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Comparative Study of Buchi Emecheta Second Class Citizen and Flora Nwapa Efuru

Comparative Study of Buchi Emecheta Second Class Citizen and Flora Nwapa Efuru

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This study undertook a comparative study of the works of two Nigerian female Novelists; Buchi Emecheta and Flora Nwapa. It looked at the Contemporary African society which is dominated by men. Little or no recognition was given to women.

Thus, they have been oppressed, depressed, relegated to the background, undermined and neglected. It is on this regard that Buchi Emecheta and Flora Nwapa rose up to fight against this ill treatment on behalf of African women through their works: Second Class Citizen and Efuru respectively, which they gave their female characters significant roles that portrayed women as virtuous and vessels of honour in African society.

This study compared the two texts closely and brought to lime light the areas of similarities and differences. The work recommended that women should be involved in decision making and also be given a fair share during property sharing in the family, in order to make the women not to feel disadvantaged or sidelined.



1.1     Background to the Study

1.2     Statement of the problem

1.3     Aims and Objectives

1.4     Scope and limitation of the study

1.5     Significance of the Study

1.6     Research Methodology

1.7     Definition of Terms


2.1      Concept of feminism

2.2      Views on Buchi Emecheta’s Writings

2.3     Views on Flora Nwapa’s writings

2.4     Buchi Emecheta and Flor Nwapa writing and the contemporary Nigeria society

 2.5    Issues in the society in this two texts


  • The bio-data of Buchi Emecheta
  • Plot analysis of second class citizen
  • Thematic concerns of the Author

3.4      Characterizations in second class citizen

3.5      Styles of second class citizen

CHAPTER FOUR: Analysis of Flora Nwapa’s Efuru

4.1      Bio data of Flora nwapa

4.2     Plot analysis of Efuru

4.3     Thematic concern of the Author

4.4     Characterization in Efuru

4.5     Styles of Efuru


  • Summary
  • Recommendations
  • Conclusion
  • Works cited



Comparative Study of Buchi Emecheta Second Class Citizen and Flora Nwapa Efuru

1.1 Background to the Study

Through the act of writing, radical and rational African creative writers, for many years, since the 1950s have taken the chance to condemn the follies and the vices in their societies. In Nigeria, great writers have frown at and fought against corruption, bad rulership, doctorial policies, women oppression, moral decadence and societal disturbances such as religious intolerant, with a view to making positive changes which might upgrade or accelerate human and material development  in the nation and the world at large.

The primary objective of these committed African writers is the genuine struggle for cultural and socio-political revolution using literary activities asa platform. The different peoples of the world are made to understand the African world view through writing, both now and before independence.

It is by the act of writing that many scholars say and believe that literature mirrors the society. This implies that the historical, social, political, economical and religious aspects of man are viewed through literature.  These aspects of human are easily portrayed through literature by employing the three genres of literature: prose, poetry and drama (play).

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This research focuses on drama as one of the generic form of literature which nis used in revealing the vices of religious leaders as seen in the text to be discusses in this study.

The term drama comes from the Greek word drama meaning action. Which is derived from the verb drived meaning “to do” or to “act”.  The Ancients Greek philosopher Aristotle used this term in a very influential treatise called the poetics. In the text, Aristotle classified different forms of poetry according to basic features he thought could be commonly recognized in their composition.

He used the term “drama” to describe poetic composition that were acted in front of audiences in a threaten. Since the 19th century, the word drama has been also been used in a more narrow sense to designate a specific type of play. Drama is defined in this modern usage as a genre of narrative fiction (or sent- fictions) intended to be more serious than humorous in tone which focuses on in depth development of realistic character who must deal with realistic emotional struggles.

The concern of this research is on the vices of religious leaders which have been satirized in a dramatic generic form (using whole soyinka’s wor as a case study) inorder to bring about change in societies that we love.

Considering the nature of satire, according to the Dictionary of literary terms (1977) is a literary work intended to arouse ridicule contempt follies of man and his society. It is also aimed at connecting malpractices by inspiriting both indignation and laughter with a mixture of criticism and wit.

The concept of satire is invented from the act of mockery or ridicuiling so as to correct the ills of the society. In addition , satire is any literary writing that uses devices such as irony. It is a text or performance that uses irony, derision or wit to expasesor attack human vice, carelessness or stupidity.

The releliance of satire is to ridicule the ills of an individual or institution with the aim of correcting and transforming the society. It helps to mould individual’s character and and it also exposes the point of weakness of a particular society. Social satire is prominent in Wole Soyinka’s  Trial of Brother of Jero and the Road, where he satirizes the vices pose by religious leader to the society (these vices are writed to Christian religion).

Vices are forms of evil, wicked and criminal actions or behaviours in the society. They are social problems and have been thought of as social situations that a large number of obvers feel are inappropriate and need remedying. Vices are those acts and conditions that violate societal norms and values.

Using what was presumed as the universal criteria “normality sociologists commonly assumed that social “pathology” was the consequence of bad people. Social problems resulted from the actions maladjusted people who were abnormal because of education or incomplete socialization. These ‘social paleologist’ assumed that the basic norms of society are universally held. In this absolutist vices, social problems are behaviours or social arrangements that disturb the moral order (Eitzen, 1980:126).

