Juxtaposition of Women, Culture, and Nature in Alice Walker’s Possessing The Secret Of Joy

  • Pedram Lalbakhsh Razi University, Kermanshah
  • Ali Khoshnood Faculty of Linguistics and Foreign Languages, Payame Noor University, PO Box: 19395-3697, Tehran
  • Farzane Gholami Razi University, Kermanshah
Keywords: Alice Walker, ecofeminism, patriarchy, female genital mutilation, colonization


The present paper focuses on the tradition of women’s circumsicion in the African tribe of Olinkan in Alice Walker’s Possesing the Secret of Joy. The Olinkans are asked by the white settlers to stop women’s mutilation, but Olinkan men continue this custom stealthily to ensure their patriarchial dominance. This novel is a complicated juxtaposition of two different types of oppression: one by White male colonizers over an African native land, and the other one by the native Olinkan men over native women. In this juxtaposition women and land are both victims exploited and manipulated by men, no matter Black or White. This novel is also seen as a fertile ground to analyze the dual domination of both nature and women by the Olinkan men and White colonizers who are both trying to impose their androcentric rules that are created to dominate women and land, respectively.


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