International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

Critical Reflections on Surviving against all Odds in Valerie Tagwira’s the Uncertainty of Hope
Dr Nelson Mlambo, Prof. Jairus Kangira, Dr T. C.Smit

This paper is an exploration of the literary representations of survival and coping strategies during times of socio-economic and political upheavals. In a reading of Tagwira’s novel, The Uncertainty of Hopethe resilience theory has been employed. The resilience theory is not an exclusive domain for sociological studies but in the arts it also presents a literary interpretation of texts where item phasizes those strengths of people which enable them to survive and cope with the challenges they meet in life. The aim has been to use a worst case scenario (the so called Zimbabwe crisis) as a specific setting and thereby challenge Afro-pessimisms which downplay ordinary people’s capacity to survive and adapt to new situations; as well as resiliently change their cultural identities and transform into protean beings. The paper also seeks a reappraisal of the resiliency theory and argues that human agency is ubiquitous; therefore, instead of magnifying the dystopian and anomic state of our societies, more hopeful and inspirational readings of texts are possible. Such readings help us realise the potential that the arts have in reshaping individual and national consciousnesses and fostering a sense of courage to face the myriad crises of the 21st century, either at individual, societal or national level.

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