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This study undertakes a Comparative Analysis of Buchi Emecheta’s Second Class Citizen and Flora Nwapa’s Efuru about the struggle, oppression and ill-treatment meted out on the female folk in a contemporary African society. It portrays the place of women in a traditional African setting; their works promotes equality for men and women. They bring into consideration the issues of marriage and in marriage the significance of children in a family, hope and encouragement for women to be strong in their daily life and for them to be self reliance. Some praises while others opposes them. Other female feminist writers fought on behalf of African women through their works by assigning roles that portrays women as important instrument in African society. Their works recommended that both gender should learn to accommodate one another.


Cover Page   –        –        –                  –        –        –        –        –        –        i

Certification  –        –        –        –        –                  –        –        –        –        ii

Dedication    –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        iii

Declaration   –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        iv

Acknowledgements           –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        v

Abstract       –        –        –        –        –        –        –                  –        –        vi

Table of contents    –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        vii


1.1     Background to the Study   –        –        –        –        –        –        –        1

1.2     Statement of the Problem  –        –        –        –        –        –        –        2

1.3     Significance of the Study   –        –        –        –        –        –        –        3

1.4     Purpose of the study         –        –        –        –        –        –        –        4

1.5     Scope and Limitation of the Study         –        –        –        –        –        –        4

1.6     Research Methodology      –        –        –        –        –        –        –        5


2.0     Review of Related Literature on Buchi Emecheta Second Class Citizen and Flora Nwapa Efuru          –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        6

2.1     Critique of Buchi Emecheta –        –        –        –        –        –        –        11

2.1.2  Critique of Flora Nwapa     –        –        –        –        –        –        –        13

2.2     Buchi Emecheta and Flora Nwapa as Liberal Feminist   –        –        –        17


3.1     Biography of Buchi Emecheta       –        –        –        –        –        –        20

3.2     Biography of Flora Nwapa  –        –        –        –        –        –        –        22


4.1     Plot    Analysis of Buchi Emecheta’s Second Class Citizen         –      –        24

4.2     Plot Analysis of Flora Nwapa’s ¬Efuru     –        –        –        –        –        29

4.3     Comparative Analysis of Buchi Emecheta’s Second Class Citizen and Flora Nwapa Efuru            –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        34



5.1     Summary                –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        44

5.2     Conclusion    –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        44

5.3     Recommendations   –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        45

Works Cited –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        56



  • Background to the Study

Comparative analysis shows the relationship between two things and how these things are similar or different.

According to Irwin (228) intersexuality is the shaping of texts meaning by other texts. It can be referred to as author’s borrowing and transformation of prior texts or to a reader’s referencing of one text in reading another.

In Africa, the early colonial era was pre-occupied by issues of cultural conflicts between Africans and Western cultures, religion and world view but the post independent African countries experience further changes in theme, this brought about changes in African writers thematic focus of most of female writers such as Ama Ata Aidoo, Marima Ba, Buchi Emecheta and Flora Nwapa.

Emecheta and Nwapa are earliest feminist writers, whose work serves as the starting point for the independence and freedom of African woman in general. They wrote novels about the struggle of African woman in contemporary African society and portray the condition of woman in the traditional African setting their works promotes equality for men and woman in Political, Economic, Educational, Traditional and social spheres they believe that women are oppressed due to their sex based on the dominants ideology of patriarchy.

Patriarchy literally means rule by men or by paternal right. It is a situation whereby women are ruled or controlled by men, giving power and importance to men.

Were Nigeria and Africa oppressively masculinity? The answer is “yes”. Ghana was known to have some matrilineal society such as Akan; but Nigeria’s traditional culture, Muslims as well as Non- Muslims had been masculine-based even before the advent of the white man. The source, nature and extent of female subordination and oppression have constituted a vexed problem in African literally debates. Writers such as Ama Ata Aidoo, of Ghana and late Flora Nwapa of Nigerian insisted that the image of the helpless, unproductive African women was once ushered in by European imperialist whose women lived that way. On the other hand, the Nigeria-born, expatriate writer Buchi Emecheta, along with other subordinated to sexist cultural mores.

Flora Nwapa was the lone Africa female novelist’s voice lamenting patriarchy, in 1996 she published Efuru significantly in African feminist scholarship, it signals a long awaited departure from the stereotypical female portraiture in male-authored African literature but the prolific Buchi Emecheta joined the fray with the Joys of Motherhood (1980). Therefore as the female Nigerian critics, Chikwenye Okwonje Ogunyemi writes;

If Nwapa is the challenger, Emecheta is the fighter for the first time, female readers, through characters, are aware of their subjugation by their fathers, uncles, husbands, brothers and son.

Examples of feminist writers are Elizabeth Gilman, charlotte Perkins, Julia Ward, Lockwood, Mary Wollstone craft, Simeon De Beauvoir, Catherine Acholonu, Ama Ata Aidoo, Marima Ba, Buchi Emecheta and Flora Nwapa.

  • Statement of the Problem

Women in Africa, especially in Nigeria are oppressed and are not recognized by their male counterpart because they believe that their duty is to cook, maintain homes, give birth to children and take care of them and their husbands.

Buchi Emecheta and Flora Nwapa in their literary writings Second Class Citizen and Efuru bring out other problems that the females face in their different sphere of life. They identify the problem of marriage and the problem of ill treatment meted out to the female characters involved in the novels


  • Significance of the Study

The study through a vivid comparison between Emecheta’s SecondClassCitizenand Nwapa Efuru is significant because of the following reasons:

  • It serves as a panacea to the prevalent problems of oppression, marriage, ill-treatment and other vices in our society
  • It will help adults, youths and young ones who belong to the female category to know their rights and stand up to defend themselves.
  • It will encourage the women to be strong no matter what they face in life.
  • It serves as a tool of encouragement for females who may be denied Western Education to strive harder to attain school or do business despite their age.
  • The writer of these novels serves as a role model to women to be self reliance with or without husbands.
  • It advice the women not to be subjugated to ill-treatment by their male counterparts, they should fight for their right if need be but not through physical combats but through peaceful demonstrations.
  • It will serve as a stepping stone to students in the department of English and Literary Studies who may wish to carry out further research on this topic to do so with ease.


  • Purpose of the Study

The study intends to do the following:

  1. to eradicate institutional bias and implementations of fairer laws toward women;
  2. to expose the role of women in literary writing as a panacea to ill-treatment, oppression etc;
  • to address issues of women being subjugated to derogatory roles in the African society;
  1. to make everyone understand that no woman is inferior as some male characterized them to be;
  2. to encourage the women that they can transform the society through their personal interaction with the opposite sex;
  3. Emecheta and Nwapa fight against polygamy and its objectification of women as sex object or personal property;
  • to promote gender equality, everybody should be treated the same be it male or female.


  • Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of this study is wide. It will be determined by how affective or relevant a portion is to the study. The study will touch the mainline text, i.e. area in which the topic is concerned. The study would have examined many texts but it will be limited to two prose works by Buchi Emecheta’s SecondClassCitizenand Flora Nwapa’s Efuru.


  • Research Methodology

The facts to be used will be collected from the two novels as primary sources while other information from the internet, published and unpublished articles, journals and other related sources will be examined.

Feminism is one of the broad literary criticisms in literature. Therefore, this study will discuss feminism from liberal perspective because it contains issues relating to women’s suffering. Despite this, they remain strong, assertive and double in their relationship with the other sex. Also, literal formalism expresses predicament of women folk and their suffering without retaliating but believes in endurance and perseverance.


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