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TRADITIONALISM AND MODERNISM IN AMA AIDOO’S THE DILEMMA OF A GHOST AND EFUA SUTHERLAND’S THE MARRIAGE OF ANANSEWA

TRADITIONALISM AND MODERNISM IN AMA AIDOO’S THE DILEMMA OF A GHOST AND EFUA SUTHERLAND’S THE MARRIAGE OF ANANSEWA

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   Background to the study

Ama Ata Aidoo and Efua Sutherland are earliest Ghanian feminist writers, whose works serve as the starting point for the independence and freedom of African women in general. Moreover, they wrote novels about the struggles of African women in a contemporary African society. Also, they portray the condition of women in the traditional African setting.

Their works promote equality for men and women in political, economic, educational, traditional and social spheres. They believe that women are oppressed due to their sex based on the dominant ideology of patriarchy. On the other hand, patriarchy literally means rule by men or by paternal right.

 

He further posits that:

“Literatures cannot escape from the power structure that shapes our everyday life. A writer has no choice. Whether or not he is aware of it, his work reflects on one or more aspects of the intense economic, political, cultural and ideological struggles in a society. What he chooses is one or the other side in the battlefield. The side of his people or the side of those social forces or classes that tries to keep his people down” (21).

Specifically, what Ngugi means is that literature is life, and without literature, a writer cannot achieve a brighter and better future for his people through writing. When the situation and life of the people become as bad as they never have been. It is only the writer that has that special power of imagination to restore hope and create orderliness out of a chaotic situation.

 

In this sense, therefore, a work of literature becomes one vital way of should not dissociate himself from the decadent environment by the adaptation of a self-distancing, contemptuous, satirical or reformist.

He further states that:

“If   an   artist   is   anything,   he   is a human being with heightened sensibilities; he must be aware of the faintest nuances of injustice in human relations. The African writer cannot. Therefore, be unaware of, oror indifferent to, the monumental injustice which his people suffer. He feels that an artist should not be passive to political, social and economic problems that threaten the delicate bases of his country, and the lives of the people”(38).

No doubts, literature are used as a medium of reflecting life as it really is; hence it becomes the artistic expression of the real problems of the society. In the same vein, “Literature” can also simply an artistic use of words for the sake of art alone. Traditionally, Africans do not radically separate art from teaching. The traditionalism and modernism in Ama Aidoo’s the dilemma of a ghost and Efua Sutherland’s the marriage of Anansewa.

 

Rather than write or sing for beauty in itself. African writers, taking their cue from oral literature, use beauty to help communicate important truths and information to society. Indeed, an object is considered beautiful because of the truths it reveals and the communities it helps to build. On the other hand, the relationship between tradition and modernism has been a central of post colonial African male and female writers.

Consequently, it is on the above views the background to this research project intends to examine traditionalism and modernism with reference to  Ghanaian female writers. Ama Aidoo’s The Dilemma of a Ghost and Efua Sutherland’s The Marriage of Anansewa.

 

1.2   Statement of the problem

It is apparent that literature and culture have a symbiotic relationship. They are both linked to life and one cannot criticise life unless one first talks about how that particular life is lived. Literature and culture will always co-exist and lend weight to each other.

It is also evident from the analysis that Aidoo Ata and Efua Sutherland are dramatists whose novels clearly insight into how people in traditional Akan society live their lives in Ghana. Such modes of living give cognizance to values such as respect for the elderly. The support of the extended family, the importance of children in marriage, and the need to follow laid down procedures in marriage.

 

1.3   Purpose of the study

The main purpose of this research is to examine traditionalism and modernism in Ama Aidoo’s The Dilemma of a Ghost and Efua Sutherland’s The Marriage of Anansewa.

 

 Objectives of the study

The objectives of this study are:

(i)      to portray the elements of traditionalism and modernism in Ama Aidoo’s The Delilemma of a Ghost and Efua Sutherland’s The Marriage of Anansewa.

(ii)      to investigate Ama and Efua’s aims of writing The Delilemma of a Ghost and The Marriage of Anansewa.

(iii)     to understand the meanings of traditionalism and modernism in the two selected plays under study.

 

Definition of terms.

Traditionalism: In brief, traditionalism is the adherence to traditional practices in a society. It may also refer to the maintenance of tradition, especially so as to resist a change. The traditionalism and modernism in Ama Aidoo’s the dilemma of a ghost and Efua Sutherland’s the marriage of Anansewa.

Modernism: Modernism is a philosophical movement that, along with cultural trends and changes. Thus, that arose from wide-scale and far reaching transformations in Western society during the late 19th and early20th centuries.

 

WORKS CITED

Achebe Chinua. Morning yet on Creation Day. London: Heinemann, 1981

 

Aidoo, Ama. The Dilemma of a Ghost, Longman Group Limited, Essex, 1965

 

Efua, Sutherland. The Marriage of Anansewa. London: Longman, Washington, DC: Three Continents Press, 1980

 

Ngugi, Wa. Homecoming. London: Long man, 1980

Joselyn Nya

My Name is Joselyn Nya A Publisher in Project Boss Team. I'm a Nigerian I'm a graduate/Educational Researcher. Project Boss Team. We are the best for Project materials and project writing services. Email: admin@projectboss.com.ng

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