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EGBUNG, Itang Ede

Culture, Childlessness and Marital Conflict in Ama Ata Aidoo’s Anowa

Itang Ede EGBUNG, PhD

Department of English and Literary Studies

University of Calabar

Calabar, Nigeria


GSM: +234-803-294-0122


This paper explores the place of culture in a childless African marriage and the effect it has on the society, using Ama Ata Aidoo’s Anowa. The play views the issues of childlessness and marital conflict in African society as patriarchal; and patriarchy is a system that thrives on the domination of women. Children, especially male ones are desired in every union in Africa; therefore, the absence of an offspring in a marriage generates conflict in a marriage relationship. This paper takes into cognizance the values, languages, beliefs and traditions which are transmitted from generation to generation in a typical African society. African culture in its entirety tends to favour the male gender. This is exhibited in all spheres of African human existence. In marriage, childlessness is attributed to the female gender. African culture has made it so impossible for the male gender to be held liable for childlessness in marriage.