A Reformist-Feminist Approach to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus
AbstractFeminism has not received unanimous acceptance in Africa and women that associate themselves with this movement are regarded as radicals and going against African norms and traditions. The study has closely examined the exploitation and suppression of women, revealing the subjugating conditions that sometimes reduce women to mental wrecks. The research has also created awareness on the need for the entrenchment of societal reforms in order to improve the lot of women in patriarchal societies. The outcome of this study implicitly encourages the necessity of cooperation between men and women in contemporary social and political transformations on the continent. Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus can be regarded as radical, considering the method used by the protagonist to liberate herself. A reformist feminist analysis has been adopted as a theoretical framework for this academic quest. While it is true that women are oppressed, dehumanized and face various forms of cruelty in the hands of men, this feminist frame of reference equally recognizes certain positive aspects of patriarchal societies which foster peaceful coexistence between men and women. Thus, reformist feminism uses positive male characters to challenge men with oppressive tendencies towards women to change and regard women as complementary
partners in progress. The study concludes that oppression of women by the
men-folk is to the detriment of the family and the society at large.
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