A Thematic and Stylistic Analysis of Aidoo’s Novels and Short Stories
AbstractThis study attempts a comparative analysis of the thematic and stylistic representation of womanhood in Ama Ata Aidoo’s novels, Our Sister Killjoy and Changes: A Love Story, and collections of short stories, No Sweetness Here and The Girl Who Can and Other Stories. Some of the recurrent themes in Aidoo’s fiction include the nonglorification of marriage, the offer of divorce as an alternative life-style, the reversal of the abandonment story, liberated women as leaders in the decolonization process. The study also reveals that Aidoo exploits stylistic reversals in her fiction where new shades of meanings are attached to old terms and the female character’s change from the language of acquiescence to that of revolt and self-assertion, thus reflecting her growth from docility and conformity to liberation. The journey motif and structural divisions symbolize the landmarks in the stages of development of each female character towards liberation. The various forms of plots replete with flash-backs and interior monologues reveal the complexities introduced into the already culturally subjugated condition of the contemporary African woman’s life through colonialism and urbanization. The setting reveals that there is steady progression in the degree of self-assertion of female protagonists from the non-literate situated in the rural areas to the educated and well-sensitized in urban centres. The technique of female friendship or collective female solidarity serves as a therapeutic tool for women’s survival and retention of sanity in the face of patriarchal subjugation. Woman is represented by Aidoo as a more rational, resilient and considerate individual than man, thus revealing that Aidoo exploits the deflationary technique in depicting most of her male characters. Aidoo envisions a world of sisterhood among all women which could serve as a stepping-stone to world peace.
LWATI: A Journal of Contemporary Research, 8(3), 122-148, 2011
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