The Joys of Motherhood

Nigerian Culture: The Joys of Motherhood and the Present Day College

The idea that childbirth can test a woman and perhaps lead to self-awareness serves as a major theme for Buchi Emecheta's Nigerian novel The Joys of Motherhood, in which a young Ibo woman marries twice, the first marriage highlighting her infertility. In her second marriage, Nnu Ego has surprisingly little difficulty in reproducing; however, she faces many challenges in raising her children and maintaining her marriage. The author describes Nigerian life through the eyes of men, women, children, and various ethnic groups under British rule in the mid 1900s. It is clear that family life, gender roles, and religious beliefs in the novel are similar to that of post-colonial Nigerian culture today.

To begin, Buchi Emecheta, author of The Joys of Motherhood, was born to Ibuza parents in Lagos, Nigeria, in the year of 1944. These facts are especially important due to the story being held primarily in Ibuza and Lagos, cities Emecheta is highly familiar with. According to the Encyclopedia of World Writers, Emecheta got engaged and married as early as sixteen years old, and she later gave birth to five children (Diamond, "Emecheta, Buchi"). In her time, it was very common for women to have multiple children. Regarding her literary work,...

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