Movement from group affiliations towards individual moves in women writers of Africa

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Garg, Poonam
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'Feeling it like it is and has been is as valuable as telling it like it should be; its an articulation of the previously inarticulate. Seeing our own images gives us heightened confidence in our existence1 . --Margarent Atwood The dissertation traces an important aspect of the works written by the two women writers of Africa; Manama Ba and Doris Lessing, with the occassional references of the other authors. The aspect is from group affiliations to individual mores. The focus is on women's search for self-identity and their attempt for self-actualisation . In this context, their expectation as an aspect of exploitative society, is examined. The movement is given a direction which reveals individuals rejecting the manipulative and impersonal group affiliations and moving towards personal and individual choices. The dissertation divides into three phases: The Communal The Protest The Individual The first phase deals with the investigation of a woman writer, Mariana Ba in relation to the group. She dwells on a woman's image and deep-rooted problems facing her in society. She depicts the ideology of the group, the group's influence on her and to what extent she feels responsible to the group. In Ba's work, a woman's self does not exist in the eyes of society. In the second phase, Mariama Ba protests against the social set-up but does not openly challenge it or break away from it. However, she does show resentment to the traditional values and makes an attempt to find happiness. The third phase, moves towards the individual phase. Doris Lessing stands for those writers who estrange themselves from the group and openly challenge the traditions. Doris Lessing suggests alternatives to group affiliations and projects her women characters searching for personal values. Regarding this, Lessing deals with women's personal dilemma, and claims that self-awareness has alienated women from both the society and themselves. They are now involved in introspection and a search for personal experiences, and believe that the demands of one's personal conscience are a trustworthy guide to serious behaviour.
Women writers