Study Guide

The Joys of Motherhood Writing Style

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Writing Style

Simple and Direct

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 style is simpler, letting the plot and characters inform the readers about cultural information and the character's feelings. Here's an example:

"I shall be going to the island this morning. The ship arrived last night and I want to find out if I can get some cartons of cigarettes on the black market from the sailors."

Nnaife was wide awake now, staring at the ceiling of their one-room home. This aspect of his wife's trade was illegal and could land her in trouble if she were caught. But what was he to do? Ask her to stay?"

Notice how direct and to the point Emecheta is. We learn that Lagos has a port culture and a thriving black market, in which women participate. We see that Nnaife is worried about his wife but doesn't know what to do about it. Yet these sentences are remarkably simple in the way they're constructed.

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