The Bride Price
Buchi Emecheta, the author of The Bride Price, illustrates the life of the Odia family and the hardships they go through together, and on their own. The character who stands out the most, however, is Aku-Nna Odia, the protagonist of the story. Because she is an unmarried teenage girl, life is additionally hard for her. Aside from the difficulties she has because of the death of her father, Aku-Nna is faced with the cultural mission as a female in society to get married so the family can receive a bride price. The author of this fictional story weaves in the theme of male dominance and women?s compliance to men. Life in Nigeria is hard at the time, and Aku-Nna is a character who ...view middle of the document...
In this African culture, it is believed that after a husband has died, a woman can no longer take care of herself or her family. ?A fatherless family is a family without a head, a family without shelter, a family without parents, in fact a non-existing family? (28). This statement just further illustrates that men are more important than women in society.
In Nigeria, women are inferior to men. They tend to them and do tedious household chores that need to be done. At four o?clock, women work especially hard. ?Four o?clock was the time when all housewives stopped plaiting their hair, when they finished off their gossiping because their men folk would soon be home, hungry, tired, and irritable, so the women would rush to the kitchen to prepare the evening meal? (20). Whatever task men asked their wives to do, women were expected to complete thoroughly.
Women were demanded to give birth to healthy males and do household work in society. They were also ?supposed to exhibit more emotion? (30) than men were to express. When Ozekiel died, Aku-Nna was expected to cry more than her brother did. It was also assumed that she would have a longer speech at his funeral. From that point forward, Aku-Nna could only look forward to getting married and saving her newly-modified family from poverty through her pride price. Even her aunt Matilda describes how it is a pity that ?they will marry her off very quickly in order to get enough money.? However, as a female in society, this is her job. Through The Bride Price, Aku-Nna encounters conflicts ultimately leading to her desired bride price.