Conflict And Resolution In Short Stories: Mother Was A Great Man

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There are complex relationships between conflict and resolution in three short stories in The Heinemann Book of African Women 's Writing, first "Mother was a Great Man," by Catherine Obianuju Acholonu second, "The Pay-Packet," by Ifeoma Okoye and finally, "Saltless Ash" by Zaynab Alkali. All three of these short stories are written by women of Western Africa and all three of them share similarities and differences regarding the nature of the conflict as well as the resolution. In "Mother was a Great Man," the main character, Oyidiya feels she has done something wrong: "she had forced the hand of her chi" (Acholonu 74). And the result of this she feels is an exchange of gender roles between herself and her husband, Nekwe. Additionally, she faces not being able to bear a son, herself or by other wives and not even by a wife and her brother-in-law 's sperm. When a …show more content…
She says: "Was it not she, Oyidiya, who had to stand on her feet and defend her family whenever another family challenged it? (Acholonu 74). She never really feels like her trouble, not having a son, is her husband 's fault. She quietly assumes she did not "heed to her chi," and attempts to take on the role of a man, but in way that is not really possible. She puts all the blame on herself because she is a woman, and that is evident because not once is a man blamed, rather herself and all of the wives she takes that do not conceive males. She blames her co-wife Njido and tries everything she can to have a son, but finally ends up with a child that is not blood related to her at all, and then says the child is nothing but trouble. She believes that "[her] chi has fashioned [her] for great things, but Njido is bent on foiling it. Yes [her] chi has fashioned [her] for greatness..." (Acholonu

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