Gender and Behaviour

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The representation of patriach perception in selected African literary works

Theophilus T Mukhuba


This paperinterrogates the institutions of polygamy and polygyny as cultural artefacts that inform patrilineal and patriarchal beliefs; as well as nostalgic practices that impact negatively on African women’s identities. The paper advocates the portrayal of women characters positively in African literature, instead of the prevalent ‘otherisation’ that can be seen in most existing African texts through an extensive textual analysis; and as evident is some works of Chinua Achebe, Onuora Nzekwu and others which do not only castigate polygamy, but also failtorecommend it to anyone concerned. The assertion made is that scholars and writers need to be conscientised on the role of literature as a tool of fossilizing the negative while playing its role of educating, informing and entertaining the public, with respect to the portrayals of African women.

Keywords: Polygamy, Polygyny, African Women, Cultural Artefacts, African Literature

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