By Florence Stratton
The effect of colonialism and race at the improvement of African literature has been the topic of a few reports. The impression of patriarchy and gender, even if, and certainly the contributions of African girls, have up formerly been mostly neglected through the critics. Contemporary African Literature and the Politics of Gender is the 1st huge account of African literature from a feminist perspective.
In this primary radical and interesting paintings Florence Stratton outlines the beneficial properties of an rising girl culture in African fiction. A bankruptcy is devoted to every to the works of 4 ladies writers: Grace Ogot, plant life Nwapa, Buchi Emecheta and Mariama Ba. furthermore she presents tough new readings of canonical male authors equivalent to Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiongo'o and Wole Soyinka. Contemporary African Literature and the Politics of Gender therefore presents the 1st really complete definition of the present literary culture in Africa.
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These are, as in Song of Lawino, embodied in the figure of a woman. Wandering south through desert, savannah, and forest, the Warrior traverses the landscape of Africa in his search, finally arriving at the sea which proves to be his destination. For on the shore he finds a woman, beautiful but grieving, who has ‘about her…the stamp of the permanence of things that move in cycles, beginning and ending, springing and dying and then springing’ (192). While the woman is pleased to see the Warrior, she is also wary, for she has ‘welcomed many like him before’ and ‘watched the promise always fade into the ashen blandness of disillusionment’ (193).
Then, when Ebla finds out that Awill is having an affair with an Italian woman, she takes a second husband. Immediately after this episode she learns that her home in the Ogaden is now part of Ethiopia. At this point she wonders when her own ‘kind of going from one hand to another would come to an end’ (128). What she eventually concludes is that the best she can do is to develop a strategy that will at least serve her own interests too: ‘With her hand, she felt down her body, naked under the sheet; she scratched her sex, then chuckled.
For with the notable exception of Chielo, the powerful priestess of Agbala, Achebe’s women are, indeed, ‘down on one knee’, if not both, before their menfolk and they are regularly making an exit, no doubt ‘in their proper order’, from all the spaces in which power, economic or otherwise, is exercised. The status of women in Umuofia is very low: ‘He had a large barn full of yams and he had three wives’ (6). They are mere objects circulated among their menfolk, willed, for example, by a father to a son as part of an estate, or traded for a bag full of cowries.