George P. Landow, Professor of English and Art History, Brown University

In the following passage from the story that opens Saro-Wiwa's A Forest of Flowers and introduces us to Dukana informs us about the the relative importance to Nigerian society of marriage versus child-bearing.

My friend, Sira, was Waale's only daughter. As I said, we had grown up together, and had attended school together. She had not been able to complete her elementary schooling, although she was a brilliant girl. It was said that her mother could not pay her fees. But that was only an excuse. Her parents had wanted her to have children, to procreate so that the family would not die off. And she had had to obey them. She had not married and her four children were by four different men. I iuspected her fifth pregnancy was by a fifth man.["Home, Sweet Home," A Forest of Flowers, 8]

Why does does Saro-Wiwa here use his young woman protagonist, an unmarried school-teacher, as narrator, rather than using an omniscient third-person narrator as he does in many other stories?

Postcolonial Web Africa OV Nigeria OV Saro Wiwa OV