Language, Gender and Power in Chinua Achebe’s—There Was a Country and Chimamanda Adiche’s—Half of a Yellow Sun

LAWAL M. Olusola


The interconectivity of language in the analysis of ideological schemas of gender and power is remarkable. In every piece of texts, language is employed as an expression of ideology. Hence, there is no linguistic expression that is ideologically empty. Language is inspirable from the gender and power preoccupations of Chinua Achebe’s There Was a Country and Chimamanda Adiche’s Half of a Yellow Sun. In this paper, it is made succinct that both Achebe and Adichie deploy their English linguistic prowess with their traditional Igbo language colorations as an expression of power and gender discourses. Indeed, while it is deduced that Achebe, through the use of rhetorical and proverbial expressions, pursued a somewhat patriarchal gender and power ideological inclination in his memoir; Adichie, in her use of sublime language, exhibited her feminine gender belief in a rather subtle manner. Evidently, the two authors’ use of the English language with a heavy Igbo language influence is an index to the fact that language, apart from being a powerful means of expression of a writer’s ideological idiosyncrasy, is a source of power on its own; an instrument which both Achebe and Adichie deployed to show their different gender inclinations and power discourses in the selected texts.

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