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THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN THE SOCIO- ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA AS IN THE JOYS OF MOTHERHOOD BY BUCHI EMECHETA

AJAYI ABIMBOLA OHIZA 07/15CD031

PROJECT SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH, UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN, ILORIN, KWARA STATE, NIGERIA

IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT FOR THE AWARD OF THE BACHELOR OF ARTS (HONOURS) ENGLISH DEGREE

MAY, 2011.

CERTIFICATION This project work has been read and approved as meeting one of the requirements for the award of Bachelor of Arts (honours) degree in the Department of English of Faculty of Arts, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State Nigeria.

-------------------------Dr. (Mrs.) B. F. Ibrahim Project Supervisor

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-----------------------Dr. S.T Babatunde Head of Department

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------------------------External Examiner

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DEDICATION This essay is dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the author and perfecter of my faith. I give glory to his name for enabling me to achieve success at the end of my first degree programme. I also dedicate this essay to my Late Uncle, Major Musa Leramoh. May his gentle soul rest in peace.

ACKNOWLEGDEMENT My sincere thanks and appreciation goes to the God Almighty who has been my strength and fortress ever since I was born. I give him all the praise for his divine provision and protections throughout my stay in the University. I give him the glory for helping me achieve my dreams of obtaining a degree programme and making me who I am today. My great appreciation also goes to my supervisor, Dr. Mrs. B.F. Ibrahim, towards the success of this essay. Her words of advice and correction have helped me. I pray the good Lord bless you abundantly. I express my profound gratitude to my parents, Mr. and Mrs. A.O. Ajayi, who helped me through my stay in the university. I love you so much. I also appreciate the efforts of my loving grand mother, Mrs. C.O Ajayi. May the good Lord continue to bless you. I use this medium to appreciate the love and care of My Big Mummy, Mrs. P.O. Leramoh, may you live to reap the fruit of your labour. Moreso, I want to appreciate the love and care of my beloved siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins. I pray the good Lord will grant them all their heart desires. The endless support and love of all my friends and roommates cannot be waved aside. I am indeed indebted to you all. I appreciate your words of

encouragement towards my educational career. I love you all and I want to say a big thank you to you all.

ABSTRACT This thesis is concerned with feminist aesthetics carving out the motherist theory in the title The role of women in the Socioeconomic development of Nigeria using Buchi Emecheta as an example. It is a common knowledge that most Nigerian culture gives more cognition for the menin the society than the women.This study however aims at examining and analysing Emechetas text The Joys of Motherhood, written by Buchi Emecheta, as it enumerates in themes , characterisations and plot construction.This study shows the travails of a women being subjected by her tradition. It also how the culture of a society gives more room for the man than the woman.Nigerian women however in their society has proved to be more than bench warming spectators,even in the midst of their male dominated professional

congregations.This research is aimed at promoting further related feminist studies in Literature.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Title Page Certification Dedication Acknowledgements Abstract Table of Content CHAPTER ONE GENERAL INTRODUCTION 1.0 Introduction. 1.1 The Economic Contribution of women in Nigeria. 1.2 The Social Contribution of women in Nigeria. 1.3 Statement of the Research Problem. 1.4 Purpose of Research. 1.5 Justification. 1.6 Scope of the work. 1 3 4 7 8 8 9 i ii iii iv v vi

1.7 Methodology. 1.8 Data Description. 1.9 Biography of Buchi Emecheta. CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW 2.0 A Review of feminist theory. CHAPTER THREE DATA ANALYSIS 3.1 The Feminist Role in the plot construction 3.2 The family setting of Emechetas The Joys of Motherhood 3.3 Theme and Feminist technique in Characterisation. CHAPTER FOUR Conclusion. Bibliography.

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CHAPTER ONE GENERAL INTRODUCTION 1.0 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY Traditionally the experience of marriage and motherhood dominates the life and identity of women in Africa. Women were left behind to mind the home and children. Traditionally it is believed that the life of a woman is distinct, pure and counted to be unstained. She could be classified as peaceful, without and within as an entity. She was economically dependent, as she only fulfills her role as a wife, a mother and a builder of home. It is believed that an African woman should be involved in domestic duties like farming task and skilled craft production. Raising your children and being the best you can be, so that you know your child will grow up to make u proud, is what the African society has pumped into the meaning of Motherhood. It is believed in a contemporary African society that Motherhood is one of the most wonderful titles a woman can experience. Mothers have historically fulfilled the primary role in raising children. The African society feels that the best thing a woman can do is to give birth to children, stay at home to breast feed them, take very good care of them and even follow the husband to the farm or take the products to the Market. She is respected for this because this proves her as strong and hardworking Woman. The efforts made by each sex are subordinate. Each sex has equal condition. The contribution made by African women in the
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provision of both financial and social facilities is equal. Upon all the works a woman involves herself, the woman is still considered as not equal to man in traditional African society. In some societies in African only the male children are counted in a family during census, because they believe female children cannot stay long in the family, they will get married. Some husbands count their wives as possessions. Women in a typical African society are placed second to men. It is due to the conception held from creation story, since the first woman was said to have been created from the first mans rib, she is believed to be a subordinate to the first man. The African society feels that a womans problem cannot be solved without the help of a man. An African woman who is without a husband is looked down upon and has no protection from any in dignity. The assumed psychological belief that women are second to men has made women to be deprived equal political post with men in the society. However women has rebel and created personal lives within the framework of possibilities and limitations set by structure and culture. These days women are striving hard to have a say in the society. Gone are the days when you have the women being relegated to the background. The notion of the education of women ending in the kitchen does not apply to the women of this age, as they combine Motherhood with their respective careers. They are able to do these successfully without one affecting the other. Indeed the women of this age have successfully survived and they are found at the top in the society.
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The contribution of women to the progress of the society cant be put aside. This range from the economic growth like marketing, weaving, manufactured products and also household affairs. The society however did not pay keen attention to the great contribution of women to the growth of the society and this has gone a long way to dampen their morals and make their effort fruitless. Vladimir Lenin(1997:94) asserts the importance of women in the society and says We cannot go forward without Women, in spite of the efforts of women to strive to the higher place in the society, they are still at great disadvantage and seen as inferior by their male counter parts. The male see them as second Fiddle and as such did not recognize their immense contribution towards the growth of the society. This notion is supported by Fela Anikulapo(1986) and he says Definitely a womans place is in the kitchen. That is a fact unless you want us to take your job from you. Women are no more left behind in the affairs of the society. They now identify themselves with the societal affairs, they form associations which pursue their common interest. They have stood up to take important roles in the socio economic development of their societies. 1.1 THE ECONOMIC CONTRIBUTION OF WOMEN IN NIGERIA Across the different Africa regions Women have stood up to agitate on the importance of the roles of women in the society. Such women include the likes of Madam Tinubu of Egbaland in the western part of Nigeria. She was a notable trader,
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who also had political power. She use to safe guard her Economic Empire against the invasion of the British, Brazillian and Saro traders. Due to her success as a business woman and a politician, she was given the title of Iyalode of Egbaland. As Marketers of the farm product, the contribution of women to the economic well being of Nigeria is enormous and much greater than they are acknowledge for. Some women do help their Husband on the distant Farm to plant Cassava, while their husband plants Yams. The women are largely responsible for the harvesting of Farm product and they carry it to the Market to sell. Nigerian women are economic assets to their family and Society. The role of women in Nigerians economic sector cannot be over emphasized, as they engaged in weaving, Pot making, and dyeing to assist themselves financially. The role of Women in the family units made them indispensable entities in the struggle to survive against the harsh realities of time and tended to endow women with significant influence in their society. Nigerian women are sensitive, compassionate understanding empathetic. They are givers and nurturers of life. 1.2 THE SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION OF WOMEN IN NIGERIA