Comparative Study of Buchi Emecheta Second Class Citizen and Flora Nwapa Efuru

Nigerian society is a highly dynamic one. The dynamism gives rise to new issue of public interest. It also generate new problems and pose daunking challenges for which the society and it people cannot over looks. If there is any issue that is most pressing in the minds of people as far as religion is concerned today, it is that pertaining to the quality or standard of religion practiced in their society.

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The standard and quality of religion ( especially Christianity) have been maned and tartarated by the so called religious leaders (though not all). This decadence is what Soyinka satirizes in his dramatic works used in this study.

Leadership is the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose, and the character which inspires confidence. In the religious realm, John R, Mott defines a leader as one who knows the road, who can keep ahead, and who pulls others after him (P346). P T. chandapilla, an Indian students’ leader, defines religious leadership as:

A vocation where there is a perfect blending of qualities that are both human and spiritual, or a harmonized working of God and man, given over to the ministry and blessing of other people (p  122).

From the political angle, president Truman’s definition was, ‘a leader s a person who has the ability to get others to do what they don’t want to do, and like it’ ( J. O. Sanders, and p.22). Who a thorough scuttling into the definitions of leadership above, it is generally viewed and accepted that the life style of a leader can affect the society either positively or negatively depending on how he carries the people along.

However, comparative study is the act of comparing and contrasting two or more things, texts, theories, historical figures, etc with the sole aim of discovering something concerning the things being compared by examining their pattern of similarities and differences across cases.

Buchi Emecheta and flora Nwapa are the earliest feminist writers from Africa. Apart from playing the role of entertainers, they use their artistic creation to instill truth into the audience’s consciousness. The duo wrote to promote and encourage equality for men and women in all spheres of life in the traditional African society; be it; Educational, Political, Economic, Traditional, as well as social spheres.

In second class citizen, the writer portrayed the condition of women in African Society and rebelled anything that subjugates or relegates women to the background through the character of Adah.

It pointed to the world that women should no longer be seen as decorative accessories, objects to be moved about whose role ends in the kitchen and child bearing, but as major contributors to the nation’s development.

 In Efuru, the writer paints a realistic picture of gender issues in a patriarchal society. Male gender here is celebrated more than that of the female, thus, the writer gives prominent role to the female character, Efuru, where she is seen to be more successful than the male counterpart.

Comparative Study of Buchi Emecheta Second Class Citizen and Flora Nwapa Efuru

Buchi Emecheta and Flora Nwapa through their works (Second Class Citizen and Efuru) struggled for female liberation in the society through their conscious and unconscious collective efforts by helping their audiences to imagine a world of genuine equality. On the bottom line, Second Class Citizen and Efuru have its areas of similarities and differences.

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1.2 Statement of the Problem

African female writers have its peculiar features in terms of recurrent themes, forms and elements. These peculiarities are as a result of its literary ambience. The same is applicable to the male folk in African literature. Every field of academic pursuit especially literature has an underlying perspectives, that informs its existence. Consequently, is there any of such perspective in female writing?

And in Second Class Citizen and Efuru, what are the similarities and differences in terms of themes, styles and characterization? What are the exigencies that the women are subjected to in the African society? These are problems that this study will seek to investigate.

1.3 Aims and Objectives

This research work shall examine the two novels closely by comparing and differentiating them to show its area of similarities and differences.

  1. 4 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of study the will be on the area which the topic is concerned with.

The research work is limited to the two texts: Second Class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta and Efuru by Flora Nwapa.

1.5 Significance of the study

Researches have been conducted on comparative study, but only a few has been carried out on the two texts: Second Class Citizen and Efuru by Buchi Emecheta and Flora Nwapa respectively. Hence, this research work shall compare and contrast the two texts under study vividly.

1.6 Methodology

The research methodology in Comparative study of Buchi Emecheta’s Second Class Citizen and Flora Nwapa’s Efuru was qualitative research method which makes use of textual analysis of  both Primary research and secondary research methods.

The Primary research method entails the use of the primary texts: Second Class Citizen and Efuru, as major texts for the discussion. The secondary refers to the use of the library, internet, newspaper, Journals and critical works, to support the research work.

1.7 Definition of Terms

Artistic creation: The term is used to mean the creation of beautiful or significant things

Subjugates: the term is used here to mean to bring under control by the use of force

Decorative accessories: the term is used to mean something that has little or no use.

Predicament: This is used here to mean difficult or unpleasant situation


What is the comprehensive summary of the Second Class Citizen?,

What is the literary analysis of the Second Class Citizen?,

What is Buchi Emecheta’s Second Class Citizen about as a feminist novel?,

What are the main themes in Second Class Citizen?,

How does Adah compare with Francis in the novel Second Class Citizen?,

Who is the main character in the novel Second Class Citizen?,

What are three themes in the novel Second Class Citizen?,

What are the themes of Buchi Emecheta novels?,

What was Flora Nwapa known for?,


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