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Abstract

This paper evaluates some contentious issues in women’s liberation struggles in Nigeria as recreated in Ezeigbo’s play, Hands that Crush Stone. The particularities of gender are neglected in the anti-colonial struggle for Nigerian independence, and women’s issues are subsumed within the nationalist literatures of cultural regeneration. With the influence of feminism, many Nigerian women embark on the identification of women’s personhood by controverting the representations of Nigerian women in male-centered works. African theatre, in particular, is very skeptical about the feminist ideology aimed at changing the status of women in society. Similarly, many people are suspicious of women’s liberation struggle and its consequent effect on the society. Hence feminism in Nigeria is rent with many contentious issues. Taking Marxist and feminist perspectives in the analysis of Hands that Crush Stone, the researcher explores some of the major issues in the character’s revolutionary gender-cum-class struggle for a pay rise. The proposition is that Hands that Crush Stone embodies most of the concerns in women’s struggle for survival in contemporary Nigeria.

Note on the Author

Osita C. Ezenwanebe, Ph.D., Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos, Nigeria

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