“But you are a woman. You do not count.” Does The Woman Count? A Study of Chimanande Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus

“But you are a woman. You do not count.” Does The Woman Count? A Study of Chimanande Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus

Ima Usen Emmanuel

Department of English, University of Uyo-Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

International Journal of social research

In many parts of Africa and in Nigerian in particular cultural obligations continues to traumatize the woman in many ways thus seeking to cripple her economically and to overpower her psychologically in spite of the woman’s self-actualization. This paper set out to re-assess Papa Nnukwu’s utterance to Aunty Ifeoma: “But you are a woman. You do not count,” in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus. Irrespective of Aunty Ifeoma’s selfless sacrifice to Papa Nnukwu as against Eugene’s total neglect of him, Papa Nnukwu still privileges father/son relationship which guarantees the transmission of patriarchal powers, its laws, its discourses and its social structures. The paper examined the topic using the feminist theory with particular reference to African Feminism. The paper re-affirmed the relevance of the woman within the family and society, and summarizes that the woman is indispensable in parenting which involves: nurturing, caring, and inculcating religions, moral values and discipline in the child. As a womanist Aunty Ifeoma shouldered the responsibility of the family morally, economically and psychologically. Unlike the uncompromising Eugene, Aunty Ifeoma negotiated with her family members for harmonious co-existence without over-looking discipline. She was also the sole sustenance of Papa Nnukwu in his life and in his death. As an individual she was highly educated, and as an accommodationist she communally bonded positively with the advantaged and the disadvantaged in society. The paper is of the opinion that the utterance of Papa Nnukwu was as obsolete as Papa himself who clanged to an archaic religion without followers. From the forgoing the woman is indispensable to the development of both man and society she is the nurturer, caretaker and cultural transmitter and these roles are not insignificant or are they signs of powerlessness as envisaged by patriarchy.

Keywords: Study, Chimanande Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus

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How to cite this article:
Ima Usen Emmanuel, “But you are a woman. You do not count.” Does The Woman Count? A Study of Chimanande Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus. International Journal of Social Research, 2017; 1:11.


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