Gender Violence in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s PURPLE Hibiscus : Current School News

Gender Violence in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s PURPLE Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun

 – Gender Violence in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s PURPLE Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun – 

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ABSTRACT

Gender-based violence is not a new problem in Nigerian society or other societies of the world. Violence against an individual on the basis of his /her gender is commonplace and is becoming endemic.

Various studies have been carried out on what fosters gender violence and what makes it thrive with a view to putting an end to the problem. This has opened up various arguments as to how the problem can best be tackled.

This study looks at the analyses of gender violence in the Nigerian novel and how Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie presents this problem in her novels; Purple Hibiscus (2003) and Half of a Yellow Sun (2006).

This research interrogates how Adichie presents gender violence in these novels and how it affects the female gender. This study demonstrates that the texts selected by its thematic preoccupation and character delineation show culture and tradition as strong factors in sex differentiation, creation of gender identities and power-sharing.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. i
Declaration ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..ii
Certification……………………………………………………………………….………….iii
Acknowledgements…………………………………………………………………………….v
Dedication………………………………………………………………………………………. …………..…….vi
Abstract……………………………………………………………………………..…….….vii
CHAPTER ONE………………………………………………………………………………1
1.0 Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………1
1.1 Sex, Gender and Violence…………………………….……………………………………1
1.2 Statement of Problem…………………………………………………………..…………5
1.3 Aim and Objectives of Study…………………………..…………..………………………….6
1.4 Significance of Study………………………….……………………………….…………7
1.5 Scope and Limitation of Study……………………………………….………..…………8
1.6 Methodology………………………………………………………………….……….….9
1.7 Background to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie……………………………………………..9
1.8 The Novel and Gender Discourse in Nigeria………………………. ……………………11
1.9 Theoretical Framework………………………………………………………………….20
1.9.1 Radical Feminism as Theoretical Framework……………………………………………..21
1.9.2 The Emergence of the Theory………………………………………………..…………21
1.9.3 Max Weber‘s Power Theory…………………………………………………..….…….24
1.9.4 Radical Feminist Theory and Max Weber Power Theory..…………………………..…27
2.0 CHAPTER TWO ……………………………………………………………………….28
2.1 Review of Related Literature………………………………………………………………………………..28
3.0 CHAPTER THREE: Purple Hibiscus………………………………………………..41
3.1 The Reconstruction of Childhood Character in Purple Hibiscus………………………………..41
3.1.2 Gender and genre; A Feminist Exploration of the Bildungsroman in Purple Hibiscus……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…42
3.2 The Weight of Religion in Purple Hibiscus……………………….………………..……45
3.3 Violence as a Metaphor for Silence in Purple Hibiscus…….…………………………….51
3.4 The Good Wife in Purple Hibiscus…………………………….…………..………..……57
4.0 CHAPTER FOUR: Half of a Yellow Sun……………………………………………………………..62
4.1 The Redefined Image of Women in Half of a Yellow Sun………………………………………….62
4.2 The role of Women in the Nigerian Civil War in Half of a Yellow Sun……………………….69
4.3 Sexual Violence in Half of a Yellow Sun ………………………………………….………75
4. 4 Patriarchy and Marginalization in Half of a Yellow Sun …………………………………77
5.0 CHAPTER FIVE
5.0 Conclusion………………………………….………………………………………….….84
BIBLOGRAPHY…………………………………………………………………………….87

INTRODUCTION

In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to women writing in Africa. Consequently, gender studies dominated the literary scene and the representation of women in male-authored works precipitated many critical debates.

In other words, there has been more interest in examining the ways in which men behave, particularly in relation to women. Consequently, a literary canon was developed in which women writers give a re-presentation of the female experience by depicting a different image of women in their works in variance wih the earlier works by male authors.

In furtherance of the argument on the importance of women writing about the female experience in literary texts, Aidoo (1996) submits that, ―Women writers write about women because when we wake up in the morning and look in the mirror we see women”.

Many female writers try to bring into focus their femaleness/femininity and personal experiences in their narratives and in doing so highlight power differences between men and women. As a result, women scholars and activists have pioneered a literary canon built on sexual politics aimed at stamping gender and feminism into both criticism and theory.

This is with the aim of replacing a tradition that is viewed as masculine and domineering by female critics like Showalter (1985). She maintains that gender has become an analytic category whether the concerns are a representation of sexual difference, (re)shaping masculinity, building feminine values or exclusion of female voice from the literary canon.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Adichie, C.N. (2003) Purple Hibiscus,Nigeria; Farafina

Adichie, C.N. (2006) Half of a Yellow Sun Nigeria, Farafina. Secondary Texts

Abbott, Pamela, Claire Wallace et al (2005) Introduction to Sociology: Feminist Perspectives London, Routeledge.

Ackerly, Brooke A., Stern, Maria & True, Jacqui (eds.), (2006) Feminist methodologies for international relations, Cambridge : Cambridge University Press

Achebe, C. (1958) Things Fall Apart, Ibadan, Heinemann Educational Books Ltd

Achebe, C. (1975). Morning Yet on Creation Day London: Heinemann

Achebe, C. (2012) There Was a Country USA, Penguin Group.

Acholonu, R. (1999). “Women in the African Novel and the Quest for Human Rights”. Beyond the Marginal Land: Gender Perspectives on African writing. Ed.

Chioma Opara. Port Harcourt: Belpot, Pp.93 – 109.

Adeyanju, A.O. ( 1999) ‗Teaching Literature for Social Change and National Development‘

In Advanced Studies In Languages and Literature. Vol 1, Zaria, Published by School of Languages, Federal College Of Education.

Aidoo, A. A. [2007] ―To be an African Woman Writer – an Overview and a Detail‖, in Tejumola, Olaniyan and Ato Quayson. (Eds.). African Literature: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory. Oxford: Blackwell, 513-519.

Aidoo, A. A. (1996) ―Literature, Feminism and the African Woman Today.‖ Reconstructing Womanhood, Reconstructing Feminism (Ed.) Delia Jarrett-Macauley. London: Routeledge: 156-74.

Aidoo, A. A. (2003) Anowa Ghana, Pearson Education, Limited Amnesty International, Nigeria. (2006) Rape: The Silent Weapon.

CSN Team.

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