Sadistic Realization of Interpersonal Relationships in selected Bessie Head’s short-stories


  • Bwocha Nyagemi Department of Languages and Linguistics, Archbishop Mihayo University College, Tabora


Bessie Head


Sadism occupies a central position in human life. A close observation of the vices that populate media reports around the world and character traits of fictional and nonfictional characters worldwide vindicates this observation. These vices, like violence, betrayal, irresponsible parenthood, and murder are an indication of, among other things, sadism. Many characters, both fictional and nonfictional, use sadism to not just cut a niche for themselves in an increasingly competitive world but also exploit, silence, oppress and do what may in the overall analysis be deemed as their exercise of power over others. This position is central to the argument in this study. It is thus a psychoanalytic theory guided analysis which has employed Erich Fromm’s “The Nature of Violence” to read various sadistic elements constitutive to the anthology. Bessie Head’s short fiction, The Collector of Treasures, and Other Botswana Village Tales (1977) is the primary text of this study. A thematic approach has been adopted in reading meaning into the stories. This facilitates the unlocking of the sadistic aspects of the lives of the characters discussed in this journal article. Interpersonal relationships are important to the reading of these short stories for it is here where sadism is observed and commentary made as a consequence. The interpretation thus provides a fresh approach to the reading of Head’s fiction.


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How to Cite

Nyagemi, B. (2017). Sadistic Realization of Interpersonal Relationships in selected Bessie Head’s short-stories. Nairobi Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 1(2).