Findings have shown that women are understanding, givers and nurturers of life. Their roles in child bearing and raising children are indispensable in any given society. It is through her that the child learns the first rule in the social life: Good
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manners and acceptable behaviours, until the child is weaned. A Mother does not only take care of the education of the children, but also instruct her Family member on how to have good manners and etiquettes which are habit and acceptable social behaviour. Despite womans contribution in both financial and Educational sectors, they are not treated as equals to the men in some African societies. Women in most African communities are placed second to men, since creation they are believed to be subordinate to men. Although these women are economically independent, they are submissive in nature. Women in Africa have joined women in other nations in their quest for rights, opportunity, relevance and recognition. Various women in the world stood against all area of life endeavour. Happily today we have an Avalanche of female writers in Africa. The list include Stella Oyedepo, Zaynab Alkali, Ifeoma Okoye, Mable Segun, Adaorah Lily-Vlasi, Remi Adedeji, Folashayo Ogunrinde, Flora Nwapa, Helen Ovbiagele etc. The emergence of women writers on the literary scene in Nigeria marks the beginning of female centered novels. Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo trilogy The last of the Strong ones, House of symbols and Children of the Eagle have succeeded in gaining wide readership. Ezeigbo is a feminist writer that believes that when a woman writes,

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she writes based on her personal experiences which tend to be more of things experienced by the gender in terms of injustice done to them. Female writers like Maya Angelou, Magret Atwood, Susan Brown Miller, Simon de Beauvior, Mariam Ba, Judith Butler, Buchi Emecheta and so many more, have risen to fight for their belief in the Social, Political and Economic equality of the sexes. This they called FEMINISM. Feminism can be defined as the movement aimed at establishing and defending equal Political Opportunities for women. Much has been written by critics concerning the definition of Feminism as a concept but perhaps no view has identified its outstanding Tenets more aptly than that which links it to the social disabilities under which women lived for most of the time Human History. To this extent therefore, Oliver Banks has defined feminism as a Historical phenomenom, which started from: A sense of dissatisfaction with the conditions of womens live and Opportunities coupled with the beliefs that womens disabilities rise not from nature itself, nor indeed from any ills which afflict mankind but from the way in which womans desire and abilities have been made subordinate to their needs, desire and interest of men.

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This explains why the concept of Feminism incorporates the belief and faith that a solution could be found to the problem their proving for not only an ideology but also a programme of action. Emechetas central idea in The Joys of Motherhood is feminism. She fights against exploitation and pursue the cause of women in her text. 1.3 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM The African society believes that, no matter how well a woman works, she cant be considered as being equal to a man, because a man is stronger physically than a woman. With no doubt men are stronger physically and is the head of the family, but does this fact create room for the oppression of female gender? Does this mean that women should only be called upon, when her husband is hungry or when the time for child bearing comes? Does this also give room for women to be trampled upon by men? Most importantly should this deprive women the opportunity of contributing to the development of Nigeria? African tradition has stereotyped the woman. Marriage and Motherhood are used by the society as the measuring instrument to gauge a womans social development and success. The laws, rules and regulation of culture in Nigeria allot the authority, respect and power of a community to a man.
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This research work has being embarked on, in order to state the relevance of women in the society and Nigeria at large and also help in the rise of women in seats of power without being looked down on or given a hostile treatment. 1.4 PURPOSE OF RESEARCH

The research entails the role played by women in the text The Joys of Motherhood written by Buchi Emecheta.The purpose however is to critically analyze the texts i.e. examine the feminist issues, in the texts that aligns with the contribution of women to Nigeria and to know how Buchi Emecheta use the Female character in the novel to portray how women confront the challenges mated on them by the male, in the male domineering society. Another purpose is to appraise the Nigerian women for their contribution towards the socio-economic growth of Nigeria. 1.5 JUSTIFICATION

It has been identified that Feminism is a word that evokes strong reactions from different people. Politically and Culturally Feminism is seen as an important ideology which is alien to African society. Some works have be done in the past in relation to Feminism and they have been done well for example The Feminist Perspective in Flora Nwapas Efuru Oyebiyi Oyebanji Isreal,(2008).Feminism in African Literature, A Case Study of
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Mariam Baas, So Long a Letter and Zaynab Alkalis The Stillborn and so many Feminist related work. However this research work aims at tracing womens participation in seeking solution to the Political, Social and Economic problems in Nigeria. African women, most especially Nigerian women will benefit immensely from this research work. This research work will wield a new spirit of liberation from sexual, social and political constraint that has inhabited women. It will also help blaze a new trial of female consciousness in Nigeria women who has been brain washed that women are irrelevant in the society. 1.6 SCOPE OF THE WORK

This research work titled The Role of women in the socio-economic development in Nigeria is The Joys of Motherhood, will only be limited to the way through which Buchi Emecheta, in her novel portrays the extent to which woman can go as to function and influence their community positively in spite of all odds. This research wont cover the stylistic analysis of The Joys of Motherhood in order to avoid over clumsiness.

