FEMALE EMPOWERMENT AND CONSCIOUSNESS RAISING IN CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE’S PURPLE HIBISCUS AND HALF OF A YELLOW SUN

Paul Taidi 41 PAGES (14247 WORDS) Theology Project
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ABSTRACT

This project work focuses on consciousness raising and female empowerment as major avenues of women’s liberation. It examines the rights of the sexes and highlights some perspectives of feminism. The work also explores the gap between women and men engendered by cultural constructions, which perpetually put women in disadvantaged positions as portrayed in Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun. The author shows that for women to rise above these traditional constructs, especially as “good women”, they need to understand themselves and, having done this, they equally need to express their peculiar experiences. In other words, self-knowledge and self-expression become sine qua non for action. Also, the works synthesize the author’s use of language such as local words, narrative techniques, allusion, among others to voice her condemnation of oppression and marginalization of women in the Nigerian patriarchal society.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

    PAGES

CERTIFICATION………………………………………………………                I

DECLARATION………………………………………………………....             II

DEDICATION………………………………………………………........            III

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS………………………………………………            IV

ABSTRACT………………………………………………………………             V

TABLE OF CONTENTS………………………………………………….            VI

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.0              Background of the Study…………………………………………....           1

1.1              Bio-data of the Author………………………………………………           2

1.2              Significance of the Study……………………………………………           3

1.3              Methodology…………………………………………………………          4

1.4              Theoretical Framework………………………………………………           4

1.5              Definition of Terms………………………………………………….           12

 

 

 

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE       

2.1       Scholarly Reviews on Purple Hibiscus……………………………….          13

2.2       Scholarly Reviews on Half of a Yellow Sun…………………………            19

CHAPTER THREE: FEMALE EMPOWERMENT AND RAISED CONSCIOUSNESS IN CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE’SPURPLE HIBISCUS AND HALF OF A YELLOW SUN

3.1       Synopsis of Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun……………..            23       

3.2       Self-Assertiveness of Aunty Ifeoma and Olanna……………………           25

3.3       Passivity of Beatrice and Mrs Ozobia            ………………………………            28

3.4       The Individuality of Kambili and Olanna……………………………          31

3.5       Education and Economic Independence in the Novels………………          33

3.6       Sisterhood in the Novels…………………………………………….            37

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER FOUR: TECHNIQUES IN CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE’S PURPLE HIBISCUS AND HALF OF A YELLOW SUN

4.1       Narrative Point of View……………………………………………..           40

4.2       Allusion……………………………………………………………….          41

4.3       Use of Igbo Language………………………………………………..          42       

4.4       Chapter Split……………………………………………………………       43       

4.5       Satire…………………………………………………………………           43

4.6       Setting ………………………………………………………………            44

4.7       Symbols……………………………………………………………..            44

CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

5.1       Conclusion…………………………………………………………              47

5.2       Recommendations…………………………………………………..                        48

WORKS CITED

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1            BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

 

The emergence of feminist ideas and feminist politics depends on the understanding that, in all societies, women are less valued than men. Feminism also depends on the premise that women can consciously and collectively change their social place (Humm, 1). Humm states that the word feminism can stand for a belief in sexual equality, combined with a commitment to eradicate sexist domination and to transform the society. In this book Feminisms, Humm said that there are small women groups known as consciousness raising groups (CR) (1). Feminism is also shaped by the cultural, legal and economic policies of particular societies in which women, come together to protest their collective devalued positions.

Acholonu, in an article entitled Women in the African Novel and the quest for Human Rights argues that within the African cultural milieu, women’s rights are hardly recognized as constituting part and parcel of the general human rights. The tragedy of our underdevelopment, according to her, is that dehumanizing poverty, institutionalized and malignant sexism, as well as the relegated status of womanhood, have continued to bog down the life cycle of the average female, who whether as a daughter, sister, wife, mother or worker is often harassed or denied equal opportunities to enjoy the full benefits of her human rights (93).

The writer of this work observes that women have suffered mistreatment in many ways and have raised the following questions: Are women not created in the same way God created men? Women are apportioned odd duties, domestic works such as cooking, sweeping the house, mopping the floor and so on. Why are women forced by men to obey the rules against their wishes? Women are treated like salt less ash, mere property or servant by men.  Why are women blamed for not producing male children as if they are God that gives male children? For instance, an elderly woman in my village named Gladys has been dehumanized and maltreated by her husband because she has delivered five female children without a male heir. Therefore, her husband treats her like a servant and his property. She is not allowed to question her husband’s actions, or state her case instead she receives beating in return.

