Publisher: University of Port Harcourt

Patriarchy and The Female Quest For Identity In Ngugi Wa Thiong’O’S Wizard of The Crow and Henri Lopes’ Le Pleurer-Rire

Ibiene Evelyn Iboroma
KEYWORDS: Patriarchy, Female Quest for Identity, Ngugi wa Thiong’O, Wizard of the Crow, Henri Lopes, le Pleurer-rire


The representation of the female in male-authored works is one of the contemporary features of discourse in African literature. It has attracted a lot of criticisms from a good number of scholars. Some argue that male writers transcribe reductive patriarchal myths as literary conventions into their works and paint a picture of a male-oriented society in which the female lacks agency, while others considering this as a hasty generalization, argue that some male novelists delineate female characters in a positive light even before the advent of feminism. This study, cutting across national and linguistic boundaries, brings a comparative perspective to this area of scholarship. It highlights the reactions of African women to the patriarchal tradition that fosters female subjugation and oppression in marriage through a critical examination of Ngugi wa Thiong’O’s Wizard of the Crow and Henri Lopes’ Le Pleuer-rire. Adopting womanism as the theoretical framework, the paper demonstrates that the patriarchal tradition generates identical survival strategies from the wives under study, though they are from different national and linguistic backgrounds. They remain in marriage but do not relinquish their rights to self-assertion to patriarchy. Through the analysis of themes and techniques of narration, the paper concludes that though Ngugi and Lopes are of different literary traditions, Ngugi, an Anglophone and Lopes, a Francophone, they unanimously establish the fact that the African woman’s acceptance of marriage does not annihilate her need for personal agency. Both of them equip their women with strategies that lead to success in their quest for identity.

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