Identity and the absent mother in Atta’s Everything Good will Come

Keywords: absence, Ala, Sefi Atta, Everything good will come, identity, Obatala


Everything good will come presents the trope of the absent mother which scholars have identified as a significant feature of third generation Nigerian women prose fiction writings. Besides the trope of the absent mother, religion and identity also feature prominently in Atta’s Everything good will come. This article harmonises these three dominant motifs in the narrative towards an examination of the complexity of identity formation in Everything good will come. The article focuses on Mike’s sculptures as an artistic depiction of the dynamics that ultimately influence Enitan’s identity formation. Due to the plurality of religious ideologies in the postcolonial Nigeria depicted in the narrative, the motifs of Christianity and traditional religion present in the narrative are explored towards illumination of key elements of the text. Christian motifs provide deeper comprehension of the dynamics that influence the relationship of Enitan and Sheri against the backdrop of the trope of the absent mother. Victoria and Enitan’s characters and experiences find parallels in the being and characteristics of Ala, the Earth Goddess and Obatala.

Author Biographies

Sola Emmanuel Owonibi, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Nigeria
Dr. Sola Owonibi is a Senior Lecturer and the current Chair of the Department of English Studies, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Nigeria.
Olufunmilayo Gaji, University of Ibadan

Olufunmilayo Gaji is a graduate student, Department of English, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.


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Research articles