 1.2 BIO-DATA OF CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born on 15th September, 1977 in Enugu, Nigeria. She is the fifth of six children to Grace Ifeoma and James Nwoye Adichie. Her family ancestral home town is Abba, in Anambra State. Chimamanda’s father, who is now retired, worked at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He was Nigeria’s first professor of statistics, and later became the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University. Her mother was the first female Registrar of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Chimamanda Adichie completed her secondary school education at the University of Nigeria Nsukka Staff Primary school, receiving academic prizes. She went on to study Medicine and Pharmacy at the University of Nigeria for a year and half. During this period, she edited “The Compass”, a magazine run by the university’s Catholic Medical Students. At the age of nineteen, Adichie Chimamanda left for the United States. She gained a scholarship to study Communication at Drexel University in Philadelphia for two years and she went on to pursue a degree in Communication and Political Science at Eastern Connecticut, State University. While in Connecticut, she stayed with her sister Ijeoma, who runs a medical practice close to the university. She graduated summa cum laude from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2001, and then completed a master’s degree in Creative Writing at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

During her senior year at Eastern Connecticut State University, she started working on her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, which was published in October 2003. The book received wide scholarly acclamation: It was short-listed for the Orange Fiction Prize (2004) and was awarded the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Best First Book in 2005. Her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun was published in August 2006, in the United Kingdom and in September 2006 it was published in the United States. Her collection of short story, The Thing Around Your Neck (2009), marked the beginning of her writings about Africa . . . Her other works include poetry like Decisions 1998, and drama – The Love for Biafra 1998.

1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

          This work will draw attention to the oppression, violence, the subjugation faced by women in our society, and the importance of education in Purple Hibiscus and Half of a yellow Sun. It will help the general readers and students of Literature to be familiar with the information contained in this paper about the subjugation of women in the African, patriarchal society. This work will also serve as a research resource material in future for those who will like to know the main facts affecting female empowerment and raised consciousness in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun.               

 

 

1.4 METHODOLOGY

          The analysis of Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun will be based on sources such as the library, internet research, news papers, magazines, scholarly commentaries, critical reviews and interviews with most village women who have suffered female subjugation.

1.5 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

Theoretical framework to be used in analyzing these texts is Feminism. Feminist theory aims at understanding the nature of gender inequality and focuses on gender politics, power relations and sexuality. Chukwuma in her book entitled Studies in the African Novel defines feminism as “standing for female assertion; an effort by women to claim proper treatment and places in the society and in the homes not out of pity and consideration but by right. It is a fight for rights of woman dignity, importantly; it is a fight for recognition, for a place in the sun” (53).

Eboh in her article “Aetiology of Feminist . . .” quote that the Ghanaian female writer, Ama Ata Aidoo defines that: “Feminism is an essential tool in women’s struggles everywhere, and that includes African women. In fact, whenever some of us are asked rather bluntly whether we are feminists, we not only also bluntly answer “yes”, but even go on to assert that every woman, as well as every man, should be a feminist – especially if we Africans should take charge of our land, its wealth and our own lives and the burden of our reconstruction from colonialism and slavery” (25).

            She goes further to quote that Micere Mugo of Kenya “sees feminism as the means by which, as a woman, she can break out of the prison of confining roles” (26).

            According to Okpeh Ochayi Okpeh, Feminism has been conceptualized as an ideological standpoint as well as a political program. As an ideological platform, its goal is articulated as follows: “. . . to raise women’s consciousness about their rights and conditions as an oppressed group in the current organization of their societies. Its aim is to bring them to think critically, to challenge the role assigned to them in society and in the household and to refuse their status as second-class citizens. According to Okpeh, feminism has called into question the basic values on which existing gender relations are built”. As a political agenda of action, it aims to: “. . . spur women into action to change their conditions and recover their full rights. For this, they have to be involved in political and social action. In that, perspective, feminism seeks to build strong women’s organizations that can be effective advocates of social change and gender equality”.

            Delmar Rosalind also defined feminism “as an active desire to change women’s position in society”(13). Linked to this is the view that feminism is par excellence a social movement for change in the position of women. Its privileged form is taken to be the political movement, the self-organization of women’s politics (13).

            The PELS Literary Magazine defines feminism as the principle that posits that women “should have equal rights and chances as men in every aspect of human experience: political, legal, economic, social, etc” (10).

The writer of this work sees feminism as a fight for equal rights. Feminism stands for female self empowerment, female consciousness, female assertion, and self improvement.

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APA

Taidi, P. (2022). FEMALE EMPOWERMENT AND CONSCIOUSNESS RAISING IN CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE’S PURPLE HIBISCUS AND HALF OF A YELLOW SUN. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/female-empowerment-and-consciousness-raising-in-chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-s-purple-hibiscus-and-half-of-a-yellow-sun

MLA 8th

Taidi, Paul "FEMALE EMPOWERMENT AND CONSCIOUSNESS RAISING IN CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE’S PURPLE HIBISCUS AND HALF OF A YELLOW SUN" Afribary. Afribary, 30 Jul. 2022, https://afribary.com/works/female-empowerment-and-consciousness-raising-in-chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-s-purple-hibiscus-and-half-of-a-yellow-sun. Accessed 07 Aug. 2022.

MLA7

Taidi, Paul . "FEMALE EMPOWERMENT AND CONSCIOUSNESS RAISING IN CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE’S PURPLE HIBISCUS AND HALF OF A YELLOW SUN". Afribary, Afribary, 30 Jul. 2022. Web. 07 Aug. 2022. < https://afribary.com/works/female-empowerment-and-consciousness-raising-in-chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-s-purple-hibiscus-and-half-of-a-yellow-sun >.

Chicago

Taidi, Paul . "FEMALE EMPOWERMENT AND CONSCIOUSNESS RAISING IN CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE’S PURPLE HIBISCUS AND HALF OF A YELLOW SUN" Afribary (2022). Accessed August 07, 2022. https://afribary.com/works/female-empowerment-and-consciousness-raising-in-chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-s-purple-hibiscus-and-half-of-a-yellow-sun