This novel follows the course of the Nigerian-Biafran civil war through the experiences of the ethnically Igbo characters, Olanna, Odenigbo, Kainene, and Ugwu. Half of a Yellow Sun is a novel by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Published in . She is opposed to the relationship between Odenigbo and Olanna because they are not officially married (no bride price paid yet) plus Olanna is. While playing with Baby in front of Odenigbo and Olanna's house. Some topics on the quiz include changing relationships between the characters, as well as.
Muokelo has lost her faith in Biafra. Even the patriotic Mrs. If anyone claims to know that a town will fall, then they can be accused of having a hand in the fall itself, and so the denial of reality perpetuates itself on pain of death. Active Themes There is no petrol at the station, and Olanna tells Odenigbo that they need to find some on the black market. He changes the subject, and is clearly drunk. Olanna remembers how he used to drink some in Nsukka — there the alcohol had sharpened his mind and given him confidence, but here it makes him silent and depressed.
Olanna and Odenigbo seemed stronger than ever at the start of the war, but the months in between have done horrible damage to their relationship.
Odenigbo hardly even appears as a character anymore, as he is mostly away getting drunk at a bar. His illusions have been smashed. Olanna uses the rest of the money her mother sent her and buys some petrol from a man in an outhouse. When she gets home there is an army jeep outside, and Kainene tells her that Ugwu has died. She yells and runs away when the bar owner comes to hug her. The next few days pass in a blur. Odenigbo stays home and takes care of Baby, and Olanna sleeps on a mat outside.
Eberechi also feels the tragedy of her love with Ugwu being cut off at its very beginning. Active Themes The people in the building sing for Ugwu in the yard, and Alice brings out her piano.
The couple speaks to each other only about necessities. Olanna is actually right about Ugwu, but this is also another example of the human tendency to deny reality when it is too horrible. In some ways Ugwu was like a son to Olanna and Odenigbo, holding them together, and now that he is gone they drift further apart.
Active Themes One day a man comes to see Alice. Instead the vandals shot them all, even the children. This terrible story shows just how painful any kind of reunion between Nigeria and Biafra will be. Even unity, the supposed Nigerian goal, is used as a justification for genocide. Active Themes Related Quotes with Explanations Alice throws herself on the ground and rolls around in grief.
Odenigbo comes out and picks her up, and she starts to cry on his shoulder. Olanna thinks Odenigbo holds Alice like someone who has held her before. Active Themes Alice finally calms down, and the man who delivered the message says he will take her with him, as there are some people from the village in his compound. She eventually falls asleep.
Now his possible infidelity is only a drop in an ocean of suffering. Active Themes Olanna wakes up to the sound of shelling. Odenigbo tells Olanna to start walking with Baby, but then the car finally starts. As they drive Olanna asks Odenigbo if he slept with Alice.
He is silent, but then denies it. They are quiet for the rest of the drive. We never get more of an answer than this about Odenigbo and Alice, and we never see Alice again. It seems likely that Odenigbo did sleep with Alice, but Adichie also shows how much the situation has changed from the early sixties, to the point that infidelity seems not so bad compared to other evils.
They have dinner with Kainene and Richard. Richard offers Odenigbo some brandy — it is the first time they have spoken since Odenigbo told Richard to stop coming to his house — but Odenigbo declines and goes to bed.
Olanna follows, but the couple barely speak to each other. Characters[ edit ] Ugwu — The novel starts and ends with Ugwu. He is a village boy from Opi who later becomes a servant in Odenigbo's house. Under Odenigbo and Olanna's guidance, Ugwu is able to continue his education and his literary skills progress throughout the novel. His free time is often dominated by his love interests, which include Nnesinachi, Eberechi, and Chinyere.
Half of a Yellow Sun shocked me into a sense of my own expatriate identity
His life is violently interrupted when he is forcibly conscripted into the Biafran Army. There, he witnesses and participates in gruesome battles and a rape. After the war forces him to vacate his position at Nsukka University, Odenigbo becomes active in the war cause under Manpower Directorate. His personal life is dominated by his relationship and later marriage to Olanna. He is the father of Baby, though Amala, not Olanna, is Baby's mother.
Odenigbo also has a strong, albeit turbulent, relationship with his mother. Olanna — Olanna is one of three characters through which the novel is told the others being Ugwu and Richard.
She is the daughter of Chief Ozobia and twin of Kainene. Olanna was raised in Nigeria, and later attended university in the United Kingdom. For example, her parents try to offer sex with her as a bribe to help secure business deals.
