The Illiterate African Woman as Depicted in Ama Ata Aidoo’s Anowa


  • Priscilla Appiah Department of Communication Studies, Sunyani Technical University, Sunyani, Ghana
  • Edward Owusu Department of Communication Studies, and Directorate of Quality Assurance and Academic Planning, Sunyani Technical University, Sunyani, Ghana
  • Asuamah Adade-Yeboah Department of Communication Studies, Christian Service University College, Kumasi, Ghana
  • Alberta Dansoah Nyarko Ansah Department of Languages and General Studies, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani, Ghana



Existentialism, Ghanaian Woman, Illiterate African Woman.


Based on the theory of existentialism, this study seeks to find out Ama Ata Aidoo’s view on how illiteracy affects the African Woman in her drama, Anowa, which was published in 1970. The text depicts the illiterate woman as being powerful woman in African society. However, Ama Ata Aidoo posits that illiteracy makes the woman a pathetic individual who is not able to function effectively in this changing world. This study seeks to deepen the appreciation  of Ama Ata Aidoo’s Anowa, by contributing to the understanding of Aidoo’s attitude to the illiterate Ghanaian woman (and for that matter African woman) who is seen as a powerful matriarch, but frustrated by African society as a result of lack of formal education. The available literature was explored to find what other writers have said on Aidoo’s Anowa. We used the method of qualitative content analysis in our analysis. The findings of the study show that Ama Ata Aidoo uses her writing to satirize societal weaknesses for her readers to refrain from committing such wrongs. Her illiterate women characters in Anowa are bent on maintaining their traditions and are not prepared for change. Consequently, Aidoo uses the character, Anowa, to depict change in African societies.




How to Cite

Appiah, P. ., Owusu, E., Adade-Yeboah, A. ., & Ansah, A. D. N. . (2021). The Illiterate African Woman as Depicted in Ama Ata Aidoo’s Anowa. International Journal of English and Comparative Literary Studies , 2(4), 56-68.