Ecofeminist Colourings in the Works of Chinua Achebe and Thomas Hardy (Published)
The current global environmental crises urged me to investigate the manner in which writers from different backgrounds represent man’s relationship with nature in their texts and how they tie it to feminist dynamics. More precisely, the work focuses on the Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe’s trilogy Things Fall Apart, No Longer at Ease and Arrow of God and the English writer Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure. The research question that guides the work is: how do Chinua Achebe and Thomas Hardy represent the connection between environmental issues and gender considerations? The hypothesis is based on the premise that the two authors represent the environment and feminine realities with hints to the need for more protection. Second Wave Ecocriticism as outlined by Lawrence Buell and Ecofeminism according to Paul Sanders Quick constitute the theoretical framework while the Comparative Approach of Tötösy de Zepetnek that stresses on an international dimension is the methodology used to bring out the ecofeminist visions of the two writers in the above-mentioned texts.
The trajectory of ecocritical hermeneutics is calibrated into phases. The phases, labeled as “waves” is not a strict consecutive sequence of one wave after another. It is a stretch of overlapping phases in the disciplinary development of the field. The perceptions of the waves are premised on the changing dynamics of nature in relation to human activities. Works that constituted the zero wave showed ecocritical hermeneutics suspected to be literary before the word “Eco criticism” was coined in 1978. The first wave rooted in deep ecology enjoins nature preservation and protection. If advocated the static stability of nature and its dialectical relationship with man. It privileged the Universalist perception of nature and the focus on nature writing/non-fiction texts in the United States of America, which accounted for the narrowness of the phase. The perception of the environment beyond the “ natural” consequent upon technological development and urbanization, thus, broadening the re-theorising of nature to incorporate vestiges of nature in cities and texts not necessarily interested in the natural environment set forth the phase of second wave. The wave creates awareness of ecological despoilation and the disproportionate effect of environment pollution on certain races (environmental injustice); and the gendered view that it is nature as women and nature of women to be exploited and subdued (ecofeminism). In the third wave, ethnic and national literatures are considered in view of their particularities and broadening beyond their geopolitical boundaries to attain global spectrum as they explore the environmental underpinning of every facets of man’s endeavour. This paper posits that since the essence of the changing phases is to avert the apocalyptic direction of the world, scholars are to engage their literary sensitivity to locate their efforts appropriately in any of the waves of the field to engender sustained mutual constitutiveness of man and nature.
This article explores the broad ecocritical perspectives represented in De lisser’s Jane’s Career (1914). The study is located in the environmental and cultural histories of the Caribbean. It evocates the interrelationships between nature and culture based on the broader view of the concept of ‘environment’ by the second wave ecocritics to make the theory applicable to urban setting. It enables ecocriticism to place human culture in relation to the urban natural world as it goes beyond the nature-culture divide to the ways man and nature are harmoniously constitutive in an environment (built and unbuilt). This is, the environmental thoughts and actions of the characters are interpreted in relation to the exploitation of nature and women, and also, the harmonious coexistence of man with nature. It is discovered through the examination of the nature-culture interrelationship that environmentality is a feature of urban settlement. The analysis done using that tens touches issues of colonialism, environmental, ecofeminism and identity formation in the Caribbean