Disrupting Hegemony, Anticipating the Future: A Nietzschean Reading of God Dies by the Nile and Purple Hibiscus

Rogers Asempasah, Christabel Aba Sam


El-Saadawi’s God Dies by the Nile and Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus have been widely and independently explored from varied perspectives. Such liberated critique is however surprising since the two texts can be found to have ethical and political confluence – the motif of the death of God. Drawing on the notion of travelling theory, this paper argues that the death of El-Saadawi’s and Adichie’s protagonists is a contestation and a disruption of the norm and a signification of the novels anticipatory sensibilities. The paper also examines how the different textual utilization of the motif of the death of God contributes to our understanding of the circulation of motifs in literary production and contextual interpretations. The paper makes a significant contribution to the scholarship on El-Saadawi and Adichie.


Nietzsche, Adichie, The death of God, Purple Hibiscus, Motif, Saadawi

Full Text:



Adichie, C. N. (2004). Purple Hibiscus. Harper Perennial.

El Sadaawi, N. (1997). God Dies by the Nile. Zed Books Limited.

Daemmrich, H. S. (1985). Themes and Motifs in Literature: Approaches: Trends: Definition. German Quarterly, 566-575.

Islam, M. S. (2007). The patriarchal class system in Nawal El Sadaawi’s God Dies by the Nile. Nebula.

Issaka, C. A. (2010). The situation of the women in a patriarchal African society: A study of Nawal El-Saadawi’s God Dies by the Nile and Woman at Point Zero. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

Kivai, M. G. (2010). The female voice and the future of gender relationships in Nigerian nation in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun. Kenyatta University.

Mahmood, S. (2005). The politics of piety: The Islamic revival and the feminist subject. Princeton University Press.

Martin, S. F. (2015). Redefining the Postcolonial Identity through the Deconstruction of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Novels. East California University.

Nadaf, S. S. (2015). Exploitation of Arabic Female Peasants in Nawal El-Saadawi’s God Dies by the Nile; Lang Lit- An International Peer –Reviewed Open Access Journal, 2(1), 586-595.

Nietzsche, F. (1966). Thus Spoke Zarathustra, trans. Walter Kaufmann. New York: Penguin.

Nyongen, A. (2017). The Unconscious and Patriarchy: A Psychoanalytic Study of Nawal El-Saadawi’s God Dies by the Nile. Mount Kenya University.

Ogagaghene, I. E. (2010). Re-Constructing Identities: History, Trauma and Healing in Postcolonial Narratives. Cornell University Press.

Okuyade, O. (2009). Changing borders and creating voices: Silence as character in Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus. The Journal of Pan African Studies, 2(9), 245-259.

Osborn, R. (2017). Humanism and the Death of God – Searching for the Good after Darwin, Marx and Nietzsche. Oxford University Press.

Peters, A. D. (2010). Fatherhood and Fatherlands in Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus. East Tennessee State University.

Rackley, L. E. (2015). Gender Performance, Trauma and Orality in Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun and Purple Hibiscus. The University of Mississippi.

Ratele, K. (2008). Analyzing Males in Africa: Certain Useful Elements in Considering Ruling Masculinities. Africa and Asia Studies, 7(4), 515-536

Yohannes, L. (2012). A postcolonial look at African literature: Case study of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Works. Addis Ababa University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijclts.v.9n.3p.16


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2013-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

International Journal of Comparative Literature and Translation Studies

You may require to add the 'aiac.org.au' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.