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| Format: Ms Word | 1-5 Chapters | Table of Content|


Study Level: BTech, BSc, BEng, BA, HND, ND or NCE

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On Black Sisters' Street | Unigwe, Chika | download


Chapter One: Introduction

  1. Background to the Study
    1. Statement of the Problem
    1. Significance of the Study
    1. Objectives of the Study
    1. Research Methodology
    1. Delimitation of the Study
    1. Theoretical Framework
    1. Bio Data of the Authors

Chapter Two: Literature Reviews on Chigozie Obioma’s The Fishermen and Chika Unigwe’s On Black Sisters’ Street

  • Literature Review on Chigozie Obioma’s The Fishermen

2.1 Literature Review on Chika Unigwe’s On Black Sisters’ Street

Chapter Three: Psychoanalysis of the Protagonists in Chigozie Obioma’s The Fishermen and Chika Unigwe’s On Black Sisters’ Street

3.0 The Mind of Benjamin

3.1 The Mind of Ada

Chapter Four: A Comparative Analysis of Chigozie Obioma’s The Fishermen and Chika Unigwe’s On Black Sisters’ Street

4.0The Narratives of both Texts

4.1 The Age of the Protagonists of both Texts

  • The Gender of the Protagonists of both Texts

4.3The Choices of the Protagonists of both Texts

Chapter Five: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary

5.2 Conclusion

5.3 Recommendations

Work cited



1.0       Background to the Study

This work undertakes a psychoanalytic literary critique of select characters in Chigozie Obioma’s The Fishermen and Chika Unigwe’s On Black Sisters’ Street. It investigates the roles and influences of the characters’ minds on their behaviours. However, scholars have different views on the matter of the mind and whether human behaviours are motivated by conscious or unconscious thoughts. This is because while Alfred Adler and Erich Fromm argue that human behaviours are influenced by conscious motives or thoughts on the one hand, some others like Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan, on the other hand, propose that unconscious motives influence human behaviours. More so, Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) describes a discovery that is now the centrepiece of a discipline called psychoanalysis.

The discipline fundamentally undertakes a treatment in which the patient talks about dreams, childhood, and relationships with parents and authority figures. Using free association, slip of language and dreams, Freud finds ways for an analyst to help a patient uncover the painful and threatening events that are repressed in the unconscious to make them accessible to the conscious mind. Thus, in psychoanalytic criticism, the same topics and techniques form the basis for the analyses of literary texts, although not all of Freud’s explanations on how the human mind operates are applicable to literary criticism (Tyson and Tyson, 20). Hence, this work focuses on interpreting the select novels in the light of Freud’s oedipal model as well as in the light of dreams and slips of tongue.

With the deployment of psychoanalytic theory, African writers have been able to explore the minds of characters in post colonial societies in order to understand them as neurotic beings. In this way, African writers have been able to illuminate those maladies which characterize post colonial African states, two of which are mainly corruption and bad leadership. The maladies have bred oppression, mass poverty, and untold hardship, massive movement of people from their original homes to foreign places, gender inequality and general failure of the leaders to fulfill their promises. All these are experienced by those caught up in the post-independence disillusionment of the state in the most personal ways. Hence, social strife, a break in human relationships, and crisis of the human personality arise.

Since “the motive of human society is in the last resort an economic one” (Freud, 284), certain tendencies to pleasure and gratification must be repressed, postponed or diverted in order to carry out the harsh necessity of labour on which survival relies even though these tendencies may resurface. Psychoanalytic literary criticism, thus, becomes a viable approach to analyze the minds of characters in literary texts as a means of building a bridge between the fictional and the real worlds which they represent. Within this context, African writers recreate post colonial socio-political abnormalities into literary works. Psychoanalytic literary criticism becomes instrumental in explicating the influencing aspects of the psyche that unfolds in characters’ actions and inactions. Hence, examining the psyche serves in understanding an abnormal life, poverty, trauma, loss of identity, and sexuality in Chigozie Obioma’s The Fishermen and Chika Unigwe’s On Black Sisters’ Street.

1.1       Statement of the Problem

            In modern African states, post colonial issues like religious intolerance, tribalism, economic deficiency, familial disintegration, and gender inequality rise with the massive number of people migrating to the urban areas from the homelands, due to insecurity, poverty, corruption, bad leadership, unemployment, and deprivation. Nevertheless, many others are deluded and crave more for the elusive abundance of foreign lands, while leaving behind the demanding realities of their society.  This among other social realities is prominent in The Fishermen and On Black Sisters’ Street. Hence, psychoanalytic criticism is deployed to examine the psychological dimensions of the characters in terms of how they respond to or act upon the given post colonial realities portrayed in the novels.

1.2       Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study are to:

  1. identify and analyze dreams, symbols and Freudian slips in the select novels and note how they add to the psychological aesthetics of both novels
  2. explore the tripartite psyche (that is, the id, superego, and ego) of the characters in The Fishermen and On Black Sisters’ Street, and highlight how they respond to the risen post colonial maladies evident in both select novels, and
  3. assess the narrative technique(s) adopted by both Obioma and Unigwe and examine how these respective techniques aid to draw readers close to the psychological dimensions in the two novels.

1.3       Significance of the Study

This work is significant in three ways: it draws attention to the human (unconscious) mind and the vital role it plays in constructing human existence.  It introduces the reader to The Fishermen and On Black Sisters’ Street as well as instigates an appreciation of the themes and the linguistic inventiveness of both select novels.  Lastly, the work contributes to the corpus of psychoanalytic criticism and motivates other researchers’ interest in psychoanalytic studies.

1.4       Research Methodology

The study draws its analytic contents from the original copies of Obioma’s The Fishermen and Unigwe’s On Black Sisters’ Street.  Also, the study is library-based and draws from secondary materials such as past theses or research projects, journals, textbooks, and various other documented literary works for the literature review. This study also depends on information from the internet for relevant secondary materials such as PDF documents. Online interviews of the two authors have also been done so as to obtain first-hand information for this study.

1.5       Delimitation of the Study

            This study uses psychoanalysis to consider the behaviours of the human characters in The Fishermen and On Black Sisters’ Street. By studying Sigmund Freud’s theory of Psychoanalysis which pays apt attention to the unconscious mind as a reservoir of the repressed desires, the work investigates the unconscious minds of the characters as a way of unraveling their repressed wishes, and analysing their actions that constitute the plot of the select novels. 

1.6       Theoretical Framework Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), a Viennese psychologist, evolved psychoanalysis in the late 19th century. He is reputed as the father of psychoanalysis. The theories and practice of Sigmund Freud provide the foundation for psychoanalytic criticism. Freud started his mission in the world of psychology with the treatment of hysteria which according to him was caused by sexual desires. Unfortunately, his proposition of sexual desires as the cause of hysteria was not acknowledged by his mentor Dr. Joseph Breuer under whose guidance Freud learnt about hysteria (Rahim, 98).


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