Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues (Print ISSN: 1544-0036; Online ISSN: 1544-0044)


Toward a More Integrated Society: A Womanist Reading of Margret Ogola's the River and the Source

Author(s): Mohamed Fathi Helaly Khalaf

 The present study examines the African womanist approach in Margret Ogola’s The River and The Source. As such, the study provides an analysis of the selected novel in the light of Hudson-Weems’ theory of Womanism. In this novel, the author presents a new model of African women in their struggle side by side with men. In The River and The Source, the researcher seeks to show how Ogola deviates from the traditional path of depicting women as subdued, inferior, and abused through presenting them as bold, intelligent, self-assertive and cooperative while showing a lot of mutual understanding, love and respect with men. The study will also trace the struggle of successive generations of women against all the hardships they have to experience in the context of the Kenyan society. Here, the conduct of the female characters in the novel will be examined through their interactions with their male counterparts to highlight the womanist aspect in their characters. It is the Womanist approach that challenges the conventional stereotypical image of the African women. In her portrayal of Akoko as a source mother and her female linage, Ogola presents them as capable of demonstrating a lot of Womanist attributes in their interaction with other male characters in the novel. Akoko, Nyabera, Elizabeth and Wandia are portrayed as womanist figures in the sense of leading lives of integration and solidarity with men.

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