Breaking Hegemonic Walls and Asserting the Female Self in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and Akachi Ezeigbo’s Roses and Bullets

Ene Edem Ekpo, Nathaniel S. Ojima

Abstract


This paper interrogates the challenges confronted by the black woman in the American society and Africa in asserting her distinct self. It equally highlights the procedures adopted by the major female characters in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye (1970) and Akachi Ezeigbo’s Roses and Bullets (2011). It investigates the mechanisms adopted by the female characters particularly the protagonists in combating the hegemonic bottle necks against their self-assertiveness right from the family, which is a microcosm of the larger society to the external societal occurrences such as war. The paper adopts Ezeigbo’s strand of feminism which is snail sense feminism. This strand holds that the female must adopt the tactics of the snail with a well lubricated tongue in negotiating her right in a patriarchal conscious society. It also adopts Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytical theory in investigating the whys of the protagonists’ actions. The significance of this essay lies in the fact that beyond the emphasis on war, it explores how the female fights both internal and external oppositions to her self-assertiveness in the two novels. Through the utilization of the qualitative research methodology, the paper comes out with the finding that the black female in America and Africa has overtime made progress in her quest for self-assertion starting with the afro-futuristic trait of Claudia to the blossoming of self-assertion in Ginika in Ezeibo’s Roses and Bullets.  The style of both Morrison and Ezeigbo are identical as they explore the lexical items of Ebonics and Igbo respectively in their selected novels.

Keywords: self-assertiveness, hegemonic bottleneck, Snail Sense feminism, patriarchy.   


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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.0001/ijllis.v7i3.1654

DOI (PDF): http://dx.doi.org/10.0001/ijllis.v7i3.1654.g2127

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