Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Martha Michieka

Committee Members

Phyllis Thompson, Yousif Elhindi


As long as disparities persist in the way women are treated as compared to their male counterparts, the issue of gender will continue to call forth literary productions. For this reason, female writers are on a mission to dismantle the stereotypes that keep women confined to societal roles. Grounded in a feminist framework, this study focuses on the gender disparity theme in Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus and Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions. The aim is to examine how these writers represent the trauma of women living in an African patriarchal system. The traumatic experiences of the female characters in both texts for this study are analyzed using Judith Herman’s Psychological trauma and Bessel Van der Kolk’s trauma theory to explain women’s struggles and their responses to traumatic experiences. A content analysis of the novels shows that resilience and agency are achievable and that one way to achieve agency is through interdependence which is a crucial dimension often overlooked in existing scholarly engagements.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.