Original Research

Some reflections on selected themes in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s fiction and her feminist manifesto

Moffat Sebola
Literator | Vol 43, No 1 | a1723 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v43i1.1723 | © 2022 Moffat Sebola | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 June 2020 | Published: 30 May 2022

About the author(s)

Moffat Sebola, Department of Languages, Faculty of Humanities, University of Limpopo, Polokwane, South Africa


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Abstract

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s fiction, namely, Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, Americanah and The Thing Around Your Neck generally reflects an intersection of black women’s experiences in a variety of contexts. In Adichie’s fiction, motifs that feature in the domain of identity politics and gender discourse are brought into critical focus. Among these motifs are appraisals of African names, stereotyping complexions, racialisations of hair and other themes such as the commodification of the female body. In Adichie’s fiction, these aspects are thematised as key features of black women’s identity and therefore worth considering in identity politics and gender discourse. In this article, Adichie’s Dear Ijeawele or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions is relied upon as a summary of her authorial vision, ideology and feminist outlook. This article appreciates how Adichie seeks to reposition postcolonial hermeneutics on black women’s identity by bringing to light some challenges that are faced by these women in her fiction. Adichie’s fiction is appraised for its aim to widen the contemporary African critique-scape on racial, gender and identity issues.

Keywords

beauty; blackness; feminism; identity; womanhood

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