Contemporary Portrayals of Women by Women: Comparing India and Ghana

D'Souza, Florence
January 2012
Limina;2012, Vol. 18, p1
Academic Journal
Literary Criticism
A comparative analysis of the representation of the exiled female body in the Ghanaian Amma Darko's Faceless, and the Indian Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things reveals similar brutal means of control over women's sexual freedom, without erasing sociological differences like the influence of superstitions and curses in Ghana, and the internal policing of caste hierarchies in India. A study of linguistic hybridity in Manju Kapur of India's Difficult Daughters and Ama Ata Aidoo of Ghana's Changes: a love story, shows the complexities of expressing local specificities in the ex-coloniser's language for reasons of worldwide accessibility. A close look at cultural hybridity, or the juxtaposing of allusions to Western culture with non-Western cultural practices, highlights harmonious religious overlappings as well as religious conflicts resulting from the multiple religious practices in Ghana and in India. Instances of cultural hybridity also demonstrate the particular cultural richness, although not identical in Aidoo's and in Kapur's novels, engendered by the simultaneous deployment of Western and non-Western cultural references. This comparative study, therefore, underlines cultural and contextual specificities, in an attempt to avoid unjustified homogenisations or isolated nationalist essentialisations of these four coloured postcolonial women's texts.


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