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METHODOLOGY

The method adopted in achieving these aims and objectives is by appraising the primary text to be used in this study. Since Feminism Is a Political and socioEconomic concept, a sociological reading of the primary text will be done, to establish their effect on the women, in the Nigerian society.It is believed that the sociological approach will best explain the socio-economic contribution of women to the Society. The Secondary source will consist of library research in which textbook article and journals will be considered. 1.8 DATA DESCRIPTION The Joys of Motherhood is an eighteen chaptered novel, with Two hundred and Twenty Four pages. It was first published by Allison and Busby (1979).This Fictional work is Buchi Emecheta Fourth novel to be published. The Fictional work is a story set during the period of early colonization period of Nigeria. This novel treats the socio-cultural and economic problems of the Nigerian women in an urban setting. It pictures the difficult situation and obstacle that a woman goes through, when she is not able to bear Children in marriage. A substantial portion of this work is devoted to Nnu Egos conception of the Joys and responsibilities of Motherhood. Nnu Ego whose life had long been predicted
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and pre-destined for her as a result of the consequences of a harsh tradition. Nnu Egos life is one filled with travails as she, all through her life suffered for what she knew nothing about. She experienced shame and segregation due to her inability to bear children for her husband. Her cause of destiny is however changed as she is manipulated to travel from her hometown (Ibuza) to a more modernized city Lagos. Nnu Ego finally settles in Lagos, she faces many challenges in her matrimonial home such as excruciating poverty ,death of her so-much loved first child(son),addition of more wives by her husband, the forcing of her husband into army, malnutrition in her and her children and finally she dies a lonely and forsaken Mother. All this is however in contrast of her reason for going to Lagos. She hoped that she will marry and settle there and her Chi may have mercy on her and give her prosperous children, who will take care of her. She does not like the role allotted to the women, in the scheme of things. Traditionally the women bears the burden of bringing up her children against the background of standard set by men by male children. This text expose womens trivails. It also talks about the complex twist and dilemmas, women find themselves in. 1.9 BIOGRAPHY OF BUCHI EMECHETA

Buchi Emecheta was born on August 14, 1944, in Lagos State Nigeria. She was born to jeremy Nwabuchike and Alice Okwelekwo, Emecheta. Her Father a

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Railway worker died when she was young, she attended Methodist Girls High School,Yaba Lagos .At the age of 16 ,she got married and had a child. At 19 Emecheta followed her husband to London, where he was a student. Her writing career which she started, got her husband Sylvester Onwordi upset, that he burnt her first novel. She however chooses her career, over her husband, thereby divorcing him after six years of Marriage. She was appointed a senior research fellow in department of English and Literature studies, in University of Calabar Nigeria. In 1980 on her arrival to Nigeria; she was given an award of the best black writer in Britain in 1978. She has written many novels Plays and Children books, they include .The Bride Price (1976), which was her first published Novel. She also wrote The Ditch (1972), Second Class Citizen (1974),The Slave Girl (1977),The Joys of Motherhood (1979) and so on.All her novel depict that Emecheta is a Nigerian Feminist Writer, that portrays the virtue of women. Her work also reflects the Three Major places, She has lived in her life i.e Lagos, England (London) and Ibuza. Ibuza is a little Igbo town where strict Igbo customs abound with keen regard to the place and position of the women in the home and in the society at large. It is a community where women in the midst of men, keep their mouth shut.

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Her themes of child Slavery, Motherhood, Female independence and Freedom through Education has won her considerable critical acclaim and honourary awards, including an order of the British Empire in 2005.

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END NOTES PRIMARY SOURCE: Buchi Emecheta, 1979. The Joys of Motherhood: Heinemann Educational Books (Nigeria) Ltd: Ibadan. SECONDARY SOURCE Banks Oliver, 1986. Becoming a feminist: The Second Origin of First Wave Feminism. Great Britain: Wheat Sheaf Books, Ltd. Duile Patricia Alaba,2002:Feminism in African Literature, A Case Study of Mariam Baas So Long a letter and Zaynab Alkalis The Stillborn. Oyebiyi Oyebanji Isreal, 2008. The Feminist Perspective in Flora Nwapas Efuru. Vladimir Lenin, 1977. Women in the Society in The Women Question.New York International Publishers.p.94. INTERNET SOURCE Benecia L. Williams 1997.Biography of Buchi Emecheta http:/www.English memory.ed.
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CHAPTER TWO 2.0 A REVIEW OF FEMINIST THEORY

Feminist theory emerged from feminist movement and include general theories and theories and about the inequality and in some case, about the social construction of sex and gender in a variety of discipline. The origin of Feminism started from the western world where women started advocating for their rights and survival. This promoted a lot of Female writers across the continent to base their writings on issues pertaining to the rights of women in the society. Feminism began in the Europe in the late 18th century during the struggle for womens right. The concept and movement of Feminism has been defined by many Scholars, critics and philosophers. Here is some definitions of feminist. Foss et al (1995:2) opines that Feminism is The process of eliminating the oppression of all the people Who have been marginalized by the dominant culture. A c Voice grain to the individual marginalized and devalued By the dominant culture and this provided a more historic understanding of the.
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Joseph (2003:161) believes Feminism as A world ideological and political movement directed at Changing the existing power relations between Men and Women in a patriarchal society. Juliet Mitchell (1988:426) on her own contribution has this to say: study of women as writers and its subjects are the hi story, styles, themes, genres and structures of writing b women, the tractorny of female creativity We can deduce from the extract that Mitchell is concern about Female imagination creativity. She tries to pose another trend in Feminism. Her own ideal is based on the fact that Feminism deals with female creativity. Their ability to contribute their quotas to literature and not leave the field of Literature to the male to dominate. Feminism is defined in the Oxford Advanced Learner Dictionary (1962) as The movement for recognition of womens right, legally and politically equal to those possessed by Men.

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It can also be defined as the advocation of Women to dispute gender discrimination and unequal rivalry among the men, which tailored towards the survival of women in the society. It is an ideology that lays emphasis on the rights of women in the society. It is an ideology that lays emphasis on the rights of women in the society, which cuts across the political, social and Economic aspect of the society. Feminism in general can be referred to as the movement aimed at establishing and defending equal political opportunities for women. Its concept overlaps with those of womens rights. Some people argue that gender, like sex is constructions that harm all people. Feminism thus seeks to liberate men as well as women Feminists persons of either sex. Feminism started to gain full ground in African Literature in the early 1960s.African female and Feminist intellectuals had written and published their writing as early as the late nineteenth Century as in the Case of Sierra Leonean poet and memoirist Adelaide Smith, Casely Hayford and the noted South African activist and Novelist, Olive Schreiner. From the late Twentieths century there has been a tremendous increase in the publication of Scholarly work on Africanist post colonial and feminist theory. The African Feminist writer wrote to redeem the disparaged image of African women by giving them significant roles in their works as opposed to the idea of womens role for raising Children and serving her Husband. Feminist writers such as
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Zaynab Alkali, Flora Nwapa, Ama Atta and Buchi Emecheta based their writings on the plights of women in the hands of Men in the African society .These African Feminist writers wrote about women; their writings opposed the notion that a woman is only relevant in the home. In the African context, Feminism with its Euro-American influence and its radical connotation is a word most African women shy away from. Chikwenye.o.Ogunyemi, a critic says that: As an ideology, Feminism smacks of Rebelliousness Fearlessness, Political awareness of Sexism and an Unpardonable drive for equality and equity between the sexes. Due to such elements in Feminism and perhaps to conform to traditional expectation of her, the black African woman sees and perceives Feminism in a different way. The Revelation from one study of the different literary critics has one focus. Common to them is the fact that they are still struggling to find a way of rescuing Feminity from inferiority. This they do from different perspective, therefore presenting different approaches to the study of Feminist literature.

