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Idealization of Female Characters by African Women Writers: The Case of <i>Anowa</i>

Monique O Ekpong


Owing to the erroneous, fragmented and most times derogatory representation of female characters by male authors of the Old Tradition, Barbara Christian exhorts women to write saying: “If black women do not say who they are, other people will, and say it badly for them” (xiii). Women, therefore, write not to idealize female characters but to validate woman’s personality, authenticate her experience, reveal her psyche and provide a more realistic and complete image of woman as a separate human entity from man. It has become compelling for women to write to elucidate to fellow women and to humankind, in general, the true identity of woman and her tragic condition. This would enable women, the world over, to revolt against those retrogressive, social norms, imbibed through patriarchal socialization, which militate against women, so as to revolutionize those customs which, have hitherto inhibited women from full physical and mental development and self-actualization. In the play Anowa, the African female writer, Ama Ata Aidoo, confers the position of the principal character on a woman, Anowa, and endows her with positive qualities in her revolutionary and transcendentory roles so as to serve as a model for the contemporary African woman to emulate, for the positive transformation of the society.

LWATI: A Journal of Contemporary Research, 8(4), 166-182, 2011

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eISSN: 1813-2227