The Joys of Motherhood Essay

1549 Words Feb 23rd, 2012 7 Pages
THE CHANGING PARADIGMS OF THE LOVE LAWS The Joys of Motherhood, by Buchi Emecheta, describes the hardships of life in West-Africa from the perspective of Nnu Ego. The novel reveals the byproducts of development and colonialism in West-Africa; byproducts that affect society’s hierarchy of gender and subservience. Through the Englishman’s intervention in West-Africa, the economic well-being of families is greatly restored. However, this supposed positive change also casts many negative circumstances, in which the gender roles of male and female become more fluid. The shifting of gender roles within The Joys of Motherhood is a direct consequence of the colonialism and economic development of West-Africa. This traditional alteration as a …show more content…
All other cultural aspects of life also take the second tier. This compromises their role as superiors, as they are now cast on the second tier. It also consumes their once predetermined power and the vivid line between males and females. These sentiments resonate the constant theme in the novel, that Lagos corrupts and permanently alters tradition. This in turn robs one of his individual identity and manhood. However, the Love Laws stay intact. No matter how Cordelia and Nnu Ego react towards their husbands serfdom by the Meers, they are still in full dependence. Societal tradition and culture are rendered obsolete when facing the Love Laws, since the only weighing factor on who should be loved is one's economic well-being. “God, when will you create a woman who will be fulfilled in herself, a full human being, not anybody’s appendage? she prayed desperately.” As an Ibo mother, Nnu Ego has the expectation of others to prepare her sons for the future. The ones who bear the brunt are Nnu Ego’s daughters. Women are not expected to live a full life. They are expected to birth children, preferably sons, and rightfully do their penance to provide their sons with the best future possible. Girls have little worth in the traditional West-African culture. Their only value is the bride price they manage to stamp on their forehead. Women are expected to

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