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The Joys of Motherhood

The Joys of Motherhood


Buchi Emecheta


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The Joys of Motherhood Analysis

Literary Devices in The Joys of Motherhood

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Nnu Ego has two dreams about babies. In the first, before Ngozi is born, her chi (personal god) offers Nnu Ego a beautiful baby. But as Nnu Ego tries to get across the stream to take the baby in he...


The setting contrasts two regions of Nigeria. On the one hand, we see the rural Ibuza, where traditional values and lifestyles are still maintained. Ibuza is contrasted with the urban Lagos, where...

Narrator Point of View

The plot follows the entire life of one person, Nnu Ego. We read about her conflicts, joys, sorrows, and thoughts in the narrative that follows. However, there is one chapter that veers out of her...


The Joys of Motherhood explores the psychological depths of one woman, Nnu Ego, struggling to maintain her traditional values while living in a modern, westernized, and industrialized urban setting...


The tone of The Joys of Motherhood is sympathetic to the main character, Nnu Ego, demonstrating how a young woman who desires nothing more than to be a good wife and mother, is undercut by modern s...

Writing Style

Buchi Emecheta's writing style can be contrasted with another prominent Nigerian writer, Chinua Achebe. Achebe's sentences are soaked with idioms and rich cultural details, while Buchi Emecheta's s...

What's Up With the Title?

The title is ironic. Despite her intense longing to be a mother, and all that she does to become a mother, Nnu Ego never experiences the "joys" of motherhood that she has been taught to expect. The...

What's Up With the Ending?

The ending of The Joys of Motherhood underscores Emecheta's ironic intention. At the end of the novel, Nnu Ego dies, and her children throw her a lavish and expensive funeral. She had suffered all...


Buchi Emecheta's genius is putting the reader into an entirely foreign world and foreign culture while still making that world accessible to the reader. You won't even notice, as you read, that you...

Plot Analysis

Nnu Ego is trying to commit suicide.Nnu Ego is trying to commit suicide.Explanation/Discussion: When the book opens, Nnu Ego is running to a bridge, where she plans to jump into the water and die....

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Nnu Ego longs for children.Nnu Ego gets married to a man she loves, but she fails to conceive. She feels like a failed woman and returns home to her father's compound, where he arranges for a secon...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Nnu Ego struggles with infertility in her first marriage, and then loses her first child in her second marriage. She begs her chi (personal god) for mercy and asks for more children. She soon start...


Nigeria is the most populous African nation, with a quarter of the total population in sub-Saharan Africa. (Source)Women in Nigeria have an average of 5.4 children.Source)

Steaminess Rating

Sex is a much more public affair in traditional Ibo culture than Westerners might be comfortable with. Emecheta provides several scenes of just how public it is. First, we see that Agbadi pleasures...


Job 1:21 (6.24)

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