A Feminist and Post-Colonial Analysis of Anowa by Ama Ataa Aidoo

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My favourite text is a play titled “Anowa” by Ama Ataa Aidoo which was published in year 1969. This book was first given to me by my father on my twelfth birthday. Although I was disappointed initially because I was expecting something “girly” on my birthday, I liked it when I read it because of the moral lessons it portrayed and the language used in the play. However, I got a deeper understanding of the test after I did a post-colonial and a feminist analysis on the text. In my post-colonial analysis, I saw that in a sense Anowa represents the beauty of the formal African society which was destroyed as a result of colonialism. A feminist analysis on the other hand shows that Anowa is a woman who is struggling against the 1870’s African feminist identity (the identity of weakness).

The drama surrounds the story of a young woman called Anowa who disobeys her parents by marrying Kofi Ako, a man who has a reputation for indolence and migrates with him to a far place. Childless after several years of marriage Anowa realises that Kofi had sacrificed his manhood for wealth. Upon Anowa’s realisation Kofi in disgrace shoots himself whiles Anowa too drowns herself.
In a postcolonial analysis of “Anowa”, we can see some evidence of Colonialism. Colonialism is a situation whereby a dominant imperium or center carries on a relationship of control and influence over its colonies (Key Terms in Post-Colonial Theory, n.d.). In this drama, Aidoo does not only tell a disobedient child’s story but she actually reveals a very important historical moment in Ghanaian history through the personal tragedy of Anowa and Kofi Ako. Anowa in this drama represents Africa. Her destruction represents Africa’s fall which was as a result of the actions of...

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... Kofi her Master. This shows how husbands are portrayed as masters over their wives in the society. They are seen as the lords of the house and this we clearly see in phase three when he decided to send Anowa away irrespective of all that they have gone through together just because he couldn’t keep up with her any longer. And since Anowa is different from the any other women who will quietly pack and go, she demands a reason for sending her away which made her reveal the secret behind Kofi’s wealth.
Having done the above analysis on my favourite text, “Anowa” by Ama Ataa Aidoo, I realise that my like for the text have heightened because the analysis of Anowa has given me a deeper understanding of Africa’s colonialism. I now know what actually led to our colonialisation (the betrayal) and how it began(the bond of 1844) through the personal lives of Anowa and Kofi.

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