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Contemporary African literature criticism is a product of Africans contact with the west. Nigerian Feminist writers have been greatly influenced by the ideologies of their Fore runners in the western world. Alice Walker in her book In Search of our Mothers Garden (1983) broadens the terrain of black literature by discovering how contemporary themes from slave and auto biographical narratives. She locates auto biographies of them. She refers to them as being rich and important sources in broadening the scope of black literature. According to her the act of bringing out the past for recreation of the present is quite fulfilling and paramount to survival. In Nigerian, Feminist writers took off in 1960s in response to feminist consciousness. Western Feminism can be described as a tool of imperialism, which is aligned with western ideologies and analytic categories that are embedded in Fashionable discourses from Marxism and Structuralism to deconstruction and Post Modernism. On the other hand Feminism in African implies something from African Culture. The works of Feminist critics such as Theodora Ezeigbo, Elizabeth Oginni, Chikwenye Okojo Ogunyemi, Omolara Ogundipe have greatly helped in the style and form of Feminist writings in Nigeria.

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Feminist literary criticism has always included its self understanding a strong component of the advocacy of cultural nationalism, because African feminist theory was strongly determined by the politic of independence movements. One of such manifestation of this tendency is the popularity among many feminist critics of the term Womanism. It was originally coined in 1967, in the African American literary and cultural context by Alice Walker. Womanism has become a productive term for Africanist feminist theory. Walker includes a part of terms secondary definition committed to survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female. Not a separatist except periodically for health (1964: San Diego). Womanist theology is critical reflection upon black womans place in the world that God has created and takes seriously black women experience as human beings who are made in the image of God. The categories of life which black women deal with daily that is race, womanhood and political economy are intricately woven into the religious space that African American women occupy. Therefore the harmful and empowering dimensions of the institutional church, culture and society impact the social construction of black womanhood. Womanist theology affirms and critiques the positive and negative attributes of the church: The African American community and the larger society. In feminism and Womanism: A Historical Approach Elizabeth Oginni (1996) opines that the ideology of feminism had its origin in the west stating how it came
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about as a struggle for equality and how it was promoted by the literary world. This posture of feminism was therefore adopted. According to her; The extreme radical posture that it has acquired in the west has been treated with moderation which the peculiar African Social climates call for. To her, the African woman has come a long way, having moved from backwardness towards self realization. As a result her voice is being heard now more prominently in the society. Hence, she is not seeking to be a hardliner or an extreme feminist, instead she seeks a womanism which gives place to both the woman and the man to function harmoniously as one in building positive society. There are however different types of feminism they include Radical feminisim, Liberal feminism, Analytic feminism, Humanist feminism and Lesbian feminism. Radical feminism on root of male domination and aims at overthrowing patriarchy. Radical feminists in western society asserts that their society is a patriarchy that primarily oppresses women. Radical feminist seek to abolish this patriarchy. Radical feminism posits the theory that due to the patriarchy, no men have come to be viewed as the other to the male norm and as such have been systematically oppressed and marginalized. They also believe that the way to deal with patriarchy and oppression of all kinds is to address the underlying causes of these problems through revolution. Early Radical feminism arising within second
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wave feminism in the 1960s, typically viewed patriarchy as a trans historical phenomenism prior to or deeper than other sources of oppression, not only the oldest and most universal form of domination but primary form and the model for all others. They challenge male control and encourage female expression. Liberal feminism aims at achieving equal, political and social rights for women. Liberal feminism is a form of feminism that argues that equality for women can be achieved through legal means and social reform and that man as a group needs to be challenged. Liberal feminism conceived of politics in individualistic terms and looks to reform present liberal practices in the society rather than advocating for a wholesale revolutionary change feminist writers associated with this tradition are amongst others Mary Wollstones, John Stuart Mill and second Wave feminist Betly Frieden. The most important goal in Liberal ferminism is equality of opportunity for women.Analytic feminism insist on seeing how sexism, andocentric and the domination of the possession of philosophy men distort philosophers pursuit of truth and objectivity. Analytic feminism holds that the best way to counter sexism and androcentism is through forming a clear consumption of and pursuing truth, logical consistency, objectivity, nationality, justice and the good while recognizing that these notions have often been perverted by androcentrism throughout the history of philosophy.
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Humanist ideology argue for a concept of self which is unified despite the fragmentation resulting from the cultural violence of oppression. Humanist feminism is a new understanding of womens capabilities within a broader, more inclusive redefinition of humanity. It involved granting women in European history so often disqualified and dispossessed in matters of material inheritance. Some share at least of the spiritual heritage of the past. Womens claim to humanist culture long predated their claim to civil and political rights but the latter cannot be understood without the former. The humanist feminism of the early modern period paved the way for the first wave of the womens movement of the 19th century, which asked for women the rights to education, property and citizenship, and in spite of the anti-humanist stance of some post modern feminist critics, there is plenty evidence that also the second wave of the womens movement in the 1970s started with an understanding of feminism strongly associated with humanist values. Lesbian feminism believe that identified woman committed together for political, sexual and economic support is an approach to life for women which is a better alternative than the male female relations. They encourage homosexuality against heterosexuality. The tenets of feminism according to a scholar Jaya Wardene are centered on agitation of Issues concerning women, awareness of womens oppression, and

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exploitation within the family, at work and in the society and a conscious action by women and a few men to change the situation. From all perceptions, views assertions and definitions the few elements of feminism are as follows; Negative constraints of gender based expectation placed on the women. Gender inequality and female suppression in the African artistic landscape as portrayed as African male writers. The cruel pre supposition of women as essential and men as essential. The denegation of women through beliefs and mythical representation. A dominant traditional belief as the root cause against feminism. The desire for equality in all realms of life for all men and women. The deep thirst that seeks self-fulfillment for women in all realms of life. These and many more can be fished out and contained in the feministic theory. Feminist movement has effected change in African society including womens suffrage in education, in gender neutrality in English, job pay more nearly to men, the right to initiate divorce proceeding, the reproductive right of women to make individual decisions on pregnancy and the right to enter into contracts and own property.

