Vol. 5, Issue 4 (2019)
The quest for gender identity, self-consciousness and recognition in Ifeoma Okoye’s Behind the Clouds
Author(s): Augustine Uka Nwanyanwu
Abstract: In Behind the Clouds Ifeoma Okoye traces the emergence and development of a new female consciousness and identity, as well as the recognition of that identity. A great deal of contemporary African women writings are narratives around women identity and the quest and the consciousness of the reality of existence. Ifeoma Okoye’s Behind the Clouds is a narrative that sensitively apprehends this consciousness of the female individual in a society dominated by male values. Using the experiences of the protagonist, Ije Apia, this study applies the gender theory to explore how the characters become aware of their identity and self-consciousness as persons. This paper interrogates socio-cultural assumptions as they affect women’s gender identity and self-consciousness. This paper examines the dynamic process of self-consciousness and recognition as well as the entrapping dynamics which Okoye has specified in her narrative using the experiences of the female characters. The aim of this paper is to open up a space for the expression of different levels of self consciousnesses in women writings in Africa; to provide an angle of critical interpretations and perspectives; to assess the range of representations of women’s recognition of their identities and how these constructions have been homogenised in Okoye’s novel. is that in Behind the Clouds, Ifeoma Okoye has shown. The significance of this study is in identifying the ways that female subjectivities have been reconfigured within Okoye’s Behind the Clouds.