From the Cradle to the Grave: A Feminist Stylistic Reading of Select Poems from Juka Jabang’s The Phoenix


  • Abdou Bassin Boye
  • Shafaq Fayyaz



oppression, patriarchy, poetry, African feminism, feminist stylistics


This study examines the use of poetic artistry as a contribution to social reformation in Juka Jabang’s The Phoenix to highlight the cultural and social tendencies that contribute to the oppression of women in the Gambian context. It draws attention to the oppression of Gambian women not just as a general societal predisposition, but as a phenomenon deeply rooted in the most fundamental unit of the family. Using Sarah Mills’ model of feminist stylistics, the article aims to explore the use of point of view, agency, metaphor, and transitivity to expose the socio-cultural beliefs and practices that perpetuate the oppression of women in Gambian society. The study adopts a qualitative, linguistic-cum-literary analysis based on four poems purposively selected from the collection on the basis of their thematic preoccupation with the plight of women in a male-dominated society. The analysis also pays attention to the literary devices appropriated by the poet in a bid to poeticize the experience of Gambian women at the hands of an unrelenting male hegemony. The analysis reveals that cultural beliefs in the so-called superiority of the male child, the ostensible impurity of uncircumcised women, the submissiveness of women particularly in marriage, and the professed right to multiple wives as major factors that legitimize the oppression of women in Gambian society.