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From my point of view feminism has helped in protecting women and girls from domestic violence, sexual harassment and sexual assault. It emphasizes the ground of womens rights rather than a mans traditional interest in the families. Safety for reproductive process. Feminism has also helped to fight for womens right such as in contract, property and voting. It promotes womens rights to bodily integrity and autonomy and reproductive rights. Feminist writers in Nigeria have used their works in economic, to advocate for work place rights, including equal pay and opportunities for careers to start business, maternity leave and against order form of gender specific discrimination against women. These feminist writers have helped in achieving some protections and societal changes through sharing experiences, developing theory and campaigning for rights. The central idea of Buchi Emechetas The Joys of Motherhood is feminism. She pursues the cause of women in her text by featuring and ideas dominant in her works. Buchi Emecheta, among others is an example of a prominent Nigerian female feminist writer. Who has contributed to the progress and spread of feminism in African literature. Emecheta through her novel The Joys of Motherhood has condemned the African culture that gives impetus to man and preaches the equality of

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both sexes. Through her writing she has succeeded in delving deep into the female mind and displaying the female personality. Buchi Emecheta has employed the use of simple language in her novel The Joys of Motherhood. This is done in order to depict the feminist philosophy. There is however a lot of code switching and code mixing especially through the use of pidgin English, a mixed and simpler kind of English spoken amongst the local centres of Nigeria e.g. page93. No, no, sah! No police, sah! Na work me de find!. The language use suits the subject matter therein. She uses plain and simple language to report the event in the text. In place where words were difficult, the author interfered in order to explain the in depth meaning. There is a communication barrier between the English, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. The language barrier shows a destitution in each others race and class, due to this fact, there was the use of mixed proverbs from different cultures and tribes e.g. page 198: people come and people go this is an Igbo cultural proverb. Italization is also used to represent the inner representations of Nnu Egos thoughts e.g. page 177. These make the readers to sympathize with the protagonist Nnu Ego. The strength of feminism, lies in the fact that they understand gender difference, gender politics, and sexuality. Providing a critique of those social and political power relations. Feminist theory focuses on the promotion of womens rights. Themes explained in feminist theory include:
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Discrimination Stereotyping Objectification (especially sexual objectification) Oppression Patriarchy Feminist theory is academically concentrated in womens studies and

encompasses work in history anthropology, sociology, economics, literary criticism (supported by womens literature, music, film and other media) art, history, geography and other discipline. Elaine showaller modellea the development of feminist theory, although Toril moi, criticize this model seeing it as essentialistic, deterministic and failing to account for the situation of women outside the west. In conclusion, feminism has been traced from its origin, which is the Western Europe and how it finally gained full ground in African literature has been reviewed. The views of feminist writers have been reviewed and Buchi Emechetas The Joys of Motherhood, with focus on the survival of the women character.

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END NOTES Foss et al, 1999. Feminist Rhetorical Theories: sage Publication, U.S.A. Joseph Aduni, 2003. Gender theory and Ideology: A study of Zaymab Alkalis Stillborn: In Obafemi Olu and Bodunde Charles: eds. Criticism. Theory and ideology in African literature Ilorin: Department of English, University of Ilorin. Mitchel Juliet, 1998. Feminity Narrative and Psychoanalysis in Lodge David ed. Modern Criticism and theory New York: Longman. Pp. 425 430. Horby, 1962 Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary. London: Oxford University Press. P. 315. Chikwenye Okojo, 1998. Women and Nigerian Literature in Yemi Ogunbiyi,(ed), Perspectives on Nigerian Literature: A Guardian Books (lagos), p.65. Elizabeth Ogini, 1996. Feminism and Womanism: A Historical Approach in Aduke Adebayo, (ed), p.14.

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CHAPTER THREE 3.1 THE FEMINIST ROLE IN PLOT CONSTRUCTION OF

EMECHETAS THE JOYS OF MOTHERHOOD The Joys of Motherhood treats the socio-cultural and economic challenges that Nigerian women faces in an urban setting. It exposes the obstacle a woman goes through when she is unable to bear children in Marriage. The Joys of Motherhood is the story of a young Ibo woman who dreams of living a traditional life as a mother of many children. Instead she spends her life in Lagos, Nigeria, watching as traditional values are eroded and destroyed by western influence. The hope she puts in having many children turns out to be misplaced and her entire life is simply a struggle for survival with no reward in old age. The story is based on the background of the second world war. During the period of early colonization period in Nigeria. Published in 1979, The Joys of Motherhood is Buchi Emecheta's fifth novel and one of her most popular. It is the third book Emecheta wrote about the role of women in Nigerian society. Nnu Ego the protagonist stumbles across the Yaba compound, almost delusional with grief. She makes her way to the water front, heading to cater bridge, intent on throwing herself off. The action shifts to twenty-five years previous to this moment in the village of ogboli, in the Ibuja homeland, Agbadi, the esteemed local
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chief, is enamored by the one woman he cannot possess, the beautiful and strong willed Ona. During a hunting trip, Agbadi is gored by an injured elephant and not expected to live long. Ona slowly nurses him back to health. As he heals, he humiliates her in the compound by loudly forcing his sexual attentions on her. She becomes pregnant as a result of this union. Nnu Ego is born, and a medicine man concludes that her Chi or guiding spirit is a slave girl, who was forcibly killed with one of Agbadis wives. Within the year, Ona dies during childbirth. Sixteen years later Nnu Ego is of marrying age. She is first betrothed to Amatokwu. When she does not become pregnant, relations cool between her and Amatokwu, and she is soon moved to another hut to make room for a new wife. Nnu Ego is relegated to working in the fields and taking care of the new wifes infant son. When Amatokwu catches Nnu Ego breast feeding the hungry child, he beats her. Nnu Ego returns to her fathers house, to rest and recover and the marriage ties are severed. Dedicated to finding his daughter a better match, Agbadi arranges a marriage between Nnu Ego and Nnaife, who lives in Faraway Lagos. Nnaifes older brother, escorts Nnu Ego to the city. Nnaife and Nnu Ego live in the Yaba compound, where Nnaife does laundry for the meers, a British couple. Happy in her marriage, Nnu Ego becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son. Ngozi, she also starts her own business off selling cigarettes
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and matches beside the road. One morning, she discovers Ngozi dead in their one room home. Distraught and devoid of hope, she rushes to the waterfront to throw herself off cater bridge, Nwakusor, an Ibo man coming off his shift at work, prevents her with the help of the crowd that has gathered. Recovering from Ngozis death is a slow and painful process. Eventually, Nnu Ego becomes pregnant again and gives birth to Oshia. She decides to focus solely on raising the child instead of making extra income at her market stall. But economic pressures set in when the meers return to England and Nnaife is suddenly out of job. Nnu Ego resumes her local trade in cigarettes Nnaife eventually secures a position that takes him far from home, working for a group of Englishmen. While he is away British soldiers enter the abandoned compound and tell Nnu Ego, that she and Oshia must vacate the premises. Nnu Ego takes a rented room in another part of town, where she gives birth to another son, Adim.Left on their own; the family slowly succumbs to Machutrition. Neigbours step in to help. Nnu Ego returns from her search for more contraband cigarettes to find that her husband has returned, flush with money, Nnu Ego secures a permanent stall in the market place and pressures Nnaife to find his next job. One evening Nnaifas friends arrive with the news that his brother has died in Ibuza, Nnaife inherited his brothers wife, he came to live with them in Lagos. Adaku arrives with her daughter setting off tensions and rivaling between the two women,
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Nnaife starts a new job of cutting grass for the railroad. Nnu Ego and Adaku gets pregnant around the same time, Nnu Ego gives birth to twins girls, while Adakus son dies shortly after he is born. Feeling they are not being given enough money to support the household, the women go on strike. Nnu Egos firm resolve eventually wavers and she cooks a large conciliatory meal, but Nnaife does not come home to enjoy it, as he has been forced to join the army and is shipped off to Indian and then Burma to fight in World War II. With Nnaife away and his pay partially secure in a savings account, Nnu Ego, again pregnant, takes her family to Ibuja and to the deathbed of her father. After his two funerals, Nnu Ego is unwilling to return to Lagos. However, Adankwo, the eldest wife of Nnaifes older brother urges her to return to the city to keep an eye on Adako. Nnu Ego returns to find to Nnaife had been home for a brief visit and had left an eye on Adaku. Nnu Ego returns to find that Nnaife had been home for a brief visit and had left some money for her that she failed to receive. Relationship between Nnu Ego and Adako grow increasingly strained culminating in Nnu Egos rude and brusque treatment of one of Adakos visiting cousins. When Nnaifes friend step in to resolve conflict, Adako decides that she and her daughters will move out on their own. Impoverished once again, Nnu Ego spends the last of her savings before learning she had not been receiving her husbands yearly stipends, due to her institutional error. Nnaife returns and spend most of his windfall. Though Nnu Ego is pregnant again, Nnaife decides to return to Ibuja, where he impregnates Adankwo and returns with a
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teenage bride, Okpo, Nnu Ego gives birth to twins girls. The family moves to a mud house in another part of town. First Oshia and then Adim announce their intentions of furthering their educations. When Oshia tells Nnaife he has won a scholarship to study in the United States, Nanife denounces him for his dereliction of his filial duty. Taiwos marriage is arranged to an Ibo clerk, but Kehinde runs away to marry a Yoruba. Hearing the news, Nnaife flies into a rage and attempts to murder Kehindes father-in-law with his cutlass. Nnaife is put in jail, tried and sentenced to five years, a stint that is reduced provided he return to Ibuja after his release. Nnu Ego has also returned to her homeland, where she died several years later, alone by the roadside. Oshia returns to honour Nnu Ego with a costly funeral, befitting her sacrifices as a mother. 3.2 THE FAMILY SETTING OF EMECHETAS THE JOYS OF

