Purpose of Study
The purpose of this study is to exemplify Julie Okoh’s The Trials as a feminist text
Scope of Study
research is limited to Julie Okoh’s text The Trials. The study examine
the basic memorable of a feminist text which are, strong memorable
female character, the portrayal of women as having innate goodness and
genuine concern for the family especially the children; portrayal of
women as bring instrumental to positive change in improving the society
economically and finally, the presence of power relation and call for
change in the status’ of women as critical responses of the women to a
society dominated by the men-folk
is qualitative and is women around the text The Trials by Julie Okoh’s
as the primary source. Other source included journals articles and
The theory on which this work is based is the feminist theory of literacy criticism.
to Ann B. Dobie (a writer and theorist the author of theory into
practice) the feminist movement stretches back into the ninetieth
century the feminist lenses began to develop only in the early 1960’s.
Encyclopedia Americana 1920’s defines feminism as a collection of ideas
and movement aimed at defining, establishing and defending equal
political, economic and social right of women and men. This includes
seeking to establish equal opportunity for women in education and career
(Wikipedia “feminism” collier new Encyclopedia 1921)
therefore is an ideological movement that aims at advocating the
economic, social and political equality of men and women in the society.
Therefore if frowns at oppression of women by men.
Feminism is a
concept that thrives to give recognition to women’s capability and
right to determine and change a new society. It demands that women
should not be judged by their sex. It is geared towards correcting the
situation in the society in which a women cannot hold certain positions
and jobs or have a say in the affairs of the state because of her
According to Judith Burdick, feminism is an outright and
explicit rejection of the life style created by strong coercive norms.
She further state that:
“That advocacy of the furtherance of
women’s right interest and equality with men in social, political and
economic sphere (588).Feminism indeed advocates that a women has the
right and freedom from male domination and therefore can decide her own
destiny. This concept sees the women as being able to makes her own
decision knowing what is good for her as well as what is bad. This
movement also held that women should break new grand and let herself be
trampled upon by men.
Book encyclopedia…..(vol ii) defines feminism as
belief that women should have economic political and social right
equality with men. The movement could also be called women’s Liberation
or women’s movement” (46).Feminism is out to destiny the concept,
however grounded in religious, economic or biological superiority over
women, Brudwick also states that feminism.
“Is a psychological
revaluation based on women’s insistence that they have basic right to
make choices and be judge as individuals”.Furthermore, the concerted
effort by women to end their travail was proof to the world that their
contribution to the societal development would be Barren if they are
socially, politically and economically deprived in any form. Therefore,
for peace and stability to reign thewy desire to be treaded like their
male counterpart. This protect and demand laid the foundation for
feminism. It focuses don eradicatsing gender inequality and promoting
women right, interest and issues in the society.
with the coming of many wollstone craft’s A vindication of the right of
women. In the text she state how “women are stripped of virtue that
should cloth humanity then are decked with artificial graces that enable
them exercise a short lived tyranny” (142) from that statement it is
justifiable to state that a women’s essential worth sterms from her
common humanity and does not depend on any thing else
Nigeria, the first feminist movement or idea dates back to the Aba women
Roit (1926) which was an event fashioned towards the emaicipation of
women. Apart from the event in Nigeria we also have the Beijing women
conference in china which focuses on the plight of women and the action
needed to improve their let. The struggle to end discrimination of sexes
stereotyping and male domination should not be considered a one-man
race, rather, it calls for a group struggle. The man reigns in the have
while women are stripped of their dignity and made object of men’s lust
and pleasure. Hence feminism grew to destroy these vices in the society.
But Africa is yet to witness radical feminism, hence Alice Waker in the
text The Nature of Black Feminism state that:
“The black feminism is committed to the survival and wholeness of the entire people male and female”(231)
Black feminism is commited to the survival of all and not a one-sided or selfish affair.
to Okey Okwechine “Equality to right and opportunity for both men and
women for a healthy society” (209). This simply means that for a society
to progress, there should be equal support for all irrespective of
The aim and scope of feminism movement is divided into
two part, which we all the basic common goals women have irrespective
of race, class and culture. The others varies from country to country
because of race, class and culture
At first, feminist movement
concentrated con gaining legal equality especially the right to vote in
1839, women in Zealand were the first6 to advocate and win this right
followed by women in Australia and other European countries and then
United State. During the year 1900’s a new concern for economic and
social equality arose and revived the movement
fought to end education and job discrimination against women. A large
number of women went into professions like law, medicine, politics,
business and other male dominated field
Feminist movement sought
to overturn laws and practice that enforce superiority of men over
women and in ferity status of women by discrimination in such matters
relating to sex and child bearing. In other words, feminist worked for
wider availability of birth control information and legalized abortion
in same countries. They strived to change societal belif that women are
weak, passive and dependent individuals; and that women are less ratio
and more emotional than men also that women exist to please men.
parts of Africa feminist –movement arte geared towards were basic roles
such as removal of high bride price preference of male children to
female children, maltreatment of widows amongst others.
aim of the feminist is up-liftment of women image and a demonstration of
the need to be dissatisfied with their traditional roles of neing
subjected to male domination, and that women can participate equally
with men in every sphere of human endeavors. Also to give every women to
realize their potential
According to Ann B Dobie in her book
Theory into Practice femimist criticism can be studied in three
different perspective into several overlapping approaches which are:
study of defenses, study of female power and study of female experience
the study of difference, feminist critics who are interested in
determining the difference in male and female writing work from
assumption that gender determine everything including value system and
language. The concept of female difference has resulted in an assumption
of female inferiority critical on this in the writing of men and women
considers question like:
Has the writer chosen to write in genre typical of male of female writers of that time or period?
you consider the content of the piece typical or atypical the voice
sound characteristic of a male or female writer? Is it personal or
impersonal, subjective or objective implicit of explicit?
answering the above question in relation to the primary text The Trials
by Julie Okoh’s it is seen that the genre of the text is drama, very
short and concise which is typical of the genre of the 21st century
period of Nigerian writers.
The content of the text is typical of a female writer because it dwells on the important of female empowerment.
voice is characteristic of a female writer because it protagonist
(Ibiso) is female it activities for female empowerment and equal right
of men and women to economic, social and political right: This attitude
is seen in Ibiso who provides for her family in the face of economic
hardship. The tone of the text is general and impersonal because it is
not restricted to Africa but the whole world. The text The Trials is
objective because it is not based on the personal feelings of the
Feminist critics studying power usually complain of
imbalance of power between sexes. They assume that the economic system
is at the root of inequitable relationship and the attack both economic
and social exploitation of women. They argue that women are oppressed of
women. They argue that women are oppressed by a group that consciously
hold then down through its ideologies. Michele Barrett, who writes from a
maxist poinit of view, argues that the way the family and household are
organized is related to division of labor in the society. The related
to division of labour in the society. The system of education and the
roles men and women play in the culture. To search for the study of
power in a text, the following questions according to Ann B. Dobie
should be considered
When do you find cimbalannce of power among the characters?
Who are the powerful ones and who are the powerless? Are the latter women or minority?
What division of labour exist between men and women in the text?
Does the text resist a social order that denies equal treatment to all or does it accept it?