The fact that there is no such thing as rape within a marriage in Ghana also demonstrates the way in which women are seen as property of their husbands and not equal people within the marriage.It's surprising that Esi allows herself to enter into a polygamous marriage, but she does so partly because she is used to this kind of relationship within her culture and partly because she sees it as more convenient for the way in which she wants to live her life.
She is well-educated and confident and has a great deal of ambition.
She prioritizes her career over her family life, as many men have done for years.
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She finds it difficult to conform to the archaic traditional roles that her culture has defined as "suitable" for a woman.
She also refuses to allow her husband to rape her and call it marital rights.Ali is a player, a user of women, and has no intention of ever changing.His first wife gave up everything because he demanded it, subsuming her own self just to be his wife.While state law decreed that they could have been jailed for up to 25 years, they were able to avoid incarceration by agreeing to leave the state (their families and friends) permanently.In time, this irked Mildred so much that she wrote to Bobby Kennedy, who referred the Lovings to the ACLU.Since he is a terrible husband she realizes that her sacrifice was not worth it. Women somehow excuse this because he is intelligent and a smooth talker.Esi's first husband, Oko, is not a cheat or a philanderer, and is actually a rather good husband, but he resents her success, and wants her to conform to the more traditional picture that he has of what his wife should be - home, looking after him, and having more children.The novel clearly shows the difference that education makes by presenting us with characters who are well-educated, and others who are not.We also see that education is one of the few ways in which a woman can attain greater freedom.The central theme of the novel is that of the constant battle between the oppression of women caused by societal tradition and the modern freedoms that women are beginning to demand.The main example of this within the novel's characters is Esi.