Review Article of International Journal of Social Research
“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
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
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. DOI:10.28933/ijsr-2017-11-2901
1 Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart.
2 Akachi Ezeigbo. Gender Issues in Nigeria: Feminine Perspective. Lagos: Vista Books, 1996.
3Snail-Sense Feminism: Building on an Indigenous Model. Lagos: Wealthsmith Books, 2012.
4 Alkali, Zaynab. The Stillborn. Lagos, Longman Limited; 2002.
5 Armah, Ayi Kwei. The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born. London, Heinemann; 1976.
6 Bressler, Charles. Literary Criticism: An Introduction to Theory and Practice. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1994.
7 Cooper, Brenda. “Resurgent Spirits, Catholic Echoes of Igbo & Petal of Purple: The Syncretised World of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus. In Ed. Ernest Emenyonu. New Novels in African Literature Today, Vol 27. Ibadan: HEBN Publishers Plc, 2010. (1-12).
8 Engels, Frederick. The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State. New York: International Publishers, 1972.
9 Gwamna, Je’adayide. “Feminist Agenda and its Challenge to Theological Discourse in Africa.” In Journal of Women in Academics, Vol. I, No,1 Jos: Deke Enterprises (Nig.), 2000. (88-105)
10 Head, Bessie. A Question of Power. Wales: Heinemann; 1974.
11 Hooks, Bell. Feminist Theory from Margins to Centre. Boston: South End, 1984.
12 Kolawole, Mary. Womanism and African Consciousness. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1997.
13 Ngcobo Lauretta. “African Motherhood: Myth and Reality.” In Tejumola Olaniyan and Ato Quayson (eds) African Literature: an Anthology of Criticism and Theory. Malden, Blackwell Publishing, 2010. (55-80)
14 Nnaemeka, Obioma. “Introduction: Reading the Rainbow.” Ed. Obioma Nnaemeka Sisterhood, Feminism and Power: From Africa to the Diaspora. Treton, New Jersey: African World Press, 1998. (351-386)
15 Nwapa, Flora. “Woman and Creative Writing in Africa.” In Ed. Olaniyan Tejumola and Quayson Ato. African Literature: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory. Californis: Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2007. (526-532)
16 Ogini, Eromobo. Feminism Then and Now: “A historical Perspective.” Ed. A Adeboyo Feminism and Black Women’s Creative Writing: Theory, Practice and Criticism. Ibadan: AMD Publishers, 1996. (11-20)
17 Ogundipe-Leslie Omolara. Recreating Ourselves: African Women Critical Transformation. Trenton, New Jessey: AWP, 1984.
18 Ogunyemi, Chikwenye Okonjo. African Wo/Man Palava: the Nigerian Novel by Women. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.
19 Woman and Nigerian Literature. Perspectives on Nigerian Literature. Lagos Guardian Books 1988.
20 Rubin, Gayle. “The Traffic in Women: Notes on the ‘Political Economy’ of Sex.” Julie Rivkin and Michael Ryan. Literary Theory: An Anthology. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1998. (533-560)
21 Tejumola Olaniyan and Ato Quayson Eds. African Literature: an Anthology of Criticism and Theory. Malden, Blackwell Publishing, 2010.
22 The Holy Bible. New King James Version.
23 Wikipedia Encyclopedia. “Feminism.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/feminism. Retrieved November 2nd 2015.
24 “African Feminism-Women. Women’s Social and Gender. http://enclyclopedia.irank. org/articles.pages/594d/African Feminisms. Retrieved November 2nd 2015.
25Womanism. http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/womanism. Retrieved November 2nd 2015.