Gender and the Quest for Social Justice and Relevance in Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun
This paper uses the feminist theory to argue that the complementarity of the male and female
genders enhances growth, development and social justice in the society. The paper discovers that
the male and female genders’ quest for social justice and relevance is fraught with obstacles
which make their journey to self-fulfillment laborious. But through resilience, resoluteness and
steadfastness, the genders are able to surmount the obstacles on their way to justice, equity and
fulfillment. However, although both male and female genders engage in the quest for social
justice and relevance, the obstacles women face are usually male-generated. This is because
African society is patriarchal; a system that thrives on the dominat ion of women. In Purple
Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun, Adichie repudiates the notion of female inferiority by
creating women who are vocal, hardworking, resourceful and assertive; women who advocate for
social justice and equity in their societies. This paper concludes that Adichie in these works
creates male and female characters who complement each other in their quest for social justice
Adichie, Chimamanda. Half of a Yellow Sun. Lagos: Farafina, 2006.
---------. Purple Hibiscus. Lagos: Farafina, 2003.
Amadi, Elechi. Ethics in Nigerian Culture. Ibadan: Heinemann, 1982.
Amadiume, Ifi. Male Daughters, Female Husbands: Gender and Sex in an African Society.
London: Zed Books, 1987.
Chukwuma, Helen. “The Quest Motif in Cyprian Ekwensi’s Jagua Nana’s Daughter”.
Accents in the African Novel. Port Harcourt: Pearl Publishers, 2003. 105-117.
De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex. Transl. & Ed. H. M. Parshley. New York: Vintage
Dimatteo, M. Robin & Leslie Martin. Health Psychology. India: Pearson, 2002.
Ekeopara, Chike. Ethical Order and Stability in Traditional Igbo Society. Calabar: Excel
Ezeigbo, Theodora. “Vision and Revision: Flora Nwapa and the Fiction of War”. Emerging
Perspectives on Flora Nwapa: Critical and Theoretical Essays. Ed. Marie Umeh.
Trenton: Africa World Press, 1998. 477-495.
Funk, Rus. Stopping Rape: A Challenge for Men. Canada: New Society Publishers, 1993.
Kolawole, Mary. Womanism and African Consciousness. Trenton: Africa World Press, 1997.
Mackinnon, Catherine. Sexual Harassment of Working Women: A Case of Sex
Discrimination. London: Yale University Press, 1979.
Unless otherwise stated, copyright or similar rights in all materials presented on the site, including graphical images, are owned by American Journal of Social Issues and Humanities (AJSIH).