An Overview of Leading Questions for Chenjerai Hove's Bones

Members of English 27, Postcolonial Studies, Brown University, Autumn 1997 and 1999

Questions involving character and characterization

What or who is Marita's son anyway? He plays a central role in this novel though he is present for none of it. [Jennifer Ellington]

What significance does the role of children have in Hove's novel?. [Zandra Kambysellis]

John Yang similarly raiss the matter of Hove's use of characterization to represent different sides of Zimbabwe.

Is it possible that that the characters are developed as the novel is developed, rather than the opposite being the case? and, if so, what does this imply about nonlinear narrative? [Antwan Jefferson]

Questions involving Imagery and Symbolism

Greg Gipson and Andy Greenwald ask, "What exactly are the bones?" What do they signify, and how do they function in the novel? Similarly, pointing to another motif or central image, Maureen Grundy shows Hove employs "the Bird with the Broken Wing."

Emilie Cassou, Alaka Holla, and Phoebe Koch each asks how the imagery and motif of words -- weak, weighty, lasting, or other words -- functions in this novel.

Molly Yancovitz raises the issue of how Hove combines mythological symbol with realism.

Questions involving Gender Matters

Correy Binns points to the relations among "things of inside," Marita, and Janifa. David Washburn suggests several questions about gender roles in Bones, and Emilie Cassou inquires about the relations between women and language.

How does Janita's halting narration of her rape work symbolically in the novel? [Valerie Braman]

Questions involving the History and Politics of Zimbabwe

Postcolonial Web Zimbabwe OV Chenjerai Hove Overview