Female Identity and the Dynamics of Culture in Selected African Women-Authored Novels
No Thumbnail Available
The notion that women are subsumed and subjugated by male-devised social structures informs the concern of this study entitled “Female Identity and the Dynamics of Culture in Selected African Women-Authored Novels.” The notion enables this investigation of the interplay of identity, gender and culture and in the light of recent debates by many women and men (including Western critics) about how women can be granted equality with men in all human relations. This study investigates the complex nature of identity in the context of perceptions of women in traditional and modern societies. Time and space (location and period) as well as notions of enslavement, liberation, rebellion, negotiation, womanism, and complementarity are shown to be central cultural issues in the realisation of female identity. Women’s narratives from different places and even eras of African histories/experiences, politics and cultures have been critically analysed using Gynocriticism, a feminist theory by Elaine Showalter, to demonstrate women writer’s perspectives into identity and cultural determinants. Biology, linguistics, psychology and other cultural issues underscore the women writers’ narrative insights. The writers are shown to focus on communalism and complementarity in the analysis of their thematic interests. This study reveals how identity, sexuality and sensuality are conditioned by the dynamics of culture, gender, tradition and modernity. Eight representative narratives by six African women writers, defined by specific locations (four regions), have been explored to show that identity is not static concept, but progressive in representing the evolution of female identity in Africa. Culture-specific issues are of distinct significance to women in each of the region – West, North, South and East. The issues that affect female identity in Africa have been presented in three sections of the study. Part One examines various arguments or definitions of identity. It also accommodates the Literature Review, Theoretical Framework and Methodology. Part Two presents the analyses of the selected novels. It focuses on portrayals of identity from four regions of Africa. It interrogates how women are perceived (and how they perceive themselves) in each zone. Part Three presents the findings of the study and conclusion.
A Thesis Submitted to the School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Lagos
African Women , Culture , Literature , Gender and Culture , Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION::Aesthetic subjects::Literature
Ofure, O.M (2010). Female Identity and the Dynamics of Culture in Selected African Women-Authored Novels. A Thesis Submitted to the School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Lagos.