Speaking in an alien voice: A womanist comparison of the use of language by Scottish and West African female playwrights.
Ojediran, O. (2012) Speaking in an alien voice: A womanist comparison of the use of language by Scottish and West African female playwrights., no. 336.
This study explores specific thematic pre-occupations in the works of selected eight women writers from two different geographical and cultural milieus (West Africa and Scotland) with a specific focus on similarities in which these writers use language as a means of exploring women's positions within their respective societies. The second layer of the study's enquiry lives within the realm of exploration of womanist discourse, as originally developed by Alice Walker, and a possibility of applying this discourse beyond African American and African shores, as a transracial and transcultural model for creating new readings of dramatic discourse by women writers who come from different generational, racial, cultural and geographical environments. In total, sixteen plays ranging from 1970 to 2008 have been examined by means of close reading and comparative analysis, and against the backdrop of Alice Walker's womanist theory. The study's focus has been on the ways in which language is employed in these plays to develop womanish characters, to use Walker's term, capable of overcoming limitations of their position in societies that confine and silence them within domestic realms. This study shows that while womanist theory per se may be seen as confined to African American discourse, some of its elements such as audaciousness, community, spirituality and capability may find successful application in such two different cultural models as West Africa and Scottish shores.