WASSCE Literature African Prose Course: Lesson 1

The WASSCE Elective Literature African Prose course will guide you to a deeper understanding of Second Class Citizen, a novel authored by Buchi Emecheta.

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Lesson One: Introduction to African Prose

This post is the first lesson in our WAEC/WASSCE Literature-in-English course dedicated to the African Prose section of the exam paper.

Lesson Objective

By the end of this lesson, you will identify the important things you need to know and take seriously for you to perform well in the African Prose section of the WAEC/WASSCE Literature-in-English paper.

Don’t worry if you’re taking a different but similar exam like JAMB or NECO/SSCE. All the issues that apply to the WASSCE paper apply to yours too.

You will also have a good idea about the best way to prepare adequately for the Literature paper.

Then finally, I’ll give you a general summary of the topics we shall cover in the African Prose course.

PDF Download

It is likely that you would want to study this lesson offline. For that matter, I have created a special downloadable PDF version of this tutorial for you. It forms part of the Premium Approved Member package that is available to all duly registered and approved members. You can find it here.

Let’s Begin

Are you ready for the introductory lesson of the WASSCE Literature African Prose Course? Then come with me as we take our first step into this comprehensive African Prose Course.

Buchi Emecheta: Second Class Citizen

The set book for this WASSCE Literature African Prose course is Second Class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta

The novel is divided into 13 chapters under the following headings:

Chapter One: Childhood

Chapter Two: Escape into Elitism

Chapter Three: A Cold Welcome

Chapter Four: The Daily Minders

Chapter Five: An Expensive Lesson

Chapter Six: “Sorry, No Coloureds”

Chapter Seven: The Ghetto

Chapter Eight: Role Acceptance

Chapter Nine: Learning the Rules

Chapter Ten: Applying the Rules

Chapter Eleven: Population Control

Chapter Twelve: The Collapse

Chapter Thirteen: The Ditch Pull

Each of the chapter titles serves as an apt topical summary of the incidents in it.

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Much of the action of the novel, Second Class Citizen, is set in two places: Lagos in Nigeria and London in England or the United Kingdom

The time setting of Second Class Citizen is in the 1960s the years just after Nigeria gained political independence from British colonial rule.

Narrative Voice in Second Class Citizen

The point of view or Narrative Voice is that of a 3rd Person Narrator.

The Protagonist

The protagonist or main character in the novel is Adah, a young Igbo girl whose character gradually develops into a married woman and a mother.

The Conflict in the Plot of Second Class Citizen

Much of the conflict in Second Class Citizen revolves around three main issues.

First is the young Adah’s determination to travel to the United Kingdom and the obstacles in her way making it difficult for her to realize this childhood ambition/dream.

Secondly, there are the tensions between Adah and Francis, her husband, especially upon Adah’s arrival in the United Kingdom.

The third area of conflict in Second Class Citizen dwells on the cultural and racial tensions that simmer under the surface as Africans like Adah arrive in England to realize their dreams.

Note that, an interesting aspect of these cultural conflicts is that they exist between not only English or European ways and African ways but also between Africans from different ethnic backgrounds (like the Igbo and Yoruba immigrants) in London.

Glimpses of Buchi Emecheta’s Own Experiences

The story of Adah is autobiographical in nature. It is believed to be narrating the novelist’s own experiences right from childhood to adulthood.

Second Class Citizen reflects Buchi Emecheta’s eventful journey from early life in an Igbo family in Lagos to a wife and a mother who has to contend with a Second Class African immigrant status on her arrival in the United Kingdom in the 1960s.

Course Outline: General Overview

Here is the general course outline for our WASSCE African Prose course. It provides you with the key areas we shall be paying much attention to as we study for success in the WAEC/NECO SSCE Literature paper.

  • Important Information about the African Prose Section of the WASSCE Elective Literature Syllabus/Paper
  • Chosen Prescribed Text: Second Class Citizen
  • Brief Background Information: Author and Setting
  • Plot Summary of the Novel Second Class Citizen
  • Complete Chapter by Chapter Summary of Second Class Citizen
  • Analyses of all 13 Chapters of Second Class Citizen
  • Identifying Major Significant Incidents
  • Key Quotes/Extracts
  • Themes
  • Characters
  • Literary Techniques
  • Practical Guide and Tips on Literature Essay Writing (With specific reference to Second Class Citizen)
  • Likely Exam Essay Questions
  • Essays Plans and Templates Based on the Likely Exam Questions
  • Tests and Quizzes for Practice (Essay and Objective)
  • Mock Examination (Optional) With a Certificate of Participation and Showing Results

End of Lesson 1

We have come to the end of the first lesson of this WAEC WASSCE Literature African Prose course. This has truly been an introductory lesson. I hope you enjoyed it.

Quiz: Lesson 1 of Literature African Prose Course

You can take a short quiz here on what you have learnt so far in Lesson 1.

Can you guess our next lesson?

Next Lesson

Lesson 2 of this course on Second Class Citizen is going to be about the plot summary of Second Class Citizen.

Thank you for coming.

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