Main Article Content

The Trope of Apotheosis and Intimations of Self-Immolation: A Deconstructive Interpretation of Mother-Daughter Dynamics in Chika Unigwe’s <i>Night Dancer</i>

Sola Owonibi
Funmilayo Gaji


The link between gender and creativity has often been emphasised in scholarly appraisals of women writings. Consequently, the diversity and strong presence of women writings on the scene of contemporary Nigerian prose fiction have centralised gender discourse in the scholarship on recent Nigerian prose writings. This paper scrutinises religious figures in Chika Unigwe’s Night Dancer towards a deeper engagement with her treatment of mother-daughter relations and gender complexities. Gods and goddesses are deployed as metaphorical tools towards comprehension of the relations of male and female mortals in the narrative. Furthermore, the characters in Night Dancer are re-imagined and analysed using religious imagery. This paper establishes that the religious metaphors in Unigwe’s Night Dancer reflect core fundamental truths of gender relations in the society and serve as grand metaphors through which the trope of the absent mother in relation to the daughter and gender conceptions of the fictive world of Night Dancer could be interrogated.

Keywords: Religious Metaphors; Gender Complexities; Chika Unigwe; Third-generation Nigerian women writings; mother-daughter relationship.

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2343-6530