Two Sisters By Ama Ata Aidoo
Two Sisters by Ama Ata Aidoo was about manipulation and control. Mercy and Connie are sisters. Mercy is unmarried and has acquired a taste for the finer things in life and gets these things by dating much older men. Connie is married and disapproves of one such arrangement Mercy has with Mensar Arthur. This story raises the question of whether or not it is ever right to use someone for the sole purpose of getting something, even if they are using you as well. Mercy had no problem with this. She believes that “Women allow [men] to behave the way they do instead of seizing some freedom themselves” and Mercy interprets the solution to this to be dating older men (95). Connie struggles against this idea even when her sister gives her a gift from Mensar-Arthur. To her, it just seems wrong that he is using her but, as her husband James points out, “She is using herself, remember” (99). Connie accepts the gift though making her a kind of hypocrite after by going against Mercy’s lifestyle. For even after Mensar-Arthur is imprisoned Mercy simply moves on to the next man who can give her something. This new one had a wife, children, and grandchildren to think about too. To me, both Mercy and her men are at fault for keeping women “down”. Even Connie shares some of the blame by not asserting herself in her own marriage. Therefore, I wasn’t completely shocked when Mercy blamed Connie for the state of the female gender. However, it is not like Mercy is at the front of the fight for women’s rights either. Do you think it is possible for a woman to manipulate men without being used herself? Who was more to blame for the quote, “it is woman like you who keep all of us down”: The housewife looking the other way at her husband’s affair or the single woman who uses older men to get where she wants (95)?