Deconstructing gender myths in Margaret Ogola’s I Swear by Apollo and Marjorie Macgoye’s Victoria and Murder in Majengo
Keywords:deconstructing gender myths, Ogola, swear Apollo, Macgoye, Victoria murder, majengo
This paper explores how Margaret Ogola, in I Swear by Apollo, and Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye, in Victoria and Murder in Majengo, deploy narrative strategies to debunk/(de)construct gender myths as perpetuated by traditional gender roles, marriage and family, and sexuality. It further interrogates how the authors champion religion and education as major factors to catalyse paradigm shift from tradition to modernity, focusing on the significance of location and culture in justifying the paradigm shifts in people’s attitudes and conceptualization of gender and power concerns. Ogola and Macgoye’s attempt to redefine family is examined by illuminating new perspectives that counter traditional concept of family. Within this conceptualization is the changing reality that destabilizes myths on roles and responsibilities of men and women, that is, division of labour by sex within family and society at large, against changing social trends. In so doing, the paper examines modernity, particularly the influence of location and culture, as factors that deconstruct gender myths. The concept of modernity, that is, myths behind modernity, relationship between traditional African and western/modern cultures, are examined in light of how it influences gender and power play. We consider the different approaches Ogola and Macgoye in I Swear by Apollo and Victoria and Murder in Majengo, respectively, give to challenges of life supported by a new culture and modernity in a new cultural space provided by modern contexts.
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