BOY 2 Two children in a dream. The boy being the. GIRL, ghost of Ato's former self. The Bird of the Wayside. The Dilemma of a Ghost was first presented by the . PDF | The research investigates in details about the influence of cultural Ghana as presented in Ama Ata Aidoo's Dilemma of a Ghost. The paper focuses on the relationship that exists between literature and culture through a critical analysis of Ama Ata Aidoo's The Dilemma of a Ghost and Anowa. The paper corrects this misunderstanding about literature by exploring the literary qualities and cultural issues that.

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Ama Ata Aidoo - The Dilemma of The - Download as PDF File .pdf) or view presentation slides online. Dilemma of a Ghost by. Ama Ata Aidoo ma Ata Aidoo (called Christina until she. A abandoned her Christian name in the early. THE LITERARY WORK. I s). A review, and links to other information about and reviews of The Dilemma of a Ghost by Ama Ata Aidoo.

The Akan have a variety of forms of cultural expression.

Music plays an important social role, especially in situations of mourning and celebration; drums are the most important musical instrument.

Metalwork, terra cotta pottery, wood-carving, and especially weaving are highly developed; the Kente cloth produced in Ghana is world famous. Good storytellers are highly esteemed, and proverbs pepper everyday speech. Proverbs pass on the common sense of the people, and express their deepest understanding of human existence.

In its slim 50 pages, Dilemma of a Ghost manages to include expressions of all these facts of traditional Akan life. The extended Yawson family functions almost as a single character to oppose Ato and his wife. Once the tribal wisdom has been produced, it seems, there is nothing left to say. Older sociologists tended to overlook the importance of trading and selling, and thus to underestimate the status of women in Ghana; more recent studies have revealed how essential such activity is, and the measure of autonomy it provides women.

The spread of Western-style education has also led to more varied opportunities for girls. And, while boys have benefited more on the whole, an increasing number of parents have come to believe that education is important for all children.

Aidoo herself is an early example of this growing trend. Despite all the potential benefits which might grow from their matrilineal importance, authority within the home, and trading activity, Akan women are still second-class citizens in most ways. Throughout Ghana a woman is considered in need of protection and is under the control of someone, usually male, throughout her life. Manuh, p. The transatlantic slave trade of the fifteenth through nineteenth centuries decimated the population of West Africa, tearing millions of Africans from their homelands and depositing them in the Americas.

These early arrivals, the African slaves and their descendents, occupied a strange, two-sided position in the western hemisphere. On the one hand, they were clearly no longer African: within a generation, they spoke the language of whatever colony had enslaved them.

Meanwhile, they evolved new languages of internal communication peculiar to themselves and different from the mainstream languages of their masters—such as creole and patois in the Caribbean and the West Indies. This was a major achievement, extraordinary in the midst of calculated deprivations.

Always considered second-class, inferior people fit only for forced labor, the slaves were never allowed full membership in society at large. To their colonial masters, the color of their skin, and their African origin, marked them as inferior. It is not surprising, then, that the movement for black equality in the United States has involved profound curiosity about Africa.

Historians point out that thoughts of Africa tended to rise among African Americans when racial tension in America was high. Before the abolition of slavery, a movement arose that called for the repatriation of black slaves to Africa.

This wish for a mass return was revived briefly in the aftermath of the Civil War , when white Southerners attempted to terrorize their former slaves back into submission. However, by this point Africa itself was being carved up into colonies by European powers in a race to extend their empires, and such wishes did not become reality.

In the early twentieth century, African American attitudes toward Africa took a different turn. Among the small educated elite grew the idea that people of color the world over had to unite to end all forms of racial oppression, be it segregation or colonialism.

In America this movement was spearheaded by W. While DuBois explored the intellectual underpinnings of racism, and sought out reasoned ways to combat it, Garvey stirred millions with impassioned rhetoric.

He claimed that inferiority would beleaguer black people as long as they lived in a white society, and called for a return to an Africa freed of its colonial oppressors and united as one nation.

In the s the relationship of Africans and African Americans took a new turn. In the United States the civil rights movement, which attempted to demolish the structures of racial inequality, coincided with the struggle of many African countries for independence.

