FLESHING OUT MEMORY THROUGH FEMINIST CONSCIOUSNESS: PSYCHOANALYZING VIOLENT GIRLHOOD EXPERIENCES IN BUCHI EMECHETA’S THE BRIDE PRICE

Ifeoma Ezinne Odinye

Abstract


African  feminist  writing  includes  narratives  primarily  energized  by  oppressive  female experiences.  In  The  Bride  Price,  Emecheta  is  preoccupied  with  exposing  culturally induced violence, consciously expressed in her reconstruction of gender roles in the Ibuza community. This research examines Emecheta’s fictive portrayal of the girl-child who is discriminated, abducted, stereotyped or forced into marriage and her efforts to escape not only from her oppressors but also from the psychosocial trauma of her violent experiences. This  paper  adopts  feminism  and  psychoanalysis  to  capture  how  violent  experiences inhibit   the   physical   and   emotional   growth   of   the   girl-child   by   causing   mental disturbances  such as fear, anxiety, depression or neurosis. The study shows that violent experiences affect the physical and psychological development of the girl-child which often leaves her frustrated, depressed, unfulfilled or dead. In The Bride Price, Aku-nna tries to reject  oppressive  cultural  subjection  to  men  through  self-assertion,  but  becomes  totally overwhelmed and unable to escape the neurotic consequences of herexperiences.

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