Aunty Ifeoma Character Analysis

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materially satisfied, she is completely subjugated by the will of her husband. Conversely, Aunty Ifeoma may not be as financially abundant, but she is educated and holds a position that allows her to assert her voice and identity, as a professor at the University in Nsukka. Ifeoma acts as a foil to Beatrice, their contrast undergirding Adichie’s critique.

Beatrice fits the ideal expectation of a woman of that time. As a “traditional Nigerian-Chatholic,” she is constantly adhering to the belief that her life revolves around her husband. This belief is perhaps clearest shown through her reply towards Ifeoma’s suggestion to leave her husband, a meek “where would I go if I leave Eugene’s house?” From her reply, Adichie is able to portray a sense
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Kambili describes her as one who “walked fast, just like one who knew where she was going and what she was going to do there.” Her independence is depicted through her ability to raise her children and maintain a house, without a husband. Therefore, Aunty Ifeoma is a character whose identity is independent of a marriage or patriarch, whose voice is actually heard and acknowledged. Her difference from traditional expectations is highlighted through her interactions even with Papa, the powerful authoritarian in the novel, when Kambili witnesses her frequent “flippant tone; (which) did not seem to recognize that it was Papa, that he was different, special.” It clearly portrays how patriarchal expectations demanded an unequal division between men and women, expecting women to take on a subservient identity and ultimately subverts women’s will and voice. As ayoung female being brought up in that environment, Kambili’s feelings provide the contrast and exposes that very condition, as she “wanted to reach out and press (Ifeoma’s) lips shut” whenever Ifeoma spoke to Papa as an equal. Adichie’s evokes the image of being silenced to highlight the deep-rooted expectations of subservient women, in the process also delivering her critique of such conditions through Ifeoma’s personality. Much as Ifeoma defies patriarchal expectations of the …show more content…
Eventually, even their manners of resistance appear as opposites, with Beatrice’s quiet and covert uprising against Ifeoma’s overt and outspoken stance. Adichie “utilizes both the traditional domesticity of Beatrice and the fierce intellectualism of Ifeoma” in order to champion a form of representation that depicts women as characters with “depth and complexity.” Ultimately, Adichie’s subversive forms of representations display the multi-faceted nature of humanity, undergirding her critique against superimposing idealistic, and self-indulgent, expectations with racial and gender divisions. Her commentary exposes how such conditions bring about acute states of oppression under various simultaneous layers and attempts to champion a form of equality amongst humanity as she undermines the definite superiority of the colonizer’s race and patriarchal

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