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EJOTMAS: Ekpoma Journal of Theatre and Media Arts

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Agency and Vulnerability: Reconfiguring the Female Characters in Chimamanda Adichie's Love Stories

Elizabeth O. Ben-Iheanacho

Abstract


Agency and vulnerability are integral factors in the feminist reconceptualization of the self. Consequently, they are significant concepts in gender identity. This article recognizes the pressures on an individual's agency and vulnerability to societal containment as constant interplay that accounts for creative dimensions and responses intensified within a love relationship. It locates agency and vulnerability as mutually inclusive within the philosophical nexus of self-actualization and self-empowerment that preaches a focus on the self; being a tranformative, defining lifestyle that helps an individual achieveself-discovery, purpose and gender progression. Whereas the feminist philosophy is the theoretical framework, the approach to this story is critical interpretative discourse to Adichie'sAmericanahand “Transition to Glory,” her short story in an anthology entitled African Love Stories. This paper examines the implications of agency and vulnerability in these love stories as narratives in class, position and power within the battlefield of affairs of the heart. It submits that vulnerability and agency should not be seen merely from the prism of societal and cultural power structure that maintain patriarchal status quo but as subtle but significant factors aiding and abetting the winning party in the female contest for the heart strings of a man.

Keywords: Agency, Vulnerability, Love Story, Gender Identity, Chimamanda Adichie.




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