Womanist Tenets in Selected Novels of Chika Unigwe and Terry Mcmillan


  • Dr. Iyabo Falode University of Ibadan
  • Prof. Ayobami Kehinde




In this paper, the deployment of womanist tenets in Chika Unigwe's On Black Sisters' Street (2009) and Terry McMillan's Disappearing Acts (1989) was examined with a view to critique the convergences and divergences in both novelists' utilisation of womanist tenets. Both novels were subjected to comparative and critical textual analyses employing womanist tenets including female bonding, family centredness, gender complementariness and motherhood. In both novels, four female characters were used to appropriate the womanist tenet of female bonding. In Unigwe's novel, they were depicted to seek greener pastures, but in McMillan's novel, they were portrayed to be economically independent. All the female characters realise that it is better to live with their male counterparts than living alone. This foregrounds the womanist tenet of male complementariness. It is shown that a collaboration among family members is the only panacea to societal ills and that motherhood must be cherished by women; as it is not seen as a burden. However, parents must collectively raise their children to achieve a balanced physical and psychological worldview. Both novels are stuffed with relevant womanist doctrines. Therefore, Womanism is a quintessential theoretical tool for expressing women's plight and exploits in African and African American novels.  


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