Forces and Flaws in Flora Nwapa’s Efuru and Idu
Considering her unique position as the premier African woman to publish a novel in English, given, also, her relatively artistic delineation of the African woman’s experience at a time when there is a dearth of female voice on that topic; when works of the male authors generally denigrate women, Flora Nwapa receives a commendable level of attention from critics all over the world. While most of the critics appreciate her for drawing attention to the strength and challenges of the African woman, others fault her for the absence of literary dexterity in her narrative. But for some critics’ romance with Uhamiri, not enough attention, relatively, has been given to the intrinsic and extrinsic forces surrounding Nwapa as a writer and how she manages these forces in plot development. Thus, this paper addresses this concern through the analysis of her foremost works, Efuru andIdu. Certain oversights are, also, noted some of which result from her deliberate or unconscious attempt to handle the forces that influence her. This is to draw attention to a writer’s conscious or unconscious struggle with forces, natural or supernatural, and, also, point to certain flaws, in Nwapa’s narrative, for the advancement of scholarship. The choice of Nwapa and her first two novels derives from the need to approach a relatively new topic from the beginning.
Key Words: Forces, flaws, tradition, love, muse, influence.
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