MOTHERHOOD The family setting of Emechetas Joys of Motherhood contrast two regions of Nigeria. On one hand, the rural Ibuja is seen where traditional values and lifestyles are still maintained. Ibuja is contrasted with the urban Lagos, where traditional values are giving way under the pressure of western education, capitalism and the mixture of various cultures (Hausa, Yourba, Ibo and European). In rural Ibuza, families know each other for generations and marriages are arranged by fathers. Men pay bride prices and take multiple wives creating a compound with many huts for their many
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wives. They farm the land, hunt animals and worship their ancestors. Women know their social status as senior or junior wives. The number of male children a woman bears is also important in determining her status and respect as wife. The wives in polygamous union work together, not exactly as one big, happy, and family but through an ordered system understood by all. Education consist of boys learning how to farm male crops (the yam) and hunt from their fathers and girls learning how to farm female crops as well as how to make desirable things for barter and trade. In Lagos some of these values still perish, but theyre distorted. Men work as servants for European families and their wives question their manhood. Many men turn to Christianity in order to secure or maintain employment. So polygamy is less prominent, although it still exists. Children are educated to read, write and do math in European style schools to read, and this process alienates them from their illiterate parents. Often children absorb European values and fail to adhere to their duties as traditional Ibo children. Women create business, at times similar to ones they might have in ibuza, but husbands demand a large share in those profits. Urban life offers women the possibility of more independence if they are single. By contrasting these two regions Emecheta drives home her point: poverty, patriarchy and traditional culture oppress women, but traditional culture offers safe guards entirely lacking in urban westernized setting.

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3.3 (a)

THEME AND FEMINIST TECHNIQUE IN CHARACTERISATION NNU EGO Nnu Ego starts out as an innocent, somewhat nave girl filled with hope and anticipation of the joys and rewards motherhood will bring her. Unlike her mother, Ona, Nnu Ego is not a radical or antagonistic presence, and she dutifully accepts and fulfills her role as a woman in Ibo society. Her initial quest is for justification and validation. When she cannot conceive with her first husband, Amatokwu, the marriage is dissolved and she is filled with apprehension and shame. When her second marriage, to Nnaife, produces a highly prized son, she realizes the happiness denied her, only to have her joy shattered, when Ngozi dies in infancy. The death of the child becomes, by extension, the death of Nnu Ego. She sees no reason to live, if she cannot succeed in the single role of bearing and rearing children. Slowly she comes to new realizations about what is truly important to her, and those epiphanies force her to re-examine her role and function as a woman in Ibo society. Though she is distraught over the death of Ngozi, Nnu Ego feels guilty relief

when, later a daughter arrives stillborn. She begins to examine her essential worth as a woman. Although she becomes a vital economic force in the community, essentially, setting uo her own business to help her family service, she is seen as merely an economic unit, a machine for producing and rearing male heirs. Nnu Ego
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comes to believe that aspirations of being solely a mother and provider are too limiting and dispiriting. Rather than looking forward to a guilt life where she will be well provided for by her sons and daughters. She is a victim of her times, caught at a critical turning point in West-African social history. Rather than serving the collective unit of the family, her children pursue their own courses and seek to place their own self-fulfillment and individual destinies before their family responsibilities. Nnu Egos hope and joy become disillusionment as she dies, alone at the side of the road, an ambivalent figure with little to show for her years of selflessness and sacrifice. (b) NNAIFE Nnaife, Nnu Egos husband is the chief male presence in the Joys of motherhood, the counterpart and mirror reflection of his wife. The two stand on opposite sides of a similar conflict. While Nnu Ego must reconcile her own disillusionment with motherhood, Nnaife faces his own struggles in the wake of evolving tradition and the slow dissolve of their family structure. Nnu Ego calls Nnaife masculinity into question from the early days of their marriage. Nnaife is filled with pride at the responsibilities he has as a launderer in the meers household, a role no Ibo man would have filled in previous generations. Nnaife is forced to compromise in a world where capitalism reigns and where power is in the hands of white colonialists. Still despite changing with the times. Nnaife retains his traditional notions of his role as father, husband and
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man. But in his modern urban context, he is viewed more as a functionary, a mere figurehead of a family that is mostly supported and held together by the efforts if Nnu Ego. Nnaife is a passive, ineffective figure whose lack of ambition or connections does little to further the livelihood of his family. He allows others to control or intercede for him, all the while believing he us a figure of power, strength and action. As traditions and times change, they render Nnaife increasingly ineffective in his role as a male authority figure. In the end, he simply plays acts at the part if the blustering patriarch rather than truly embodying or living up to the duties he is expected to fulfill. He emerges as an emasculated figure and is unmasked as a poor provider and a drunk, the equivalent of a deadbeat dad. As Nnaifes traditional male identify grows weaker and more threatened, he descends deeper into alcoholism and an aloof, willful detachment, both of which serve as safeguards and antidotes to reality. In a final act of desperation, he threatens to kill his own daughter and her new father-in-law. In is skewed vision the world, individual lives and the happiness of his daughter are secondary to more abstract notions of family reputations, honour and tradition. It is subsequent imprisonment serves as symbolic punishment for a man who was grown so out of step with the world around him.

