Theme of Positive Stubbornness in Buchi Emecheta’s Second Class Citizen pervades every nook and cranny of the novel’s plot. The novelist carefully uses Adah, the heroine of the story, to display the positive energy that is expected of any feminine character in a society which proves so negatively biased against the girl-child.
Buchi Emecheta’s novel, second class citizen has successfully created the picture of what feminism entails all over the world. The author’s adroit use of characters who embody the women’s liberation struggle and its antagonism is creatively above board, and makes one wonder whether the plot is simply a narration of her experiences both in Africa and in the United Kingdom. The history of brave women who are constantly against the patriarchal underestimation of women’s worth and sexuality is long and surprisingly existent even in the world of today regardless of space, skin color, or climate.
In Africa, women are respected except in offices, leadership positions, schools, etc. women and girls are merely objects subjected only to the kitchen and the bedroom. This is why Buchi Emecheta deems it necessary to recount the ordeals of her heroine in second class citizen as some medium of critical expression against the status quo, that is, the cultural subjugation and objectification of the female gender. It is against this unfavorable conditions that Adah, the heroine of the novel, finds herself prepared and then determines to fight her way out even though she realizes it may not be an easy road.
Following this realization, Adah practically enfleshes the theme of positive stubbornness required of the feminist struggle in a society that is obstinately poised too against the girl-child by cultural standard.
It will be referenced that in her childhood years where she was suggestively expected to be naïve to the laws and superstitions of her environment, Adah should give up her aspirations for formal education, however, rather than being taken in, she took the bold step of struggling to go to school even if that may later cause her mother’s embarrassment by the police. Adah struggled for formal education to the point where she had to use the two shillings given to her by her cousin for her entrance examination which she eventually paid the price.
From her will to go to school, without considering the question of whether her environment is ready or not, to leaving her marriage for the benefit of the greater call, the theme of positive stubbornness is therefore constructively woven into every event that contributed to the development of the novel, Second Class Citizen.
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