Academic exploration into gender issues in literature and culture has taken a new dimension. The trends in writings and discourses have been to observe the female sex at domestic background. The roles played by the women as mothers, sisters, custodian, home managers, family maintainers are enumerated through character portrayal in literature. Also, female writers have gone beyond exposing the inequality among females and males in the society as they have started exposing the ills of society thereby correcting them. This essay using the sociologist framework examines the theories of social problems and gender disparity as treated in the novels of Ifeoma Okoye.
TABLE OF CONTENT
Table of Content vi
1.1 General Introduction 1
1.2 Purpose of the Study 12
1.3 Justification 12
1.4 Methodology 13
1.5 Scope of the Study 14
2.1 Literature Review 15
3.1 Gender Ideology in Behind the Clouds (1982) 31
4.1 Ideology and Social Crises in Men without Ears (1984) 41
5.1 Summary and Conclusion 52
Generally, literature is not developed in a vacuum. Literature is a simulacrum of reality and every work of art is a product of its social and cultural milieux. Consequently, every writer is a product of his/her socio-cultural and historical milieu. The African novel as a medium of literature is not an exception because the society remains the material that inspires writers. Every society has gone through one experience or the other; such experiences are what writers depict in their writings. The purpose of such depiction is either to appraise or criticize the trend. Mostly common in Literature is the depiction of the unpleasant realities of life. It is in this light that a discussion of the works by Ifeoma Okoye becomes relevant.
The works of emergent writers have ceased to give attention to patriarchy as the only system that subjects women to oppression. Consequently, their works show a great deal of consciousness, serious concern and interest in their political, economic and social environments. Okoye’s state of social consciousness is depicted in her novel; Men without Ears (1984) as she identifies the ills in the society and thus makes an attempt to correct the perceived socio-economic and political imbalances. The most frustrating of these societal ills is the issue of money ritual making with human blood and flesh as exemplified in the novel. Also, women serving as subordinates to men in their private life of familial setting are common phenomenon in the African tradition. Abuse of the female gender (especially wives) has been in existence for centuries and it would continue to exist, if not curtailed by emergent actions of the female writers. The issue of childlessness in matrimonial homes has also captured the attention of female writers. Such writers see these structures and manipulations as constituting danger to both the female and male members of the society. As it is often witnessed, wife is always blamed for any discrepancy and her reaction to this could be detrimental to the sustenance of her matrimonial home.