Cultural Pitfalls and Splinters That Hinder Women’s Empowerment in Butchi Emecheta’s The Joys of Motherhood (Published)
Regarded as the fair sex in the traditional society, Igbo women come across traditional barriers that bedevil human dignity and bring them to sooth their voice into an acceptance of their degrading social status. In so being, it will be interesting, in this paper, to browse through the pages of social obstacles that torn apart the Igbo women’s elan toward empowerment. Thereby, an in-depth analysis of the Igbo stratification will put on surface the real and various obstacles that give ground to women’s disability to climb the scales of freedom and power of all kinds.
For the most of history the female has been largely disadvantaged in terms of social standing or status as well as fundamental legal rights, compared to their male counterparts. The continuity of this trend of the female being a second class human, is fuelled by traditional, cultural, and religious beliefs of mostly patriarchal societies. The theory under application in this write-up is the radical feminist approach. The paper seeks to explore how patriarchy, being an aspect of culture, helps to paint or make the woman inferior in the light of their male counterparts. This theoretical approach has been sufficiently explored in the work of Nawal El Sadaawi entitled, “A woman at point Zero” (1983), Buchi Emecheta’s “The joys of motherhood” (1979) and Amma Darko’s “Beyond the Horizon” (1995), among other literary works. The efforts made by the female towards becoming independent from men, have also been closely looked into. Sexual abuse, polygamy, female genital mutilation, widowhood rites and the “trokosi” tradition (Ghana) are among several other socio-cultural factors that set the tone for the oppression, under-rating, malhandling and general discrimination against women in the stories selected in this study. The theories of feminism and literary criticisms have been implied in this study.
Charlotte Brontë holds a unique place in presenting heroines who are assertive. As the author of vivid, intensely written novels, Charlotte Brontë broke the traditional nineteenth-century fictional stereotype of a woman as beautiful, submissive, dependent, and ignorant and delineated the portrait of a ‘new woman’ who is independent and who does not simply submit herself to the norms of the patriarchal setup. Charlotte Brontë’s first novel, Jane Eyre (1847) was immediately recognized for its originality and power. Since then, Brontë has been considered by critics as one of the foremost authors of the nineteenth century, an important precursor to feminist novelists, and the creator of intelligent, independent heroines who asserted their rights as women long before those rights were recognized by society. Through Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë aims to project the need to fight against the oppression in the patriarchy. Penniless, lonely and starving, Jane Eyre does not remain a victim of social injustice but emerges as a brave warrior to stand against the male domination and is determined to assert her individuality without submitting to the accepted traditional norms. Both Mr. Rochester and St. John want to master Jane and in both the cases, she insists on her independent will. She wants power and the freedom to be active as she wishes to experience the world in a positive and constructive fashion. She does marry Mr. Rochester, but on her own terms and not at the cost of her independence.
Heavenly Hurt Emily Dickinson (Published)
This paper focused on the absurdist elements in the selected poems of Emily Dickinson. Spending her life in a politically and socially rigid family she also experienced an authoritarian patriarchy; and ironically these oppressive elements became inspirations to her for writing rebellious poetry while completely ignoring the set norms, regularities and unyielding poetic traditions. This paper reveals her rejections of existing religious order and social conditions while exposing their emptiness and austerity. This paper attempted to make a connection between absurdism and the poetry of Emily Dickinson to depict the disconnection among Man, God and Society as strongly propounded by Dickinson.
Depressing Connections between the Misogynist Project of Political Islam and Western Academia in the Backdrop of Literary Work of Khaled Hosseini’s ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ (Published)
This paper seeks to explore the role of political Islam, its relation with the West and its impact on the women of Afghanistan. It discusses the term political Islam, discourse issue of Islamic feminism, demonstrates the power of patriarchy and displays the Western project to support misogynist construction of Islam. It shows how the framework of Islamic feminism re-describes political Islam as a discursive establishment, simultaneously; it presents Esposito’s insights on the representation of political Islam in the West. Furthermore, this paper investigates the subjugated Living of women focussing on an understanding the misogynist attempts that marginalize women. A small critique of some postcolonial works illustrating the chauvinist character of identity politics in Muslim societies is used to explore the set assumptions. Theoretical model of Islamic feminism provides methodology for analyses of A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007). This paper concludes that this novel presents a flourishing view of Islam and reinforces the need to educate the West about the Islamic concept of peace, tolerance and gender indiscrimination.
Representation of Female Characters as Extension of Male Characters: A Feministic Analysis of Sidhwa’s “The Pakistani Bride (Published)
This paper is an attempt to explore the issues of female status in society by Sidhwa, in her novel “The Pakistani Bride” (1983). It discusses the dilemma of females being treated as extension of males with special reference to Pakistani society. It aims to expose how patriarchal societies suppress and subjugate females physically, emotionally and socially. Sidhwa has quite appropriately shown Pakistani gender-based class structure. She talks about marginalized and double colonized Pakistani women and presents them as victim of patriarchal culture who faces different national and domestic issues and is expected to suppress her individuality in order to be in harmony with society and culture.
Patriarchy: A Hinderance in a Female’s Individual Development In “The Mill on the Floss” By Eliot (Published)
The present study is an attempt to show how a female’s individual development is obstructed at every step by patriarchal set up which affirms itself by taking references from religion and science. This has been done through the character of Maggie, a bold, intelligent, fearless and impulsive young girl. Despite her qualities, she remains “the other”. Her resistance against the established practices, results only in her death. Her individual development remains a dream, not fulfilled.
OF AFRICAN LITERATURE, PERIODS AND CHIMAMANDA ADICHIE’S JOURNEY INTO SELF DISCOVERY IN PURPLE HIBISCUS. (Review Completed - Accepted)
Literature and periods are inseparable because of the latter’s function in the interpretation of fiction. Period is an indispensable factor whenever a work of art is discussed. Because a writer does not write in a vacuum but out of the historical, political, or personal experiences/situations from his immediate society, period therefore is a tool that equips the reader to a better understanding of these situations. This paper focuses on the relevance of periods in the appreciation of literature. Moreover, the many factors that influence and determine a period are also explored. The research surveys the ways different eras, movements and economic changes dictate their established modes of narration. In addition, the paper as well probes the periodization of African literature with emphasis on the three generations of African writers and the preoccupation of their texts. The paper examines the writings of African female writers and the themes they explore to drive home the fact that women are relegated to the border in national, traditional and religious debate. Consequently, Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus, part of the third generation narration is concerned with the identity of the modern African woman in the 21st Century. This essay therefore, investigates how Adichie in Purple Hibiscus questions patriarchy by deconstructing the roles of tradition and religion in the disintegration of the family and the traditional African society. It is the argument of this paper that Adichie succeeds in creating characters that negotiate hybrid identities thereby defining their selfhood.