Patriarchal Ideology and Modernity as Determining Factors of Masculinity Performance in Kichwa Maji
This article examines how patriarchal ideology and modernity determine and influence the performance of masculinity in Euphrase Kezilahabi’s Kichwa Maji. The article argues that various circumstances determine and influence men’s masculinity in the novel. Robert Connell’s theory of masculinity assists in reading and analysing male and female characters in Kichwa Maji. The analysis affirms that the novel portrays masculinity as a socio-cultural construct, which changes according to circumstances. The novel shows that this construct is deeply connected with individuals’ ideologies such as traditional patriarchal and Western ideologies. The novel depicts a deep-seated confrontation between the older and younger generation influenced by the two different ideologies. In the novel, the characters reveal that the traditional set-up determines the men’s masculinity as individuals cannot construct masculine identities outside the socially sanctioned patriarchal codes of conduct. The novel also shows that education and position of privilege influence and determine the construction of masculinity. Through characterisation, the novel builds a case that, although society constructs masculinity in certain ways, masculinity is not a fixed but fluid construct as the men in the story hold multiple and often conflicting masculine positions.