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Suffer Little Children: Zimbabwean Childhood Literary Representations in the Context of Crisis

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A closer reading of post – independence Zimbabwean short stories shows that childhood is more complex than its traditional conceptions. There are various diverging childhood depictions in literature. is paper explores these divergences, focusing initially on how children are represented as possessing what Muponde and Chihota (2000) call 'taboo shattering instincts in a diseased society'. In societies where there are clear human rights violations, children and other vulnerable groups are the most affected. In this respect, the paper explores various literary representations that deal with how children were affected during the Zimbabwean millennial crisis that was at most characterised by human rights violation. In any given society, at some point, adults are expected to resist forms of oppression; this paper argues that in literature and in society, children may be figures of resistance as well. Short stories to be scrutinised will be selected from the following editions; Not Another Day (2006), No More Plastic Balls: New Voices in the Zimbabwean Short Story (2000), Women Writing Zimbabwe (2008), Writing Still: New Stories from Zimbabwe (2003), Writing Now: More Stories from Zimbabwe and An Elegy for Easterly (2009).

Affiliations: 1: Department of English and Performing Arts, Great Zimbabwe University


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