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plot of a woman in her prime
Compared to the brilliance and brashness of so much Nigerian literature, the quieter literature of Ghana may seem in danger of being overlooked. [ A Woman in Her Prime is a good example of what a mistake that would be. Like its heroine, A Woman in Her Prime is modest, balanced, calm, and understated, but with a charm and quiet beauty that prove captivating. It centers on a domestic drama that
can be stated simply: Pokuwaa would like a child, but her prayers have not been answered. The opening chapter skillfully draws drama from this simple situation. It is the appointed day for sacrifice to the god Tano, but Pokuwaa is running late. She washes herself, rubs her skin with shea cream, and purifies herself with white clay powder, then looks for the black hen she means to sacrifice. She finds only a post in the ground and a broken string. The hen has escaped! She asks some children if they have seen it, and when one child admits to having thrown a stick at a stray black hen she sees that he is a fetish child - the product of prayers and sacrifice like the child she wants for herself. Rather than being harsh with him, she enlists him and the other children to search for her hen. They find the hen in the bushes, about to be swallowed by a snake, but Pokuwaa is just in time to pin down the snake, rescue the hen, and make her sacrifice. In a few pages we learn a lot about Pokuwaa: about her courage and resourcefulness, her faith, the strength of her desire for a child, and the fact that she is good with children and able to gain their trust. Pokuwaa has divorced two husbands, apparently with little fuss, when they prove unable to give her children. (Oddly, there is little suggestion than the villagers think the fault is with her.) She becomes the second wife of a kind man named Kwadwo, and in less than a month she shows signs of being pregnant. She loses the child, though, and a medicine man chides her for not making the proper sacrifice. Pokuwaa's mother, who had pressed her to leave her second husband, seems nearly as concerned about that lack of a child than Pokuwaa herself. ]
Expert answered|anithasri|Points 40|
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Asked 1/4/2013 6:15:42 AM
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