A Structuralist Reading of ifeoma Okoye’s Behind the Clouds.

  • IJ Ogbazi


A distinctive quality of humans throughout history has been the continuous quest to unravel meanings out of the multifarious, stupendous, marvelous and immense gifts of nature. Man has continued to search for meaning in life – trying to comprehend both his world and himself better. As a result, the human mind has consistently expressed itself in various forms in order to articulate nature more correctly. Structuralism emanated out of one of those natural currents of human thought. This paper attempts a structuralist reading of Ifeoma Okoye’s Behind The Clouds. It first creates the background by explicating structuralism and its salient features as a critical concept in literary studies. It discusses the structuralist major interests and pre-occupations in the course of interpreting literary works. It then moves on to analyze Behind The Clouds by investigating the operational structures the writer has constructed within the narrative. It explores the systems by highlighting the narrative’s functional units and interpreting their significations and relationships. The paper essentially argues that the narrative is premised on a feminist framework and therefore marked by gender perspectives which are mediated by African culture. It concludes by endorsing the continued relevance of structuralism in the interpretation of literary works even in the 21st century irrespective of the ever-rapid shifts in thought.

eISSN: 1595-1413