Buchi Emecheta's "In the Ditch" is an autobiographical novel and it describes the social deprivations by the protagonist, Adah, who is a native from a post-colonized country, Nigeria. In fact, Adah is the author herself and everything in the book really happened. As an Ibo from Nigeria she comes across lots of bad experiences. It is easily seen that in this novel and in her easty novels she is seeking to answer these questions: How generally does a man behave in a foreign land aming unfamiliar people? To what extent can he, in a different social and political system, successfully observe the rules of traditional society? How do the changes in this new situation affect his sensibility and cultural awareness? Is indigenous culture resilient enough to withstand foreign influence? These questions somehow lead us to seek an answer for another question about the issue of post-colonialism, post-colonial diaspora, and effects of these issues in her novel. Although Emecheta is a comparatively new comer to the literary scene, she has achieved so much that she is now generally accepted as a major African novelist.
Buchi Emecheta was born of Rbuta parentage in Lago, Nigeria. She is an Ibo and she did start her writing career until she arrived in London but before she was educated in writing and inspired by a Nigerian keen writer, Mrs. Mabel Jolaoso (Mabel Segun). Also, she had an inspiration from her own life, there were the stories told by the women in moonlight sessions in the villages when she was young.
"Her grandmother, whom she such admired, was a keen storyteller and succeeded in getting her to recognize storytelling as an important cultural event. She was fortunate in her early years to attend schools which paid a lot of attention to oral and written composition...(Taiwo, 100)
The experiences of her early years in Britain, was documented in her first two novels, one of them is "In the Ditch." This novel contains real events, which has happened through her life. She wrote it from the third person's point of view although the protagonist is herself. Therefore, she has formed her own political opinions and views on various subjects, this book is the place to express them according to her.
"Adah's eyes are my eyes, her thoughts are my thoughts but they are thoughts of some time ago and the thoughts of a younger woman living as Adah was. (Emecheta, 9).
In fact, she has tried to avoid bitterness and to express it as funny living in the ditch although it is tragic. "A Ditch" is used for a place, into which, perhaps fall more widows, unmarried mothers, separated mums, prisoners' wives and the like than society cares to admit. She handles different forms of oppression; such as motherhood, child power, child abuse, rape, incest, sexual harassment, militarism, sexism, slavery, imperialism, post-colonialism, elitism, and ethnicism.
About the novel, he first article for a magazine, "Observations of the London Poor", tells about all...