These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. This text humanizes those who fall victims to war and shows a side of war that is often ignored in the name of nationalism.
Half of a Yellow Sun
After Biafra announced that it would secede, a civil war follows and irreversibly changes the lives of the characters in the text. The book traces the events that shook Africa during the early and late s and the period when the war took place.
The novel takes a beautifully anachronistic approach, flowing back and forth in time to tell the tale of those affected by war. In the beginning of the book, Ugwu, an Igbo boy,has to go to Nsukka as a houseboy for Odenigbo. Odenigno has fallen in love with Olanna who is the daughter of a wealthy Nigerian.
She ends up moving in with him.
The Master and his houseboy
She also meets his friends who argue about politics every night. Ugwu gets the opportunity to go to school. On the other side of the story, Richard leaves his girlfriend Susan for Kainene with whom he has fallen in love. Richard befriends Olanna and Odenigbo after moving to Nsukka.
BOOK REVIEW: HALF OF A YELLOW SUN
Soon, Olanna and Odenigbo start attempting to have a baby. After a few years, after the overthrowing of the government, Igbo is blamed for the coup. In another coup, many of the Igbo soldiers are massacred. Meanwhile, Olanna gives birth and takes her child to Kano where her relatives live.
Half of a Yellow Sun Summary
Colonel Ojukwu announces secession and everyone is overjoyed after hearing this. However, a war is declared on Biafra for its annexation, with arms being supplied by the west. Nsukka has to be evacuated. The living situations of te characters deteriorates as the war progresses. While Olanna and Odenigbo have gotten married, there is an air raid during the reception.
The story then goes back to the sixties pre-war. Olanna has gone to London and Mama and come to visit Odenigbo while she is away.
She brings with her a girl named Amala, with whom he sleeps. When Olanna finds this , she moves out.
She gets intoxicated one day and sleeps with Richard, and while they decide not to tell Kainene, Olanna tells Odenigbo. This turns out to be the child in the earlier narrative.
As the story returns to the war torn period, starvation becomes an epidemic. All aid to Biafra is blocked by Nigeria and the conflict is more or less ignored.
Half of a Yellow Sun Summary & Study Guide Description
Ugwu is conscripted into the army and is wounded in a battle. Kainene soon disappears and is never found. Ugwu learns that is sister was gang raped and starts penning down his experiences. This text explores a variety of postcolonial themes, like identity in Africa as well as the politics of east.
It also extensively condemns the interference and role of the western influence in the war. Such a critique surfaces in the ambivalent characterization of Richard. Politics is also deeply explored in this text.
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