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Arrah's Existential Dilemma

A Study of Anne Tanyi–Tang's Arrah

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In Tanyi–Tang's Arrah, Arrah faces a crisis of identity, an existential dilemma that pits her against the traditional demands of a male-dominated society that demands absolute obedience from children, especially female children, and her sense of self attained from and through her Western education. Every attempt she makes to placate her family, particularly her husband, backfires because her more progressive ways are at variance with the conservative ways of the traditional leaders. Finally, her passion to exist, to marry the man she loves, overrides the cultural constructs that call for her to view life objectively within the limits of her culture – something that, in Kierkegaard's view, “stifles human individuality and denies the human any possibility of living the authentic life of a true individual.” Consequently, she can only become her real self and maximize her potential through existential rebellion.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2011


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