The Representation of Maori Women in the Novels 'Once Were Warriors' by Alan Duff and 'Baby No-eyes' by Patricia Grace
Seminar paper from the year 2012 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2,7, University of Potsdam (Institut fuer Anglistik), course: Historiography and Trauma in Recent Maori Literature, language: English, abstract: This essay explores the representation of Maori women in two novels written by Maori authors. One book is the highly controversial and bestselling novel of Alan Duff 'Once Were Warriors', which was first published in 1990 and later turned into a movie adaption by Lee Tamahori. The other book I will focus on is written by the famous author Patricia Grace, who is known for creating stories with powerful women characters. The title of the book is 'Baby Noeyes' and it was first published in 1998. Both novels deal with resistance and social change and we can find representations of strong Maori having a positive influence on their family and their environment. The main struggles with effects of colonialism and imperialism after the English settlers arrived are topics in both books. The main characters Te Paania and Beth Heke seem to be very different at the beginning, but both represent the ideal of a Maori women, being a leader and a warrior. In the next chapters I want to give a short introduction to the social status of Maori women in New Zealand before the colonization and after the English settlers arrived. Then I will compare the characters of Beth Heke from the novel 'Once were Warriors' and Te Paania from the novel 'Baby Noeyes'. I want to focus mainly on their struggles and the finding of solutions for their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of their family. Finally, in the last chapters I want to draw a conclusion and find out, in how far the representation of the Maori women serve each novel's wider political project. Based in Tokyo, Japan. I'm a writer and editor, working full-time as a language teacher. Studied German and English literature in Germany, Potsdam. Studying DaF and Psycholinguistics now at Marburg University, Germany.
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