La quete du bonheur dans une si longue lettre de mariama ba et g'amarakano - au carrefour de ntyungwetondo rawiri: Un nouveau discours feminin Africain
Musyimi, David Mutuku
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This study critically examines women's quest for happiness as portrayed in Bâ's Une si longue lettre and Rawiri's G'amarakano - au carrefour. The idea of feminist fulfillment and happiness is taken as the African woman's unhampered economic, political, intellectual, cultural and personal accomplishment. Anything that hampers her quest towards these ideals becomes an obstacle to her happiness. In other words, the study focuses on analysing this quest with all that it entails on the socio-economic and cultural factors which challenge such a feminist aspiration. We do not, however, propose to have exhausted all that there is on this subject. The study comprises four chapters. The First chapter delineates the statement of the problem and other preliminaries that provide the research base. Chapter two deals with the background of these noves, i.e. the writers' repudiation of the institutionalized sexism and the patriarchal norms inherent in the traditional and the contemporary African society. Chapter three is divided into two major parts. First, writers take issue with familiar and marital circumstances, which confine women to maternity and domestic life. Secondly, we have examined the disparities which lead to a woman destroying the happiness of another woman. In chapter four, we have examined the feminist quest for happiness, which goes beyond the confines of domestic life. The study has shown that the awakening of the African woman is associated with her ability to free herself from socio-economic exigence of the society; a society whose ideology posits the young girl's internalization of her future role as a dutiful wife and attentive mother (Mortimer 1990). In the conclusion we have reflected briefly on the study itself and outlined the findings which propose openings leading to a deeper analysis and comprehension of this subject. This study has revealed a coherence of ideas in the contemporary African female writers. We feel that analysis of other issues in African feminine literature would shed further light on such coherence. The study has also established a peculiarly African feminist notion of happiness. Further studies could stem from extending or refining the conceptual boundaries of the notion of feminist fulfillment and happiness especially in other genres of African feminine literature, other than the novel. Our study is implicitly contextual and so further studies could be attempted from other literary spectrums, for example from the aesthetic perspective.