DuBois himself moved to Ghana in the early s and became a Ghanaian citizen in It finally seemed as if conditions were right for closer relations between Africa and diasporic Africans in the United States. This hope was not unfounded; however, it was somewhat optimistic. From the movement that led to the formation of Liberia in the s, to Garveyism in the s and beyond, American blacks used the idea of Africa as a symbol of freedom and home, but gave less thought to the real differences that separated their experience in the United States from that of their kin who had not been taken.

The educated elite and a handful of missionaries had actually traveled to Africa, and African American scholars had done a great deal to enrich scholarly understanding of African culture. So, despite their natural interest in their ancestral home, African Americans had a great deal to learn about Africa. And, as the experience of Eulalie Yawson in Dilemma of a Ghost indicates, the learning experience was as likely to be painful as fulfilling.

The Play in Focus Plot summary Dilemma of a Ghost covers more than a year in the life of the Yawson family, but presents the action in brief snippets spread out over time. The play opens with a long speech by the Bird of the Wayside.

This folkloric figure introduces the Yawsons, a family of seemingly great wealth in the countryside outside of Accra, Ghana. Seemingly great, because the Yawsons have spent a fortune educating the firstborn son of the clan, Ato, in the United States.

Now he has returned. In preparation, the Yawsons have added a wing to the clan house for him to stay in when he visits—for he must live in the city, where his job is. Aidoo, The theme of feminism is handled in the play in such a way that marriage and other Marriage is so important in the Akan culture that two aspects of Akan culture are brought to the fore in the individuals cannot just meet and decide to marry alone.

It is an discussion of issues.

The theme of the play is acted out in the issue that involves families, clans, communities and so on. To some extent, one can argue that there are This is why in the Akan society, there is a proverb which both peripety and recognition in Anowa.

He is prepared to sacrifice cementing of lies between families and clans. Such unions are everything for wealth. It, however, turns out that this same not temporary and cannot be overlooked since there are wealth is the cause of the sad end of Ako and Anowa.

Commenting on parents alone could have given out their daughter in marriage the communal nature of marriage in Ghana, Peter Sarpong but that would have contravened the norms of the society in observes that: which they live. It is a matter in which the lineage of young and cannot represent any family or clan.

In such the contracting parties is greatly interested. In a circumstances, they need elders of their families or clans with way, marriage concerns the whole society in high moral standing so that should anything go wrong with the which it takes place, for which reason,…in marriage in the years to come, such elders can step in and try particular Sarpong, By bringing their experiences to bear on the marriage, such elders can ensure that the marriage Still on the communal nature of marriage in Africa, lasts as long as it is supposed to.

Another aspect of traditional Mbiti maintains that: Akan marriage which has been tackled in both plays is the investigations that usually precede the union of the couple.

It is the point where all members of a responsibility of ensuring that their son marries a good woman given community meet; the departed, the living whose family has no history of diseases such as epilepsy, and those yet to be born Mbiti, In addition to this, the young lady must not come from a family whose members are thieves, The two preceding references on the communal nature of murderers, slaves and so forth. These investigations are taken marriage in Africa and in Akan society in particular explain why into consideration to avoid social stigma and spill over effects in Act One of The Dilemma of a Ghost, all the family members on future offspring of marriages in traditional Akan societies.

Therefore they also investigate Esi: It is nothing; I was only telling your aunt that I discreetly into the history and conduct of the young man and have sold your sheep to pay the bride price for his family to avoid social stigma and the transfer of diseases to you when you make up your mind to marry.

Writing on the investigations that usually precede marriages in traditional Ato: [Casually] But I am already married, Maame. Akan society, Sarpong observes that: All: You are married? In the meantime, a kind of mutual spying is Aidoo, begun, each group trying to find out if the person in the other group is worthy of their child.

Is the girl too lazy, without informing or consulting any member of the family on is she respectful? Sarpong, Nana : [Spitting] My grandchild, so you have This is why the Second Woman expresses her uneasiness married?

