Who is a father? Deconstructing the machismo of fatherhood in Chigozie Obioma’s The Fishermen (2015)
Keywords:deconstruction, fathers, fatherhood, machismo, parenting
This paper deconstructs the patriarchal institution of fatherhood that tends to present fatherhood as a machismo that the family must rely on for its sustenance and survival. The paper argues that the patriarchal ideology of fatherhood which is backed by culture obstructs the psyche of women and thereby affect their ability to rise to the challenge of being sole care givers for their children when the circumstance or situation calls for it, and by their actions affect the children who are at the receiving end of parenting. The study refers to Jacques Derrida’s theory of deconstruction to show how the conflicting forces within the traditional concept of fatherhood serve to dissipate its seeming definiteness and undermine its presupposed priority in a model of parenthood. The study builds its argument by relying on the aspect of the deconstruction theory which posits that appearance is more relevant than essence. (Stanford, 2006) This study is conducted using Chigozie Obioma’s novel, The Fishermen, as the main reference text. However, references are made to other texts where necessary.
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