Advertisement

Neohelicon

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 591–599 | Cite as

Destination England: Buchi Emecheta’s Second Class Citizen and Caryl Phillips’s The Final Passage

  • Burçin ErolEmail author
Article
  • 56 Downloads

Abstract

Although Buchi Emecheta’s Second Class Citizen and Caryl Phillips’s The Final Passage were written ten years apart they display many similarities. Both of the novels depict female protagonists, Adah and Leila respectively, who were born and bred in former British colonies, namely Nigeria and St. Kitts, who find themselves benefiting from the British colonial education system. Both heroines end up in relations with less qualified and low achiever, irresponsible husbands and are doubly colonised in a sense. The destination of both these female figures is England “the mother country” where they hope to realise dreams, live better lives as preached to them by the colonial education system. These two heroines who also bear children, do reach their geographic destinations and both in the adaptation process break free from their unsuccessful marriage bondage. From this point onward although both do manage to survive in their new homelands, the similarities seem to end. Adah who is more ambitious, builds herself and her children a new life in London, working and studying and adapting well to the new country, Leila on the other hand barely survives. For Adah London does become the land of freedom, achievements and self realisation, but Leila is weighed down by many factors and the new country is different than that she had imagined in many ways such as climate, life style and culture which are also discouraging for quite a number of immigrants arriving in England. Leila feels disillusioned and finds herself constantly yearning for her former home and expressing her wish to return there one day. Buchi Emecheta’s partly autobiographic novel depicts a success story in her desired destination, Caryl Phillips’s novel displays the grim reality of the coin’s other side where the immigrant experiences disillusionment, dissatisfaction in what the mother country provides.

Keywords

Buchi Emecheta Second Class Citizen Caryl Phillips The Final Passage Postcolonial immigration Women immigrants British colonial education Double colonisation 

Notes

References

  1. Bedana, L., & Sangeeta, L. (2014). Search for identity and home in Buchi Emecheta’s novel Second Class Citizen. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences,19(5 VI May), 32–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boss, J. (1988). Women and empowerment: An interview with Buchi Emecheta. Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies,16(2), 93–100.Google Scholar
  3. Buchanan, B. (2003). Caryl Phillips: Colonialism, cultural hybridity and racial difference. In R. J. Lane, R. Mengham, & P. Tew (Eds.), Contemporary British fiction (pp. 174–190). Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  4. Emecheta, B. (1974). Second-Class Citizen. Oxford: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  5. Ezeigbo, T. A. (1990). Traditional institutions in Igbo society: Implications for the Igbo female writer. African Language and Cultures,3(2), 149–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fido, E. S. (1991). Mother/lands: Self and separation in the works of Buchi Emecheta, Bessie Head and Jean Rhys. In S. Nasta (Ed.), Motherlands: Black African writing from Africa, the Caribbean and South Asia (pp. 330–337). New Jersey: Rutgers.Google Scholar
  7. Maier, A.-I. (2013). Home and exile in Caryl Phillips’ The Final Passage. Studia UBB Philologia, 58(3), 127–139.Google Scholar
  8. Mardorossian, C. M. (2002). From literature of exile to migrant literature. Modern Language Studies,32(2 Autumn), 15–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. McLeod, J. (2004). Postcolonial London: Rewriting the metropolis. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ogunyemi, C. O. (1985). Womanism: The dynamics of the contemporary black female novel in English. Signs,2(1 Autumn), 63–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Phillips, C. (2004 [1985]). The Final Passage. London; Vintage.Google Scholar
  12. Porter, M. A. (1988). Second Class Citizen: The point of departure for understanding Buchi Emecheta’s major fiction. The International Fiction Review,15(2), 123–129.Google Scholar
  13. Silkü, R. K. (2009). Postcolonial routes and diasporic identities: Belonging and displacement in Caryl Phillips’s The Final Passage and A Distant Shore. Journal of Postcolonial Writing,45(2), 163–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LettersHacettepe UniversityAnkaraTurkey

Personalised recommendations