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(c)

OSHIA Oshia, Nnu Egos oldest surviving son, is an emblem of the new order, the next generation that world after the nature of modern Nigerian society. However, he is not a radical figure, out of his formative years, he is the ideal and dutiful son, fulfilling the high hopes Nnu Ego cherishes of the honour and comfort he will eventually bestow on her. Although he and his brother, Adim, obediently tend the family stall in the market place, they later lament the time they were forced to sacrifice from pursing their studies. Caught between two worlds, Oshia must live up to the expectations his parents place on him while satisfying his own desire to better himself through education. Oshias ambition and intelligence eventually overpower his obligations to the

traditional order. He represents a general shift in Nigerian society as new influences and new options became available to Ibos such as Nnaife. Oshia chooses his own individual destiny over his responsibilities to the collective, which makes him a failure and a disappointment to his parents. Ironically, while Oshia works as a research scientist and wins a scholarship to study in the United States, his academic achievements do not make up for his failure to remain in Lagos to support his family. Still, Oshia never completely turns his back on his origins. He honours his culture and pays homage to the sacrifices his mother made by funding an elaborate funeral service for her.
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The feminist tone used by the narrator is mostly detached, attempting to simply report the characters thoughts and actions and not trying to pass judgments on the preceding. At times, however, sympathy for the plight of Nnu Ego infuses the narrative tone. Buchi Emechetas writing style can be contrasted with another prominent Nigerian writer, Chinua Achebe. Achebes sentences are soaked with idioms and rich cultural details, while Emechetas style is simpler, letting the plot and characters inform the reactors about cultural information and the characters feelings. Here is an example; I shall be going to the Island this morning. The ship arrived last night and I want to find out if I can get some cartoons of cigarettes on the black market from the sailors. Nnaife was wide awake now, staring at the ceiling of their one room home. This aspect of his wifes trade was illegal and could land her in trouble if she were caught. But what was he to do? Ask he to stay? pp. 69 70. Emecheta is direct with her choice of words. We learn that Lagos has a port culture and a thriving black market in which woman participate. We see that Nnaife is worried about his wife but doesnt know what to do about it. Yet these sentences are remarkably simple in the way theyre constructed.

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The major Thematic pre-occupation is women and femininity. In the Joys of motherhood we learn very quickly that a womans role in traditional Ibo society is to produce children, and in particular to produce male children. Her value as a woman is dependent on her fertility. If she is infertile, she is a failed woman. If she has only girl she isnt a failed woman, but she lacks honour. Nnu Ego has absorbed these values and her lifes greatest wish is to be an honoured woman. She has child after child, but ultimately, realizes that the rules of the game were made by men and that her children have become a chain around her neck. Another theme is the influences of colonialism. The Owulum family and their experiences are dramatically influenced by the forces of the colonialist world in which they live.Emecheta portrays colonialism ambiguously in The Joys of motherhood. It forces native populations to adopt and adhere to systems and beliefs foreign to their own. Capitalism Christianity and European notions of education and conduct all effectively alter and threaten traditional Nigerian culture. The effect eventually touch all levels of society eroding tradition and trickling down to harm both families and individuals. Without the changes colonialism and its practitioners ushered in, Nnu Egos joy as a mother and the cohesive and interdependent family she long desired could have remained and uncompromised. The tragedy of Nnu Egos story is that she cannot recognize and embrace change and that these changes themselves, embraced or not, are not entirely positive forces.

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The Ambiguous Rewards of Motherhood is another theme in The Joys of Motherhood. Motherhood is the source if not only Nnu Egos greatest joys but also her greatest defeats. As a girl, she is taught that her sole functions are to bear and raise children. Her initial struggle to conceive and her uttter self-defeat when she is unable to exemplify how strongly she believes in this uniquely female destiny that her culture has prescribed. The idea of motherhood informs her fantasies and her dreams. Yet when Nnu Ego actually becomes a mother and struggles to raise her growing family, her idealism begins to change. Nnu Ego ultimately regrets having so many children and investing so much of her life in them since they seem to have little concern for her well-being. She forces herself to accept a vision of motherhood that has been radically modified from the ideas she once cherished. Instead of an honoured and revered figure, Nnu Ego becomes a sacrificial lamb, one who gave to her family selflessly while receiving little, if not nothing, in return. The Point of View used in The Joys of Motherhood is the third person, Point of view. The narrator speaks in the third person, focusing mostly on the actions and experiences of Nnu Ego but also referencing the many characters that surround her. The narrators descriptions are at times objective, told from the position of an outsider or observer of this world. Throughout however, the narration becomes omniscient, revealing and analyzing the private thoughts and motives of various characters.

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While the Title of the novel promises a warm portrait of the Joys and rewards of Motherhood, the novel itself charts a much different course for Nnu Ego and many of the other women who make up her Ibo community. Rather than a self-fulfilling and life-giving role, motherhood and responsibilities it creates a form of enslavement. For Nnu Ego her life, hope and identify depend on her ability to bear children. In the eyes of society, she has no other primary function and no other means of achieving rank and respect. Colonialism and the modern world, with its capitalist based labour system, leave their mark on the novels male characters and help erode the traditional role of men in twentieth-century West-African Society. While the men still see themselves as the heads of their households, the women view their husbands evolving economic roles differently. The need to work, specifically in the service of white colonialists, has compromised the men as figures of authority and drained them of their oncequestioned power as the dominant member of the family. As an Ibo woman, Nnu Ego can pursue only one life path: she must produce children, preferably boys. As Nnu Ego gets older and becomes more deeply involved in her role as a mother she sees more clearly the restriction of this set course Nnu Ego feels she is the society scapegoat, because when the children bring honour or fulfill their duty to their family, they are a reflection on their gather. When they tarnish or

