Literary Commitment in Bessie Head’s Maru

Elizabeth A. Odhiambo, Dr. Jack Ogembo, Dr. Kitche Magak

Abstract


This was a study of Bessie Head’s literary commitment. The objective of the study was to interrogate the extent to which the writer is committed as a woman and as a Third World person based on the text Maru. The study adopted the analytical research design. The data collected through content analysis was coded according to thematic concerns, stylistic choices, the mode of characterization and vision of the author. The postcolonial theory was employed in the reading analysis and interpretation of the selected text. The findings reveal that as a woman, Bessie Head is committed to reconstructing a positive image for her female characters by challenging stereotypical perception of women through dismantling of patriarchal structures that previously relegated women to subordinate roles. This is seen in the presentation of the female characters as strong willed, determined, assertive, independent and enterprising. In delineating the experiences of women as women, she explores their most personal convictions thereby presenting their perception of issues as women. As a Third World writer, Head is committed to social justice, exposition of suffering and dehumanization resulting from ethnic prejudice and superstition. She voices for the voiceless by advocating gender equity as a basis for development. On the political arena, she examines issues that ail African politics such as selfish and greedy leadership, oppression and discrimination on basis of race. The text particularly dwells on the racial prejudices and class difference in the society.

 


Keywords


Literary ;Commitment; Bessie ;Head; Woman; Third ;World; Maru

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18533/journal.v2i6.135

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Journal of Arts and Humanities (Print) ISSN:2167-9045

Journal of Arts and Humanities (Online) ISSN: 2167-9053

[Journal of Arts and Humanities previously published by MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, MD, USA. From February 2018 this journal is published by the LAR Center Press, OR, USA]