The "Things of Inside," Marita, and Janifa

Correy Binns (English 27, Postcolonial Studies, Brown University, 1997)

After the day's work, Marita looks like a ghost in the fields. Manyepo calls it hard work, but to think that Marita only gets a cup of beans for her food because she does not have children, it pains me inside. The things of inside are difficult to understand all the time. The things of inside burn like a strong fire, but I only look at Marita and the fire inside me stops burning me to death."(41)

I too am having difficulty understanding the "things of inside". What are they? How does Marita calm the narrator and her "strong fire"? There is a shift here from pity to admiration of Marita. I am unclear as to the relationship of Marita and the narrator throughout the story. Does Marita serve as a role model/mother figure for the narrator, or are they equals? Their role shifting is especially curious when Marita becomes obsessed with hearing the love letter her son wrote to the narrator. The complicated shifting of roles represents a realistic bond between women. Does it also, however, mystify the purpose of both women in the novel? What are their roles as women? What reasoning can we give for Hove's depiction of their carefully balanced friendship?

Postcolonial Web Zimbabwe OV Chenjerai Hove Overview [Leading Questions] [Gender Matters]