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Feminism: Silence and Voicelessness as Tools of Patriarchy in Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus

JN Ifechelobi

Abstract


Feminism is a broad based and diverse movement that seeks to protect and promote the interests of women; it is the radical notion that women are people/human beings. The rights of women are an integral part of human rights. Feminism works hand in hand with egalitarianism (human equality) towards achieving the equality of the sexes in a perfect utopian state. Though patriarchy takes different forms in different cultures, its different belief is the same. The man is superior by nature, born to rule in all works of life, the woman, and inferior, born to be ruled and to serve the man. The paper highlights how the woman must take a second place in society. In fact she is meant only to be seen and not to be heard. This age-long mentality portrays how patriarchy expands racism, sexism and classism. It underscores all forms of oppression where one set of human beings sees self as the norm and evaluates others as existing only for self. This paper takes a cursory look at the patriarchal and hegemonic system of leadership in Adichie's Purple Hibiscus and the plight of the feminine gender. It looks at how the system leads the female characters into solitude, voicelessness and a loss of their identities.



http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/afrrev.v8i4.2
AJOL African Journals Online