A Realist Interpretation of Chika Unigwe's On Black Sisters' Street


  • Laura Haruna-Banke Department of Educational Foundation and General Studies, J. S. Tarka University, Makurdi-Nigeria
  • Iorwuese Gogo Department of English, Benue State University, Makurdi-Nigeria




Realism, Realism of Subject-Matter, Social Realism, Novel, Prose-Fiction


This paper is a realist interpretation of Chika Unigwe’s On Black Sisters’ Street. The text is considered for study here because it dwells on the popular, the modern and social issues that define realist works. The paper involves realism of subject-matter and social realism as its theoretical tools for the evaluation of the research subject. Realism of subject-matter deals with themes that are common to society while social realism looks at the poor social conditions of the middle and lower classes. The paper is a qualitative research and it is based on a content analysis of the select text for study. The paper probes the ugly life of four young girls in Nigeria who are trafficked into Antwerp, Belgium, to work as prostitutes and earn income for their traffickers. The girls suffer from sexual abuse and deceit from their parents and older men. They undergo hardship as a result of lack of proper parental care, unemployment, insecurity and poor social services which make them frustrated. All of these make their lives vulnerable. Therefore, the study concludes that, well placed individuals, parents, civil society organizations and the government should make efforts to improve and secure the lives of vulnerable young women in Nigeria in order to help them escape from their vulnerabilities. Also, the novel’s authentic representation of life and society and its focus on character more than plot, including its attention to the lower class, the social and the contemporary issues fits it into the realist agenda. 




How to Cite

Haruna-Banke , L. ., & Gogo , I. . (2021). A Realist Interpretation of Chika Unigwe’s On Black Sisters’ Street. Journal of Critical Studies in Language and Literature, 3(1), 32-40. https://doi.org/10.46809/jcsll.v3i1.124