Aloy Nnamdi Obika (PhD), Chinyere T. Ojiakor (PhD)


From the onset of human existence till just recently, only men were going outside to meet challenging situations. Women were staying indoors so as to attend to the sick, be with the children and cook food since they are the weaker sex. This situation gradually led to the marginalization of women who in the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe and America started protesting in order to have equal rights with men. Their movement known as feminism has yielded positive results in those places where it originated but not so in the West African sub-continent. When this feminist philosophy is presented in literary works, the women are portrayed in such a way that they are well educated and trained in different fields of human endeavours. But a deeper study of texts from West Africa shows that the impact of feminism is at a limited level due to the educational standard of the people and their religious and cultural inclinations. In order to arrive at this conclusion, the researcher had to make use of Chinua Achebe’s Anthills of the Savannah and Mariama Bȃ’s So Long a Letter. When the content of these texts and the critical works on them are compared with the theoretical works on feminism, one can discover that there is a chasm between the working of the philosophy in Europe and in West Africa.


Feminism, Impulse, Impact, Limited, Literature

Full Text:



Abrams, M. H. and Geoffrey Harpham. A Glossary of Literary Terms Eight Edition. Thomson Wadsworth, 2005.

Achebe, Chinua. Anthills of the Savannah. Heinemann Educational Books (Nigeria) Plc, 1988.

Ahumaraeze, Chinwe Innocentia and Ugomma Anaekperechi Nwachukwu. “Women and the Revolutionary Spirit: Using Mariama Bȃ’s So Long a Letter, Akachi Adimora Ezeigbo’s Trafficked and Chinua Achebe’s Anthills of the Savannah”. European Journal of English Language Teaching vol.2 issue 3, 2017, pp. 11-19.

Asante, Samuel Yaw. “In my mother’s house: a study of selected works by Ama Ata Aidoo and Buchi Emecheta,” a PhD project submitted to the Department of English, the University of Calgara, Canada, 2000.

Bȃ, Mariama. So Long a Letter. Nigerian Educational Publications, 1980.

Chiemela, Chikezirim and Emmanuel Inedu. “The Writer and the Leadership Question: A Marxist Approach to Achebe’s Anthills of the Savannah.” Madonna Journal of English and Literary Studies vol.2 no. 9, 2016, pp. 30-38.

Davis, Carole Boyce. “Some Notes on African Feminism”. African Literature: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory edited by Tejumola Olaniyan and Ato Quayson. Blackwell Publishing, 2008, pp. 561-569.

Emenyonu, Ernest N. Studies on the Nigerian Novel. Heinemann Educational Books Nigeria Plc, 1991.

Esonwanne, Uzo. “Enlightenment epistemology and aesthetic cognition: Mariama Bȃ’s So Long a Letter”. The Politics of (M)othering: Womanhood Identity and Resistance in African Literature edited by Obioma Nnaemeka. Routledge, 2005, pp.83-101.

Gikandi, Simon. Encyclopedia of African Literature. Routledge Taylor and Francis, 2005.

Mfune-Mwanjakwa, Damazio. “Towards a post-gendered and genuinely post-colonial worldview in African literature: an overview and the case of Chinua Achebe’s Anthills of the Savannah”. J. Humanit. (Zomba), 22, 2010/11, pp.1-23. April 13, 2020.>index.php.

Nnaemeka, Obioma. “Urban spaces, women’s places: polygamy as sign in Mariama Bȃ’s novels”. The Politics of (M)othering: Womanhood Identity, and Resistance in African Literature edited by Obioma Nnaemeka. Routldge, 2005, pp.168-192.

Ogunrotimi, Olumide. “Two Feminist Responses to Phallocentric Imperialism in Africa: Examples of Mariama Bȃ and Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo”. Madonna Journal of English and Literary Studies. Vol.2 no.6, 2015, pp.125-138.

Ojo-Ade, Femi. “Still a Victim? Mariama Bȃ’s Une si Longue Lettre”. African Literature Today vol. 12. Heinemann Educational Books, 1982.

Verba, Sharon. “Feminist and Womanish Criticism of African Literature: A Bibliography”


  • There are currently no refbacks.