The Joys Of Motherhood Analysis

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Register to read the introduction… Emecheta's own text did not even provide me with a positive depiction of polygamy; for instance, readers learn of Agbadi that he "was no different from many men. He himself might take wives and neglect them for years, apart from seeing that they each received their one yam a day; he could bring his mistress to sleep with him right in his courtyard while his wives pined and bit their nails for a word from him" (36). Thus, convinced that The Joys of Motherhood failed to meet the standards of a feminist text, I abandoned my original position; I felt that Emecheta, a fellow black woman, had failed …show more content…
This kinship can also occur in polygamous unions, as Emecheta suggested at the Second African Writers Conference: co-wives assist one another in child-rearing, household duties, and tending to their shared husband. Nnu Ego's native Ibuza is no exception--when she appears to be infertile during her first marriage, her junior wife, already a mother, "[does] not keep her son to herself but allow[s] Nnu Ego as the senior wife to share in looking after him" (33). She also has several opportunities to make friends in Lagos among the many women who call to her as she tends to her laundry (48). In a world where female solidarity is strongly advocated, Nnu Ego rejects any potential friend, allowing no one to block her pursuit of motherhood. Instead of appreciating the efforts of her junior wife, for example, Nnu Ego, overcome with jealousy, actually considers abducting the woman's son, and she begs the infant to "either be her child or send her some of his friends from the other world" (34). Her actions result in her expulsion from her husband's compound; still, she does not learn to accept the friendship and assistance of other women. Nnu Ego does not deem kinship with other women necessary, for she is so convinced that her sons …show more content…
Western ideals, she proves, are not better than traditional ones; on the contrary, remaining true to the cultural norms of one's society ensures one's survival. Thus, in The Joys of Motherhood, Emecheta demonstrates that what works in the West does not work for everyone else, and she upholds the practices and values of traditional African

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