Old Women as Repositories of Wisdom: Insights from Novels by Ama Ata Aidoo and Amma Darko

Charles Ofosu Marfo

Abstract


In this paper, we observe that Amma Darko’s The Housemaid (1998) and Faceless (2003) and Ama Ata Aidoo’s The Girl who Can (1998) are defined by their overt call for change in the current perception accorded old women. In these works, there is seen a clear interrogation of patriarchy, woman-on-woman violence, passivity in women and conservative adherence to unfair cultural stipulations. These works also raise the consciousness of old women by revealing to them once their worth and space in society once again. Imbibe with foresight and backed by experience, these old women, as observed by this paper, have all it takes to assert their pride as repositories of wisdom. However, the challenges of the changing times have had negative influence on some of these old women, making them pursue material gains even at the expense of their dignity. It is this situation that calls for a fresh attention to these works as they seek primarily to equip old women with values that when nurtured will ensure that their society perpetually lends her ears to their (old women) prodding, encouragement and guidance. On a socio-cultural level, the paper observes that these works are designed to re-inscribe the worth of old women and womanism by charting for them road maps through which they can retrieve their dignity and experience self-actualization.

Keywords


cultural stipulations; old women; patriarchy; wisdom; womanism

Full Text:

PDF

References


Aidoo, Ama A. Anowa. Lewinston: Longman, 1995.

Aidoo, Ama A. The Girl Who Can. In Yvonne Vera (Ed.) Opening Spaces: Contemporary African Women’s Writing, 7-13. London: Heinemann, 1998.

Busia, Abena P. Parasites and Prophets: The Use of Women in Ayi Kwei Armah’s Novels. In Davies, C.B. and Adams, A.A. (Eds.) Ngambika: Studies of Women in African Literature, 89-113. New Jersey: Africa World Press, 1986.

Cowgill, Donald O. Aging and modernization: A revision of the theory. In J.F. Gubrium (Ed.) Late Life: Communities and Environmental Policy. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas, 1974.

Darko, Amma. The Housemaid. London: Heinemann, 1998.

Darko, Amma. Facelss. Accra: Sub-Saharan Publishers, 2003.

Eboiyehi, Friday A. Perception of old age: Its implications for care and support for the aged among the Esan of south-south Nigeria. Journal of International Social Research 8.36(2015): 340-356.

Höijer, Birgitta. Social representations theory: A new theory for media research. Nordicom Review 32, 2: 3-16, 2011.

Modupe, Mary E. Kolawole. Womanism and African Consciousness. Trenton: Africa World Press, 1997.

Marfo, Charles, Philomina A. Yeboah, and Lucy Bonku. Exploiting the exploiter: Some violations of society’s expectations in Beyond the Horizon and The Housemaid, 3L: The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies 21. 1(2015): 35-46.

Moscovici, Serge. La Psychoanalyse Son Image et Son Public (2nd edition). Paris: P.U.F., 1976.

Moscovici, Serge. The phenomenon of social representations. In R. Farr and S. Mascovici (Eds.) Social Representations, 3-70. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984.

Moscovici, Serge. Notes towards a description of Social Representations. European Journal of Social Psychology 18, 211-250, 1988.

Oduyoye, Mercy A. Daughters of Anowa: African Women and Patriarchy. New York: Orbis Books, 2004.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2016 MCSLL

ISSN:2476-5414