International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

From Male’s Perspective to Female’s: a Contrastive Analysis of the Male and Female Writers’ Portrayal of the Female Characters
ABONG’O Christine Awuor

A contrast of such African male writers as Oyono whose novel entitled Houseboy portrays women as opportunistic, weak, sexual objects and lacking sufficient will-power, Ogot’s The Strange Bride (2006) anticipates a different perspective on the female character. The objectives of this study are: to determine the nouns, noun phrases and comparisons used to refer to the female characters in Houseboy and in The Strange Bride, to identify the roles of the female characters in the two novels and to establish if these appellations and roles valorize or devalue the female characters in the novels. This study supports the assertion by Kenneth Little the feminist article that the male francophone African writers routinely portray their female characters in the stereotype as an oppressed and subjected wife who has little, if any, say in shaping her destiny or in changing the system that deprives and oppresses her, and seeks to find out the extent to which Ogot’s The Strange Bride challenge this assertion. This study is based on the enunciation theory which posits subjectivity in language developed by Kerbrat-Orecchioni (2006). Nouns, noun and/or adjectival phrases, comparisons (implicit/explicit) are the important linguistic units. This study shows that even though, the undeniable inherent cultural injustices, have always denied the African woman the authority to make her own choices in how to live her life, overcome cultural limitations, identify and possibly exploit men’s culture, the female character is capable of being independent, resourceful and dynamic as the male character. The data collection techniques are grounded in library research as well as reading of Houseboy and The Strange Bride. The study is limited to Houseboy and The Strange Bride. Data is analyzed qualitatively since qualitative analysis lays greater emphasis on holistic description of data. The study adopts a textual analysis design because it entails analyzing existing data sets.

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