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Free summary and analysis of the events in Buchi Emecheta’s The Joys of Motherhood that won’t make you snore. We promise. The Joys of Motherhood has ratings and reviews. Rowena said: “Yes, life could at times be so brutal that the only things that made it livable w. Written by Buchi Emecheta (), this book is about the life of Nigerian woman, Nnu Ego. Nnu Ego’s life revolves around her children, and through them Nnu.

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Buchi Emecheta emigrated from Nigeria to London with her young husband, only to find herself ultimately alone, raising children in a hostile and poverty-ridden climate. Through ojys work and study she became an influential writer focusing on the roles of women in both the traditional and emigrant societies. Because she shares many western feminist concerns, she has been embraced by many feminist writers, but she herself does not identify entirely with western feminism.

Many male writers in Africa have rejected her as a hostile emigrant contaminated by European views. The Hausa are the most important group of Muslims in Nigeria, living mostly in the north, and outsiders here in Lagos. How does Emecheta use the e,echeta of chi personal spirit differently from Achebe? What kind of josy does Nwokocha Agbadi prefer? Compare how Emecheta has described polygamy so far as compared with the way Achebe described it.

Note the treatment of slavery and human sacrifice in this story.

The sacrifice of slaves to accompany dead leaders has been practiced in many cultures, most famously in ancient Egypt. Why does Ona refuse to marry Agbadi? What significance does it have? Modern statistics tell us that infertility is extremely common; yet many traditional cultures make no allowance for such a situation. How does Nnu Ego achieve some of the joys of motherhood?

It has been well established that sufficient stimulation can cause some women and even rare men to lactate without pregnancy. The corrugated sheets now used for roofs are less attractive than the old palm leaves, but they are much more effective at keeping the weather out and do not harbor insects and other vermin as did the old roofs.


What reason does Nnu Ego give for needing a child on p. In what ways does Nnu Ego feel differently about Nnaife than she had about Amatokwu? What is her attitude toward Christianity? What effect does Cornelia say the dominance of the whites has had one the Ibo men? In West Africa it is traditional for women to engage in trade. Indeed, retail commerce is dominated by women.

What is the difference between traditional married life and married life in Lagos? Why is suicide difficult in Nigeria? Why is Nnu Ego able to resist so successfully the men who are trying to save her? Why is it illegal to allow a child to die at home? What does Ubani say at the end of the chapter is the difference between men and women? In what ways does Nnaife disappoint Nnu Ego?

Buchi Emecheta, author of ‘The Joys of Motherhood’ is dead

Why does she off to soldiers? Fernando Po is the old name of an island off the coast of Equatorial Guinea now named Bioko where the capital is located. It got the name of Fernando Po while under the control of the Spanish.

Note that Nigeria is a very vague concept to Nnu Ego.

Note the change of point of view in this chapter. How does Nnu Ego justify selling her clothes?

Her reproaches to Oshia make more sense if you remember the Ibo tradition that children sometimes willfully die to spite their parents. Note how Nnu Ego focuses almost obsessively on motherhood. Practically everything she says relates to it. Why is local gin prohibited by the British? What evidence is there in this chapter that tensions are common between co-wives?

According to Nnu Ego, how is being a senior wife different in Lagos than in Ibuza? How does she attempt to save Adaku from being beaten? Colonial troops fought in both world wars for both the British and French, to preserve the independence of the countries that had taken their own independence away.


In what way does Ubani compare the British to God on p. Mothefhood modern Africa and in developing nations elsewhere it is all too common for men to have to leave their families in order to earn enough to support them.

Groundnuts so called because they grow underground, on the roots of the plant are peanuts, originally cultivated in South America, but very popular in Africa in modern times.

An Obi is an important inherited post in Ibo culture. What argument does Nnu Ego try to use to convince Adaku not to become a prostitute? How is it typical of her? What other actions and speeches of hers in this chapter show how she discriminates between the girls and the boys? Why does Oshia prefer his father to his mother? Given what you know of Nnu Ego, how realistic do you think her prayer on pp.

The emphasis on the teh of fertility should go far toward explaining why Africa has the highest birthrate of any place in the world. What shift in attitude creates a split between the generations?

The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta

Note how her attitudes are not entirely dissimilar from those of her grandmother. Why does Nnaife curse Nnu Ego? What do you think of the ending of the novel? The title is obviously ironic. What do you think the main messages of the novel are? Unlike Ach ebe, Emecheta raises some of the negative aspects of traditional Ibo society early in her novel. Things Fall Apart Wole Soyinka: Selected Plays Athol Fugard: Selected Stories George Lamming: In the Castle of My Skin R. The Guide Salman Rushdie: The Satanic Verses Arundhati Roy: Version of January 18, The Book Common Errors: