|dc.description.abstract||The way in which the construction of personal identity is linked to a person's origins and search for
personal roots, is currently a prominent theme in literary texts throughout the world. Likewise, the
identity of groups. especially those who suffer from a distorted perception of identity for whatever
reason. is also a mailer of great interest in current literature. In both novels, "Die swye van Mario
Salviati" (Etienne van Heerden) and "De naam van de vader" (Nelleke Noordervliet), the
construction of personal identity is a principal theme. All the main characters discussed in the
study. suffer from a stigmatised identity due to socio-political reasons. All these characters
eventually achieve self-realization by either searching for their personal roots or identifying with the
universal human condition through the myths 01their respective communities. By looking at the past
from a new perspective. and by deliberately writing about those events that have previously been
avoided, both novels clearly comment upon current social conditions.
This dissertation deals with the relationship between origin and the construction of personal and
group identity. The theories of philosophy, literature and sociology, and certain aspects of Jungian
psychoanalyses are used in the discussion of the novels "Die swye van Mario Salviati" and "De
naam van de vader".
In the novel "Die swye van Mario Salviati" Ingi Friedlander, one of the main characters, goes
through the process of individuation by identifying with the collective stories and archetypal
characters 01the small town of Tallejare. The artist Jonty Jack, the other main character, achieves
self-realization by confronting the evil nature of his own shadow and accepting the fact that he is
a person of mixed blood.
In this novel many previously silenced voices are heard and several new shades of meaning are
attributed to the identity of the Afrikaner. By looking at history and the stories of the past from a
different perspective, by disrupting the idea of the stereotype and by deconstructing so-called
patriarchal space, a more inclusive version of Afrikaner identity (previously stigmatised by
apartheid) is suggested.
The next part of the dissertation deals with the Dutch novel, "De naam van de vader" and the way
in which the main character, Augusta de Wit, achieves selfhood. Because she is the illegal
daughter of a Dutch mother and a German soldier, born during World War II, she is stigmatised by
the community as a 'moffenkind' (German child). At the age of forty-four she finds inner harmony
by going in search of and finding her own roots. She then decides to shake off the burden of guilt
cast upon herself for being an unwanted child. Augusta's life is influenced largely by the important
historical events of her time.
In the novel "De naam van de vader" the community is confronted with human suffering because
they maintain a silence for almost four decades after the Second World War about some
unacceptable aspects of their own history. The novel suggests a greater tolerance for those people
burdened by history and the ideological prejudices of the community. It also implies that a greater
frankness about events kept silent in the past, might contribute towards finding personal harmony
and coming to terms with the community.
A comparison of the two novels shows that certain aspects of the construction of personal identity
apply to humankind at large. However, it seems that the characters from the European novel are
more conscious of their individual personalities than the characters from the South African novel,
who are inclined to identify with the group. The different frames of reference that form the topos
of the two novels, clearly show that Afrikaans literature can establish a new idiom that uses African
motifs without discarding its European roots. The European novel, on the contrary, retains the
traditional European metaphorical and mythological material||