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Language, Gender and War Situation: “Her/story” in Nwapa’s and Adichie’s Stories, the Complement of “His/tory”

EI Obi
BD Okunrobo


Writers are the voices of people and they derive the subject matters of their discourse from the experiences of society. These experiences are derived from the socio-political and spiritual lives of the people that make up the society. Any major occurrence that disrupts the equilibrium of an existing social structure is a subject matter of a discourse and every discourse has language as its indispensible meduim. This paper examines the predicaments of women in the 1967-1970 Nigerian civil war through the voices of women in Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun, Flora Nwapa’s Never Again and Wives at War and Other Stories. The works expose the tribulations that women underwent in the civil war, their active participation and contribution for the sustenance of a troubled society. The exposure not only contradicts the men’s stories that portray women as passive participants in Nigeria-Biafra war, they complement and validate the men’s stories. The works also make claim that these women might not have carried guns but they fought the war in their own courageous way.

Key words: War situation, Gender, Patriarchy, Predicaments

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eISSN: 2227-5460
print ISSN: 2225-8604