Exploring Femininity in Ama Ata Aidoo’s Anowa: An Interpersonal Analysis

  • Issa Djimet PhD in Applied Linguistics, Faculty of Arts and Humanities (FLASH), University of Doba, Chad
  • Leonard A. Koussouhon Full Professor of Applied Linguistics, African and English Literature, English Department, University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin
Keywords: Femininity, interpersonal metafunction, equal power, respect, familiarity


This paper aims at analyzing Anowa, a play written by Ama Ata Aidoo, in order to decode the author’s conception of femininity which, in the majority of classical literary works produced by men, is traditionally limited to some debasing roles defined by the patriarchal system. The analysis is carried out on the basis of Systemic Functional Linguistics, a theory mainly developed by Halliday and Mathiessen (2004) and Eggins (1994). According to this theory, language is a very complex semiotic system, structured to express three Kinds of meanings simultaneously: the interpersonal, the experiential, and the textual meanings. The article focuses on the interpersonal metafunction in order to find out what characterizes the relationship between men and women, and how this is redefined and to which extent. The methodology used for the analysis is the mixed-method. It comes out from the analysis that the relationship between male and female characters is based on equal power, mutual respect, and familiarity, which is in total contradiction to the description of this relationship in many male authored literary works. Thus, in Anowa, a woman is not an object; but she is equipped verbally and intellectually to talk of herself. Narrations are not insignificant, but they contribute in constructing new identities.


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How to Cite
Djimet, I., & Koussouhon, L. A. (2020). Exploring Femininity in Ama Ata Aidoo’s Anowa: An Interpersonal Analysis. European Scientific Journal, ESJ, 16(5), 183. https://doi.org/10.19044/esj.2020.v16n5p183