Consequently, her connection with her parents is weak and she gravitates towards her Aunt Ifeka and Uncle Mbaezi in Kano. Mohammed is her ex-boyfriend and Odenigbo is her husband, and she is the adopted mother of Baby. Professionally, she is a Professor of Sociology at Nsukka University before the war begins. She later works as a school teacher in Umuahia and finally helps her sister care for refugees in Orlu.
Kainene — Kainene, Olanna's twin, seems to be at first very different from Olanna. She is the type of strong-headed woman, independent, cold, very calculated.
Kainene lives in Port Harcourt where she runs her father's business. However, after she witnesses the war's cruelty, she changes completely as a character and instead of running her father's business, she runs a refugee camp.
She remains fearless and in the end decides to trade with the enemy, putting her life at risk. At first he associates with other expats, especially Susan who becomes his girlfriend. However, once he meets Kainene at one of the parties Susan drags him to, he becomes fascinated with her.
Extract Question – Richard and Kainene’s relationship – CIE Literature
Richard moves to Nsukka where he teaches at the Nsukka University and attempts to write a book about the Igbo-Ukwu art. Olanna invites him to be part of Odenigbo's circle of intellectuals. Richard is glad to witness Biafra's birth, thinking it would actually make him Biafran. He starts writing a book about the war, but soon realizes that it is not his story to tell. Adichie has said in an interview that the idea of Richard came from Frederick Forsytha staunch supporter of Biafra: Anulika — Anulika is Ugwu's sister.
She is preparing to get married before the war, but a war-time tragedy changes her plans. Nnesinachi — Ugwu's first crush from his village of Opi. Ugwu and Nnesinachi reconnect after the war. Ugwu's mother — Ugwu's mother suffers from illness in Ugwu's home village of Opi.
She seeks treatment in Nsukka with Odenigbo's help. Ugwu often worries about her during the war. Miss Adebayo —Yoruba professor at Nsukka University. As the war starts to break out, Miss Adebayo's ethnicity creates a gap between her and other professors.
Patel — Indian Professor at Nsukka University. Patel is a friend of Odenigbo and Olanna. Professor Lehman's views are often criticized by Odenigbo. Okeoma — A friend of Olanna and Odenigbo in Nsukka. Okeoma later becomes an officer in the Biafran Army and stops writing poems. Edna — Olanna's neighbor in Nsukka.
Edna is an African American woman with strong opinions on racial and gender injustice. Jomo — Jomo works as the gardener at both Richard's house and Odenigbo's house in Nsukka. He is one of Ugwu's first friends in Nsukka and is also often feuding with his rival, Harrison.
The character of Odenigbo in Half of a Yellow Sun from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes
Harrison — Richard's houseboy. Harrison's talkative nature at first annoys Richard, and later gets him into trouble.
Chinyere — Works in a house near Master's in Nsukka. Maintains late night visits with Ugwu until the war starts. Mama Odenigbo's mother — A village woman from Abba. She is opposed to the relationship between Odenigbo and Olanna because they are not officially married no bride price paid yet plus Olanna is an unnatural woman.
Amala — A village girl who works for Mama, Odenigbo's mother. Amala gets pregnant but after giving birth, she refuses to take the child and sends her back to Mama. Chief Okonji — Friend of Olanna and Kainene's parents. Chief Okonji claims a romantic interest in Olanna, but is thoroughly rebuffed by Olanna. Chief Ozobia manipulates his daughters for financial benefit.
He also keeps a mistress, and eventually leaves Nigeria during the war. She does not have a strong relationship with her daughters, and her marriage with Chief Ozobi might be described as a pretense.
Uncle Mbaezi — Olanna's uncle, he is the brother of Olanna's mother. Aunty Ifeka — Uncle Mbaezi's wife. Arize is eager find a husband and get married. Like her parents, she looks up to Olanna. Mohammed — Olanna's ex-boyfriend.
He is a handsome Hausa man. Even after she leaves him for Odenigbo, they remain on good terms and she frequently visits him until the war starts. During the war, he writes her letters but they feel very distanced.
Baby — Olanna and Odenigbo's daughter.
Amala is Baby's birth mother, but refuses to keep her. When Olanna sees her, she decides to adopt her. Baby's real name is Chiamaka, which means "God is beautiful. Susan Grenville-Pitts — Initially Richard's girlfriend. She lives in Nigeria but mainly associates with other expatriates or upper class Nigerians. Her racism towards Nigerians as well as her possessiveness towards Richard emerge periodically throughout the novel.
Major Madu — Lifelong friend of Kainene.