Head Above The Water Analysis

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Head Above the Water (1986), is a story of a woman that tries to find her own place, by resisting traditional patriarchal thinking of her Igbo society and prejudices of the British society. It is a story of individual self-making and a call to action. In addition to this, this is a story of a journey from marginality to empowerment. 1

Head above the water is not a chronological account. The author builds her story in the form of in medias res, starting directly with her trip to Great Britain. She does not give too much emphasis on her childhood memories, summarizing all her childhood in three short chapters. Buchi gives more accent on her actual life and identity building in London. The text has multiple plottings; her own story of becoming a successful African woman, that of a woman who constantly fights with the patriarchal society of the diaspora in London, and who desperately wants to be released from it.

As Camara Laye, Emecheta builds her book on the moments that affected
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The information of the childhood is almost non-existential, the descriptions of traditional Africa and its habits is not found. There is no information of the landscapes, colours, noises, voices, people of Africa. All these things would be very useful and helpful in shaping and understanding her view of Africa and herself as a part of African continent. By looking at her text, you may get a feeling as if she is ashamed of her roots, or is not interested in them. However, it is not true, because in her two previous semi-autobiographical books In the Ditch (1972), Second Class citizen (1974) Buchi shared some details about the African society, its norms and values, and her life. Still, some background information would be very appreciated. The text has lots of flash-backs and flash-forwards that enfold a long period of

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