XENOPHOBIA AND SELF-ACCEPTANCE: APPLYING ADLER’S SOCIAL INTEREST THEORY TO WE KILLED MANGY DOG

Wazha Lopang

Abstract


The African’s quest for an identity that is acceptable to himself and to others has become an implosive phenomena as shown by the recent xenophobia (sometimes called Afro phobia) attacks in South Africa. This article uses Alfred Adler’s theory of personality (social interest) to explore how Honwana in We Killed Mangy Dog (1967) pre-empts post millennium xenophobia in ways that question our understanding of identity and self-acceptance from a position of the aggressive psyche. It also reflects on Frantz Fanon’s take on how violence is seen as a solution to the native’s subjugation at the hands of the coloniser, and if indeed the victimised individual is able to successfully navigate the three stages of violence in order to liberate himself. Honwana’s We killed Mangy Dog (1967) looks at xenophobia from the perspective of the victim and the aggressor, showing how empathy and violence can be nurtured from childhood to create problems of identity for the African.

 

Keywords: xenophobia, identity, colonialism, self-acceptance, social interest


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