Trials of Motherhood: Amma Darko’s Portrayal of Conflicts in Mother-Daughter Bonds in Her Novels: Beyond the Horizon, The Housemaid, Faceless and Not without Flowers

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This study has addressed the question of the lack of in-depth analysis of the trials of motherhood in Africa and in Ghana specifically. The study is an attempt to fill this lacuna. It traces the nature of the trials of motherhood and analyzes the causes and effects of the trials of motherhood on mothers and daughters. How can daughters appreciate their mothers when they consider the latter as failed mothers not worth emulating? The study argues that the trials of motherhood, if not eliminated, will result in daughters electing not to bear children rather than becoming mothers in a system that circumscribes mothers even when this same system seeks to honour them. Four novels of Amma Darko have been selected to investigate Darko‘s portrayal of her mother figures. There is seen in these four novels a fictionalization of the myriads of trials that mothers battle with in a changing Ghanaian society. Reality is carried on exaggerative wings to reveal Darko‘s keen understanding of the trials of motherhood. There is also seen in these novels a relentless march towards addressing not only the trials of motherhood but also the triumph that unrelenting mothers achieve even in the face of trials. The life-styles of these mother figures indicate that mothers have regenerative as well as destructive potentials. It takes mothers whose desire it is to churn out good daughters to tap into their regenerative potentials and train daughters well. This study also highlights the strategies used by those mothers who are able to train good daughters irrespective of the challenges they face as mothers. These mothers inject hope into a society where women‘s ability to mother daughters well is gradually turning out to be a mirage. ix The lessons gleaned from this study throw light on how women can mother daughters well. It also provokes a discourse on the importance of fellow feelings among mothers who want their daughters to step into their shoes. Accordingly, this work adduces unmistakable evidence that women can carve out dignified images of themselves, also through motherhood.
Thesis Submitted to the Department Of English in Partial Fulfillment of The Requirements For The Degree Of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in English