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Gender roles in Buchi Emechetas Second Class Citizen and Pat Barkers Union Street
2005 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

The case of strong and oppressed women is the subject of Buchi Emecheta’s semi-autobiographical novel Second Class Citizen and Pat Barker’s Union Street. The main character in Second Class Citizen, Adah, grows up in Nigeria and spends her first years as an adult in the same country before moving to England with her husband. Growing up, Adah has to deal with everything that comes with being a woman in Nigeria and as an adult she struggles with the same issue in England. The central characters in Union Street are working-class women between the ages of seven to seventy who works hard to grow up in a tough world, or to take care of a house and a family. Since the main characters in Second Class Citizen moves to England where the main characters in Union Street also live, and since both Second Class Citizen and Union Street takes place in the 1960s and 1970s I have decided to investigate gender roles in the 1960s and 1970s in the two books. The essay is organized thematically into sections that investigate the areas of value, social roles, education, views on sexuality, and feelings. Neither in Second Class Citizen or Union Street do men and women share the same value. Besides the unequal values and different roles of men and women, English society is also divided into unequal social classes, and in addition, in Second Class Citizen there is also a difference in value between white people and people of colour. There are similarities between the two books when it comes to schooling, since girls are not expected to get an education, but differences in the views on sexuality. The women are faithful to their husbands while some of the men have a different view on marriage and trust. Before marriage though, there is a difference between England and Nigeria as in England both men and women are sexually liberated, while in Nigeria only the men are allowed to have several sexual partners before they are married. When it comes to feelings the men in Second Class Citizen and most men in Union Street are described as tough and strong while the women are supposed to care about and take care of their families. In conclusion, the two books describe a struggle between the two genders; women who strive towards independence and self-respect, and men who struggle not to loose superiority and a feeling of control. While there are obvious cultural differences between the two societies described, many of the same gender issues can be recognized in both novels.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. , 17 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53786Local ID: ENG C-18OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53786DiVA: diva2:1102346
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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