Gender Portrayal as Contingent Ideological System: A Case of Selected Igbo Novels

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Okafor Ebele Eucharia


Several scholars on gender studies argue that its portrayal in literature is dependent on certain ideological

beliefs in every social organization. The traditional Igbo society is patriarchal in nature. Patriarchy

promotes the idea that men are more privileged, than women, in social organization. This paper examines

the ideological systems which inform the gender portrayal in selected Igbo novels by male authors:

Tagbo Nzeakọ’s Nkọlị, Tony Ubesie’s Isi Akwụ Dara N’ala,and these written by women :Ada Meniru’s

Nwaeze, Nkeiru Kammelu’s Makụachukwu.These novelsreveal the ideological factors which necessitate

unbalance portrayal of the male and female genders. Womanism, a strand of Feminism, is employed to

guide the analysis. The womanists acknowledge gender differences and certain ideological tenets that

subject women, and propose different ways women can co-exist with men in order to liberate themselves

from the ideological shackles, without distortion of the family life. The novels reveal that the

construction of the images of men and women are based on patriarchal and domestic ideologies. The

paper submits that all forms of ideological tenets which encourage gender inequality and lop-sided

portrayal of the male and female genders must be challenged and opts for a deliberate, sensitive,

consistent, systematic approach of gender relations.

Article Details

How to Cite
Ebele Eucharia, O. . (2018). Gender Portrayal as Contingent Ideological System: A Case of Selected Igbo Novels. Journal of The Linguistic Association of Nigeria, 21(3), 35–51. Retrieved from
Author Biography

Okafor Ebele Eucharia, Department of Linguistics, African & Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts,

University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria


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