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shame the family name or fail to live up their responsibility to their parents, the failing is placed squarely on the mothers shoulders. Nnu Ego is expected to arm her sons for the future, at the expense of her daughters. Society view the girls as having little worth, valuable only for the bride price they will one day fetch when their marriage is arranged. Without the context of marriage and the family an Ibo woman has neither an identity nor an inherent worth beyond the production of the next generation. However, in the new economic and social order of Lagos, both men and womens roles change; God, when will you create a woman who will be fulfilled in herself, a full human being, not anybodys appendage? She prayed desperately. Nnu Ego poses this question in her prayer in chapter fifteen. She anticipates the day when individual woman will be of prime importance, rather than simply being vehicles that serve and aid the collective at the expense of the self. Nnu Ego views the traditional role of Ibo women as amounting to a qualified or partial life. Rather than lives of sacrifice, Nnu Ego hopes women can achieve lives of satisfaction and selffulfillment. Despite the pains and hard ship Nnu Ego went through in bringing up her children, the end product of her childrens success complimented all the sufferings. Her strong will made her to survive at the end. But there is a sudden change of

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fortune when she appears deserted by many people including her sons in America and Canada. She dies a forsaken and lonely woman. One then imagines that should such a woman who has taken so much pain to raise her children die a shameful death as she was found dead at the road side. But she was however given; The nosiest and most costly second burial Ibuza has ever seen, and a shrine was in her name, so that her grand children could appeal to her should they be barren. Pg. 224. Nnu Ego is caught between worlds and between diverse, often warning traditions change and resolution come only at the expense of her happiness and her illusions. The Joys of Motherhood emphasis the need for change and this is attributed to many factors: differences between town and country, between Lagos and Ibuza increasing was termination and seculansation. In his traditional setting a man in Ibuza will respect the customs and love his people along to his home made gods, obey his elders in society and accept their word as the law he will satisfy with the little he earns from his farm, enjoy whatever pastimes and pleasures his localily provides and generally live accounted polygamous existence. But when he leaves Ibuza and finds himself in the monetary economy of Lagos, he behaves differently and tries to make ends meet and makes light of his traditional custom. Nnaife was made to imbibe with the western religion by going to church, so as to keep his job with white boss.
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Much changed at the end of the work. Nnaife is sent to jail for attempt to use brute force in a situation which calls for discussion and reason. Ibuza of Nnaife childhood has changed a lot as he discover when he returns there for good.Nnu Egos tragic end result partly from the fact, that she is not mentally prepared for the series of changes which finally overwhelm her. In conclusion The Joys of Motherhood is the source of not only Nnu Egos greatest joys but also her greatest defeats. The idea of motherhood informs her fantasies and her dreams. Emecheta has been able to use that survival of Nnu Ego in her novel, to depict the will of women to survive in any situation they find themselves. She also lays emphasis on the need for change which is inevitable in a human life.

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END NOTES PRIMARY SOURCE: Buchi Emecheta, 1979. The Joys of Motherhood: Heinemann Educational Books (Nigeria) Ltd: Ibadan.(All quotations and citations are from this edition). SECONDARY SOURCE: Ezeigbo A. Theodora, 1996. Gender Issue in Nigeria. A feminine perspective: Vista Books Limited. Lagos.

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CHAPTER FOUR CONCLUSION Women constitute more than half of the worlds population and have contributed significantly to the well being of the human race. In Nigeria women have played roles as Mothers, Home makers, producer, social and political activists and community leaders. This research work has been able to examine how feminist ideology in African literature has ascertained the need to give women room to display their given talents and they have done this through writing. This work studies the movement of women for emancipation in the male dominated society. This research work has unveiled how women writing have corrected the disparaged image of women in a male domineering society. The work of Buchi Emecheta provide the required dimension, to the intellectual understanding of the feminist ideology in Africa. Emechetas focus is on the emancipation and freedom of women from the shackles of men in the society. The desire to see the women as having the same right as male counterparts and also possessing a strong will to survive and proffer solution to problems affecting their societies is also part of the focus of Emecheta.

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Emecheta in her own capacity has tried to create a socially and independent heroine in her novels. In a bid to support motherhood she approached the matter in a less aggressive stand, according to the portrayed event in The Joys of Motherhood. She has been able to traced women constraints to that of her cultural belief. It can therefore be said that feminism is not only among the educated women but also among the rural and unlettered women. There is no doubt that Nigerian women and women all over the world are aware of their disadvantaged and want a change for the better and female writers are in no small measure assisting to boost the image of women both politically, socially and economically. Nigerian women have shown great interest in the struggle for justice to correct the social ills that pervade our society today. Conclusively, this research work will enhance the participation of women in the struggle for change and uplift their virtue of good will, so as to avoid being pushed to the lowest ebb in the society. It will also help in uplifting the status of women in Africa for a better change.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY Banks Oliver, (1986). Becoming a Feminist: The Second Origin of First Wave Feminism. Great Britain: Wheat Sheaf Books, Ltd. Buchi, E. (1979). The joys of motherhood. Heinemann Educational Books (Nigeria) Ltd:Ibadan. Chikwenye, O. (1998). Women and Nigerian literature. In Yemi Ogunbiyi,(ed), Perspective on Nigerian literature: A Guardian Books :Lagos. p 65 Carole, B. (1986) Introduction : feminist consciousness and the African literary criticism In (ed.) C. Davies and A. Caraves, Ngambika: studies of women on African literature. Trinitron: African World Press. Delman, R. (1986) What is feminism? Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. Duile, P. (2002). Feminism in African literature, a case study of Mariam Baas so long a letter and Zanjnab Alkalis the stillborn. Elizabeth, O. (1996) Feminism and womanism ; a historical approach in aduke adebayo, (ed), p.14

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Ezeigbo, A. (1996). Gender issues in Nigeria: a feminine perspective. Vista Books Limited:Lagos. Foss et al,(1999). Feminist Rhetorical theories. Sage Publication: USA. Frank, k. (1987). Women without Men; the feminist novel in Africa In (ed.) London: Jmaes Curry. Horby, (1962). Oxford advanced learners dictionary. Oxford University Press: London. Joseph, A. (2003). Gender theory and ideology: a study of Zaynab Alkalis stillborn. Department of English : University of Ilorin. Mitchel, J. (1998). Feminity Narrative and Psychoanalysis In Lodge David(ed.) Modern Criticism and theory. New York: Longman. Pp 425- 430. Macean, I.( 1977) Women triumphant. London; Clarendon press. Obbo, C. (1980). African women: their struggle for economic independence. Hutchinson University: Africa. Ojo-Ade, F. (1983). Female writers, male critics London : Heineman. Oyebiyi O. (2008). The Feminist perspective in flora nwapas Efuru

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Palmer, E. (1983)The feminine point of view : Buchi Emechetas The joy of motherhood In J. Elder (ed) African literature today. Vol 13. London: Heinemann. Vladimir L. (1977) women in the society in the women question. New York: International Publishers. p94 Internet Source Benecia L. (1997). Biography of Buchi Emecheta http:/www. Englishmemory.ed.

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