An Investigation of the Stability of Gender Roles and Expectations before and during the Nigerian Civil War in Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun
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- Master's theses (HF-IKS) 
This thesis will be a study of whether the behavioural patterns of postcolonial Nigerians are able to conform to gender roles and expectations during the Nigerian civil war as portrayed in Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun (2006). This thesis will investigate the behavioural patterns of male and female characters, the effects of gender roles and expectations on the behavioural patterns of these characters, and the transformation of these behavioural patterns, either conforming to or resisting gender roles before and during the Nigerian civil war. Chapter two offers an overview of the theoretical background for this thesis, such as colonial and postcolonial theory, gender, femininity and masculinity, and identity. The essentiality of colonial and postcolonial theory in this thesis is grounded in the historical contextualisation of Half of a Yellow Sun, a novel set in postcolonial Nigeria, precisely during the Nigerian civil war. Theorists such as Frantz Fanon and Edward Said are essential to this course. The concepts of gender, femininity and masculinity provide basis for the investigation of the effects of gender roles and expectations on male and female behavioural patterns. Identity in this thesis, provide an insight to the dynamics of the individuality of the characters and the factors that define their existence. The third chapter is mainly about the analysis of female characters in the novel. The analysis of female characters includes behavioural patterns of characters and how these behavioural patterns conform and/or contradict the gender roles and expectations of the postcolonial Nigerian woman. This chapter also investigates the modifications and alterations that occur in the behavioural patterns of these female characters in the advent of political and sociocultural revolution, to discover if these altered or unaltered behavioural patterns also conform to, or contradict the gender roles and expectations of the postcolonial Nigerian woman. In the fourth chapter, the analysis of male characters is carried out. The behavioural patterns of male characters and the influence of gender expectations on these patterns are discussed. Traces of femininity and masculinity are examined in the characters and their compliance or noncompliance with gender expectations are investigated. This chapter also investigates the modifications and alterations that occur in the behavioural patterns of these male characters in the advent of political and sociocultural revolution, to discover if these altered or unaltered behavioural patterns also conform to, or contradict the gender roles and expectations of the postcolonial Nigerian man. The results of the interpretation and discussion in this thesis show that Half of a Yellow Sun depicts changing and unstable gender roles and expectations, and nonconformity of behavioural patterns, especially from characters who greatly conformed to these gender expectations before the Nigerian civil war. This thesis also observes that gender roles do not exist in isolation but are actualised in specific contexts, and that both male and female can express traditional feminine and masculine roles. Finally, this thesis argues for a focus on individuality, the uniqueness of the postcolonial Nigeria, rather than his/her sex.
Master's thesis in Literacy studies