that the oppression faced by various characters is not created by one set of cultural norms, but rather by a carefully selected set of norms made from the Shona and English cultures.

Works Cited

Dangarembga, Tsitsi. Nervous Conditions. Ayebia Clarke, 2004.

Dangarembga’s “Nervous Conditions” Search for Individuality in Identities

The overall theme of this infographic is understanding one’s multiple identities and creating one’s own individuality while growing up. This theme is presented by focusing on the two main protagonists, Tambu and Nyasha, and how the many conflicting influences around (cultural, social) them affect their development. Additionally, the idea that their relationship helps them navigate around their conflicting characteristics and reinforces what they identify best as is explored. The outside influences for each girl are depicted using a graph or diagram to ultimately show that they have many contrasting people or identities in their life. For Tambu, a pie chart projects the percentages in which she mentions someone. Meanwhile, for Nyasha a Venn-diagram is used to show how she doesn’t fit a singular identity and has had to make her own. The effects of this confusion is also demonstrated with diagrams to either show a change in their behavior over time (Tambu) or a never ending pattern in their behavior (Nyasha). In the very center of the infographic, is a problem/solution diagram illustrating how Tambu supports Nyasha when she questions who she is as an individual. It figuratively and literally shows that at the heart of who these girls are is heavily dependent on their friendship. The resulting conclusion from these arguments is that when truly finding one’s own individuality, it is inevitable that one will struggle with who they are.

Societal Norms: Distress and Impairment in ‘Nervous Conditions’

In the novel Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga, several characters, most being female, are limited in society by those around them, specifically being men in power. While taking a point of view from that of the focal character of the novel Tambu, many restrictions and imposing factors from society are obvious to the reader. Outside forces are present through society in Tambu’s family members like her father Jeremiah and her uncle Babamukuru who treat her and her other female relatives in such a manner that prevents them from reaching the same heights as men are capable of. Through this infographic, distinctions between certain opportunities are present, stemming from discrimination as seen in Tambu’s brother being provided an education while being pushed for greatness while Tambu herself has to further her academics by her own doing and is even then opposed. The limitations placed upon women in the story not only restricts women and people of lower class by requiring extra work for the same degree of respect and power, but the oppression and expectations placed on such characters leads to internal questioning of ideals and, in the case of someone like Nyasha, eventual illness.

The Consequences of Colonization

This infographic on Arundhati Roy’s 1997 novel, The God of Small Things, explores part of the novel’s perspective of how India is affected by the colonization of western cultures. The infographic focuses on the social changes that different generations of Ipe family encounter and Arundhati Roy’s further insight on the social problems which are caused by the colonization. The infographic is divided into three sections to simply explain the consequences of colonization and the three sections are generations, social changes, and identities. Each section is explained in descriptive language, direct quotes, and descriptive icons. Descriptions are summaries of the plot from the novel and quotes help the description to explain the point in a clearer way. The icons provide a more direct and visual way of understanding the descriptions. The infographic concludes with how the illustrations of the cultural and social conflicts and the crisis of identities lead us to identify all the characters in Victims and Perpetrators from the perspective of the society. All people are victims of the colonization but all people who have tolerated, fought against or protected the colonized society are perpetrators to each other.

Reference

Roy, Arundhati. The God of Small Things. Random House, 1998.