Sample Essay

Some female African writers like Ama Ata Aido in ‘The Dilemma of a Ghost’ and Osonye Tess Onwueme in ‘The Missing Face’ represent African American women as those searching for cultural identity. In each play the women (Eulalie in ‘The Dilemma of a Ghost’ and Ida Bee in ‘The Missing Face’) are shown to be dependent upon their African lovers to provide them the identity who fail to fulfill the duty. They find their cultural identity through West African community. The plays thus reveal the failure of men to provide cultural translation to the women.

The women are deprived of the full realization of their being human beings, said Aidoo, that includes the possibility of the roles outside the net of traditional roles. Nkiru Nzegwu in his paper ‘Hidden Spaces, Silent Practices and the Concept of Igba N’rira(elopement)’ throws light on the issue from a different perspective by examining female spaces in the Igbo society hidden in Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart’ and the concept of elopement as used by women. In the novel the wives of Okonkwo are trapped in unhappy wedlock and portrayed by the author as lacking strong sense of self before their husbands. In the society of Igbo, as is portrayed in the novel, the wives were economic producers and helpers for the husbands. The physical torture was also a part of the society as Okonkwo beats his second wife, Ekwefi, without any reason.

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