The Repression of Patriarchy and Imperialism in Barbara Kingslover’s The Poisonwood Bible

Halla A. Shureteh, Raja Al-Khalili


The present paper shows the special interesting case of Barbara Kingslover’s interweaving of the voicelessness of contemporary American women with the colonial subjugation and helplessness of an African nation in The Poisonwood Bible (1998). Through the critical lenses of Chinwa Achebe and Frantz Fanon this study focuses on showing Kingslover’s representation of and response to this double-layered marginalization and voicelessness of women and colonized nations. Drawing on Gayatri Spivak’s metaphor of speaking as a form of revolt against the overwhelming subjugation, this paper also shows how Kingslover creates voice to speak for the voiceless women and the colonized African nation, an attempt perhaps to undo the silencing carried out to sustain a patriarchal and imperialistic culture.


Male dominance; Contemporary American women discourse; American imperialism; Postcolonial feminist literature; Barbara Kingslover

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