Buchi Emecheta Long Fiction Analysis
Buchi Emecheta’s novels deal principally with the life experiences of Nigerian women, who are subordinated in an indigenous society deeply influenced by the Western values introduced by British colonists. Other Nigerian women, those who have relocated to England, for example, often suffer the emotional effects of being suddenly immersed into an alien country. Their lives are further complicated by the power that Nigerian men, following traditional beliefs, still have over them. Emecheta, who struggled in Nigeria to get an education and who suffered abuse in England by her Nigerian husband, reproduces these and other experiences in fictionalized form. Whether at home or in the imperial metropolis, Nigerian women in Emecheta’s novels experience both sexism and racism in a world of African—and Western—traditions.
A prequel to In the Ditch, Second-Class Citizen explains how Adah became a single parent in a North London slum. At the age of eight she first noticed a “Presence” accompanying her, a wish to acquire education despite her inferior status as a girl. Resisting pressure to leave school at the age of eleven and eventually to marry and become a submissive wife, she wins a scholarship with full board to the Methodist Girls’ School, where she does well. At the end of her stay at the school she marries Francis, but she does so simply to acquire a stable and socially acceptable home....
(The entire section is 1425 words.)
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