Why did you never write to tell us? But has gone for this Osam: To go and call us her uncle and your brother. Black-white woman Badua: Could we not have waited until this A stranger and a slave evening or dawn tomorrow? And is not that Akan marriage. On one such occasion, she observes that: one of the best Houses that are here in Yebi? Has he an ancestor who has unclothed himself to 1st Woman: Child bearing is always profitable nakedness, had the unmentionable, killed himself or another man?

The final aspect of traditional Akan marriage that is discussed in both plays is the fact that it is usually the And not the money in it? This aspect of Akan traditional Anowa and Ako also makes the former uneasy.

She does not marriage is a product of their matrilineal system of inheritance. She therefore tries all she can to know whether Ghana when he writes: it is her supposed barrenness that is the explanation for the absence of children in their marriage or there is something One important aspect of matrilinity is that it is the else to it. Though the residence may be ideally manhood for material wealth. It is a crime because no society patrilocal, the fact that father and child do not among the Akans or in Africa will ever endorse such an act.

As such…many respects. Nukunya, earth. It is considered unfruitful in Africa to marry a barren woman. Osam: My wife, do remember I am a man, the If it is real barrenness son of a woman who also has five sisters.

It is a long time since I gave up trying to understand the Then, oh stranger-girl human female. Besides, if you think well of it, I am not the one to decide finally whom Anowa can Whom I do not know, marry. Her uncle, your brother is there, is he not?

Because I know your I weep for you.

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For I know what it is The next aspect of the Akan way of life which has been To start a marriage with barrenness Aidoo, Ideally, in the Akan society, as in Barrenness is considered a curse in traditional Africa and in any other society in Africa, marriage is meant for procreation. Akan society due to the value that is usually placed on Marriage is not meant for satisfying fantasies that do not children in every marriage.

This explains why J. It is, therefore, not his marriage with Eulalie, there are still no issues. He is simply part of the whole the literary medium to express such cultural values. The third Pointer, Writing on the A similar observation on the role of the extended family in the meaning of the extended family, J. In traditional society, now being undermined in Africa Wright, The final the family includes children, parents, aspect of the Akan way of life as expressed in both plays is the grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters need for respect for the elderly in the society.

The elderly are who may have their own children and other expected to be respected in Africa due to several reasons.

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To immediate relatives. In many areas there are Sarpong, one of the reasons for respect for the elderly is what anthropologists call extended…compound contained in the following observation: or close to another Mbiti, Old age is sacred as the old person is thought to In Africa, and in Akan society, the individual does not exist be in closer proximity to the ancestors — he is alone. He derives his essence from the family and the family likely to die before others - the young. The also derives its essence from the clan.

This therefore means mysterious and the spiritual acquire their that in good times and in bad times, the individual can always character by reason of their being sacred.

Who or what is the antagonist? By what means does the playwright reveal character?

Dilemma of a Ghost

What do the characters reveal about each other? What is the purpose of the minor characters?

Are they individualized, or do they primarily represent ideas or attitudes? Are any character foils used? Do the characters all use the same kind of language, or is their speech differentiated? Of what significance is this to the development of African theater? Does your response to the characters change during the course of the play? What causes the change?

Edinburgh Research Archive

Are words and images repeated in the play so that they take on special meanings? Which speeches seem particularly important? How does the playwright use of language contribute to the tone of the play? Is dialogue, for example, predominantly light, humorous, relaxed, sentimental, sad, angry, intense, or violent? Are there any symbols used in the play?

Dilemma of a Ghost and Anowa book by Ama Ata Aidoo online

Which actions, characters, settings, objects, or words convey more than their literal meanings? Are there unfamiliar theatrical conventions used that present problems in understanding the play?The other but have been passed on from one generation to objection Eagleton raises about the preceding definition is that another in an uninterrupted succession. Okleme, S. The other theme which can be derived from the to signal that what is at stake is a way of talking about a synopsis of the play is the theme of feminism.

Do the characters all use the same kind of language, or is their speech differentiated? The announcement creates confusion and consternation, which only increase when the Yawsons learn that their new in-law is an American. Some of [13]. But instead of offering solace, Esi Kom castigates him.

Still, here there seems hope that love can conquer all -- at least that's how the two feel.

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