Racial, Gender and Class Prejudice in Chika Unigwe’s Novels

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

In the diasporic reality, people struggle to belong. Nigerian author Chika Unigwe depicts individuals who, like herself, live in societies that refuse to treat them as such. This MA thesis looks into the mechanisms of prejudice in the diasporic context and asks how the characters of Unigwe’s fiction experience living in prejudiced societies. A comparative analysis of three novels, namely The Phoenix, On Black Sisters’ Street and Night Dancer reveals a shift of focus from racial to class and gender based prejudice. The author integrates a range of narrative strategies, which are not uncommon in third-generation Nigerian fiction, that stress the impact of prejudice and address the reader’s own stereotypical thinking. This research reveals that Unigwe presents prejudice as a human flaw, however, her writing is not guilty of prejudiced reasoning.
Date of Award2013
Original languageEnglish

Keywords

  • Chika Unigwe
  • Phoenix
  • On Black Sisters' Street
  • Night Dancer
  • race
  • gender
  • class
  • Nigerian literature
  • African-Flemish literature

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