chapter  6
14 Pages

Haggard’s Constructions of African Masculinity: Otherness, Violence and Music

Just as Henry Rider Haggard's Other women are attributed a musicality that their European sisters cannot share, Haggard's 'native' men are musical in a way that helps to differentiate them completely from their Western counterparts. Music is one of the devices that Haggard uses to other his non-European men, and it is an important component of his construction of their masculinity. Masculinity, like femininity, is a social construction with its own characteristics that are particular to a certain time and specific place. The gendered construction of masculinity is an integral part of male identity, with the 'norms' of masculinity, learnt as a child, becoming fundamental components of a man's character, beliefs and hence behaviour. Despite the recurrent violent (and musical) images of sacrifice and cannibalism in Haggard's fiction, there are no non-fictional descriptions of such activities written by Haggard in his published correspondence, diaries or autobiographical pieces.