Sample Term Paper

Many writers are of the view that the African female writers discuss the issues of identity, womanhood and gender as a consequence of the existent patriarchal system in pre colonial Africa. Some Feminist critics focus on women as readers, while some focus on women writers. In discussion of women as readers, representation of women is analyzed. Feminists hold the view that gender is the social construct, not biological, therefore the question of representation of women in literary works have been an area of concern for the feminists.

The pre-colonial African setting portrayed stereotypical representation of women where they were treated as dependent upon their husbands or other male members in the family. The patriarchal society of pre-colonial Africa was reflected in the works of the artists as well. After Africa gained dependence there were significant changes in the social scenario of Africa. As ‘all the literature almost produced by men’ (Showalter), the women have been the object of inferiority not only in Africa but in countries like England as well. Showalter’s argument corresponds to the argument of this essay as she says, ‘We study the stereotypes of women, the sexism of male critics, and the limited roles women play in literary history, we are not learning what women have felt and experienced, but what men have thought women should be’ (Showalter). The root of the problem lies in the very fact that in the male dominated literary scenario the women’s part is confined to conventional roles only.

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