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Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Tom De Haven


Sky-high Flames is about Ofunne Ofili, an intelligent and ambitious young woman in a Nigerian oppressive patriarchal society who, nevertheless, dreams of becoming a teacher. Once in school, her high spiritedness leads her to constant trouble. After her mother falls ill, Ofunne's father demands that she withdraw from school. But she completes her education with the help of Reverend Sister Dolan, who was her school principal, and who was drawn to Ofunne's personality. After graduation, Ofunne's father insists that she marry a man she barely knows. She consents only because the man is both Catholic and educated. After three years of marriage, her in-laws threaten her with divorce because she has not yet produced a child. While suffering from the guilt of childlessness, Ofunne discovers that her husband has infected her with syphilis. Sky High Flames is about how our hopes and dreams can turn out to become the very tools that destroy us.


Part of Retrospective ETD Collection, restricted to VCU only.


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Date of Submission