Feminine Language in Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo’s Last of the Strong Ones

Feminine Language in Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo’s Last of the Strong Ones

Dr. Ima Emmanuel


International Journal of social research

Literature generally evolves from a people’s historical and cultural experiences. Though both male and female writers explore their culture for sources of inspirations, and occasionally, for their techniques, the linguistic items employed by both writers to portray their visions are slightly different in the nature of language use as seen in Akachi Ezeigbo’s The Last of the Strong Ones. This paper investigates language use in Ezeigbo’s work using the feminist discourse approach with particular reference to Elaine Showalter’s ‘Gynocriticism’, which is the study of women as writers. This theoretical thrust provides critics with four models concerning the nature of criticism of female writers’ works. The paper affirms that in spite of what patriarchy calls the feminine in language use, which are gender differentiated linguistic behaviours Ezeigbo like most other female writers, employs language for distinctiveness and identity to express genuinely female consciousness in a personal, intimate tone. The preponderance of personal pronoun ‘I’ helps to present things in an involved and relational way; the frequent use of rhetorical questions are signs of conversational control, whereas the recurrent reference to land, nature and culture reaffirms women as great mothers. In all, Ezeigbo endows women with the power of speech as subjects in their use of linguistic features. Since the novel is a diversity of social speech types, language use also predisposes both sexes along linguistic differences. In conclusion the paper submits that language use as reflected in the feminist world-view, deals with women’s development and identity and not ‘otherness’ as patriarchy perceives it. Therefore, through the careful selection of the linguistic items, Ezeigbo extends the limits of the English language to accommodate her perceptions of African cultural world view from the female perspective.

Keywords: gender, the biological model, the linguistic model, the psychoanalytic model and the cultural model

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How to cite this article:
Ima Emmanuel. Feminine Language in Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo’s Last of the Strong Ones. International Journal of Social Research, 2017; 1:5. DOI:10.28933/ijsr-2017-11-2102


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