An interrogation of radical feminist elements in ama ata aidoo’s changes: a love story

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University of Dar es Salaam
The main objective of this study was to examine the extent to which Ama Ata Aidoo’s Changes: A Love Story constitutes a departure from traditional African feminism, which Buchi Emecheta calls feminism with a small ‘f’ to embrace more radical forms of western derived feminism. This main objective was achieved through three specific objectives which were to: examine how the novel presents traditional African gender images, determine the radical elements portrayed in the novel that hint at radical feminism; and establish the extent to which Changes constitutes a radical form of feminist writing. The study used largely feminism in general, and specifically radical feminism and African feminism in its literary interpretation. As a text based study, close reading and critical analysis of the novel was the main source of information. This was supplemented by documentary reviews through scrutiny of literary articles in both hard and the electronic format. The main findings indicate that Changes employs radical forms of feminism to interrogate the place of a working modern African woman in an African society still trapped in patriarchy-engendered tradition and conservatism. Although the novel cannot parse be described as a radical piece of feminist writing, it uses radical feminist elements embodied by the protagonist Esi, while counterbalancing her extremism with the more accommodative and rational behaviour of her friend and confidant, Opokuya. Finally, the study concludes that African feminist writings need to be subjected to both traditional African and radial forms of feminist analysis to fully appreciate their gender representation. Also, the study recommends that Changes be subjected to a comparative study involving some radical feminist piece of writing to determine how it compares to archetypical radical feminist writing.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF PR9379.9A35J63)
Young woman, Africa, Fiction
John, I. (2014) An interrogation of radical feminist elements in ama ata aidoo’s changes: a love story, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam