Narrative and Gendered Identities: A Feminist Narratological Reading of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and D.H Lawrence’s The Fox

Nforbin Gerald Niba


The significant role that narrative strategy, plot structure, characterization, perspectivity and language, precisely, metaphors and metanarratives can play as textual sites of gendered identities has been recognized within feminist narratology which is an interdisciplinary sub-domain within narrative theory. Although the central role that narrative might proffer in the analysis of gender has over the last twenty years featured as a crucial area of research in feminist narratology, over-trodden data like Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and D. H. Lawrence’s The Fox, seem to have received less attention in the light of categories or narrative strategies which can serve as sites of gender. In privileging feminist narratology as a suitable theoretical framework for locating, interpreting and analyzing sites of gendered identity construction in Things Fall Apart and The Fox, this study argues that the two text teem with narrative structures and strategies as well as linguistic evidences like metaphors and folkloric metanarratives, that may encourage a categorization of people into male and female; masculinities, femininities, and the subaltern. Gender markers: sexuality, characterization (psychological and biological elements), male-centered or “masculinist” plot structure, folkloric metanarratives, linguistic elements like metaphors and images in general as well as social codes that are gender-specific and that play a huge role in the context of the cultural construction/transmission and memory of gender are largely represented in the chosen texts. These textual devices have a highly ideological function: they are creative medial elements that play an important role in constructing and passing on the complex system of values, norms and ideas which constitute a society’s patriarchal mentality.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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