The Deep River by Bessie Head serves up a lot to explore and discuss about women and their place in history. When the camps were divided, it was evident that each camp’s stance on women was unquestionably different from each other. This was clearly portrayed when senior son, Sebembele is named the new ruler, yet he announces his father’s wife as his own. This ultimately divides a deep river into two opposing camps.
“The one camp said: ‘If he loves her, let him keep her. We all know Rankwana. She is a lovely person, deserving to be the wife of a chief’ ” (Puchner, 2012, p. 1102).
“The other camp said: / ‘He must be mad. A man who is influenced by a woman is no ruler. He is like one who listens to the advice of a child’ ” (Puchner, 2012, p. 1102).
Given the situation and the timing of the events, which of the two camps would you have allied with? Do you think Sebembele did the right thing of announcing his father’s wife as his own? Explain and support your position in this week’s forum.
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