The world of Flora Nwapa’s first two novels — Efuru and Idu — is a near perfect mirror of the patriarchy in which the author grew up. It is a world founded on a value system which is conducive to man’s pleasure and selfrealization. It is an ordered world where everyone knows one’s place, and the worth of any woman is proportional to her ability (is it not really willingness?) to repress any impulse capable of challenging men’s self- assigned superiority. It is a world of double standards. There is, therefore, a subtle tendency in the novels to frustrate women’s attempt at selfassertion. The major means of this frustration is the socio-economic antifeminism of the patriarchy as mirrored in the novels.
Ikonne, Chidi, The Society and Woman’s Quest for Selfhood in Flora Nwapa’s Early Novels, Kunapipi, 6(1), 1984.