Narratives of Dissidence: Desire and the Female Protagonist in Retold Folktales in Contemporary Ghana
In this paper, I look at ways in which the content and form of Ghanaian folktales are being subverted in contemporary retellings in order to articulate the female protagonists ?desire for power, agency, money, or the divine. I examine the folktales from the perspective of narrative theory, specifically gender theories about narrative agency and action. Narrative theorists with a focus on masculinity, notably Sigmund Freud, have tended to view narratives such as the Faust legend as pre-eminently the representation of man?s unquenchable striving (Brooks 54), while feminist narrative theorists such as Julia Kristeva look to female characters in fiction, e.g., Kate Chopin?s The Awakening (1899); Virginia Woolf?s The Voyage Out (1915); Djuna Barnes?s Nightwood (1937); and
Fay Weldon?s The Life and Loves of a She-Devil (1983), for examples of female narrative desire.