The Cardigans 2003 - interculturallenguasmodernas

Erick Gonzalez
Vanessa Martinez
Adriana Morales
Paola Quesada
The Cardinals
Bessie Head
> Born on July 6, 1937
> Born and raised in apartheid South Africa
> Suffered from poverty, racial segregation, and
gender discrimination
> Worked as a journalist, teacher, and writer
> Died on April, 17, 1986
Thesis Statement
The Cardinals by Bessie Head
deals with the issues of
racism, political oppression,
and degradation that women
face in Africa.
Racism and Political
• To prove the emphasis the
author makes on
discrimination due to the
skin color
Concept of Racism
“How typical, PK. How typical of secluded White
mentality. You are so accustomed to getting the best in
the land that you think you can just sit around and give
orders” (55).
Immorality Act
One of the most controversial
legislative acts of South African
“Did he not receive instructions form
his captain that it is forbidden for a
White man to attempt to have, or to
have, relations with a non- White
woman?” (60).
Economic Oppression
To demonstrate how hierarchical
order and social status are
established to oppress people in
Hierarchical Order
Newspaper: African Beat- The Paper of the People
1. PK, the boss
2. James and Johnny
3. Miriam (Mouse)
In his office PK burst out: “Look here,
Mouse. I’ve had it with you! I’ve just
had it! You bungle every job I put you
on […] you lack of initiative and
enterprise is driving me crazy. I have
half a mind to get you fired […] Now
get out of here before I start throwing
something at you” (38).
Johnny says: “How typical, PK. How
typical of secluded. White mentality.
You are so accustomed to getting the
best in the land that you think you can
just sit around and give orders” (55).
Social Status
 Two social classes
Low class: Johnny
High class: Ruby
Ruby says: “I rejected a man I love simply
because in the eyes of others he would appear
poor and lowly. He is poor” (49).
Ruby states: “About two weeks ago I was
standing on a street corner talking to Paddy
and say him walking towards us with a large
bunch of fish in his hand. The only thing I
could think of was how ashamed I would be
for Paddy to know that I had associated in a
way with a man who was of such a low social
standing. I just pretended I had never met
him” (49).
Women Degradation
and Sexism
To show the manner women are
diminished in the sexist and
patriarchal society of Africa.
> Sexism: “the belief in the inherent superiority of one sex
and thereby the right to dominance” (90).
> According to Suzanne Daley:
> “Sexism is actually a bigger problem in Africa than racism”
(New York Times, 1999)
> In “The Cardinals”:
> Degradation of women in multiple ways represented in its
main character.
> Women without Identity:
“I’ve already introduce her, the other man said. Her name is
Mouse” (The Cardinals,14).
> Women Sublimity:
“You go and walk on that side of the road. She turned and
walked quietly across the road” (21).
> Physical Abuse: “He turn on his wife and beat her
savagely” (9).
> Patriarchal society:
“You have to treat me with respect” (114).
“I can’t handle the job of training a woman” (13).
“We men have always a purpose. You women follow on behind”
“you are beginning to talk like a real woman” (109).
•Men’s Questioning about Skills, Abilities, and Intelligence of Women:
“Why don’t you give up, he said. You can’t write” (16).
• Women Equals Home Tasks:
“Can you cook? No. Well you’ll have to learn…You’ll have to do a little
bit of cleaning up too” (57).
• The Men’s Control over Women:
“Cut two inches off of those hems and fix up the slips” (57)
“she felt she had no automatic right to go wherever he wanted to go” (80).
“Every man feels some sort of ownership for the woman he cares about”
“You can’t go wandering off on your own any longer. You have to consult
me first. Is that clear?” (86).
If a white man falls off a chair drunk, it's just a
drunk. If a Negro does, it's the whole damn
Negro race. ~Bill Cosby
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so
tragically bound to the starless midnight of
racism and war that the bright daybreak of
peace and brotherhood can never become a
reality.... I believe that unarmed truth and
unconditional love will have the final
word. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Works Cited
Anti-Defamation League. 2009. 30 July 2009
Eilersen, Gillian. “A Brief Sketch of the Life of Bessie Head.” 12 July 2006. 30 June 2009
Head, Bessie. The Cardinals: with Mediations and Short Stories. Ed.
M.J Daymond. Heinemann: U.S.A. 1993.
Knowledgerush. 2003. 30 July 2009
Suzanne, Daley. “To Me, It's Blatant Sexism; To South Africans, It's
Not a Problem.” Womyn and Men. 11 october, 1999 in New York
Times. 5 July, 2009. <>.
The free dictionary . Ed. Farlex. 2009. 30 June 2009