Half of a Yellow Sun

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A mathematics professor and pseudo-revolutionary, and Olanna’s lover/husband. Odenigbo is strong and hairy, and speaks forcefully about many subjects, mostly arguing about international politics. Olanna falls in love with his confidence and they are happy together for a long time. Odenigbo takes in Ugwu and helps educate him. Odenigbo loves Olanna but cheats on her with Amala and then possibly with Alice. He is a patriotic Biafran, but as the war drags on he starts drinking and gets depressed.

Odenigbo Quotes in Half of a Yellow Sun

The Half of a Yellow Sun quotes below are all either spoken by Odenigbo or refer to Odenigbo. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Colonialism and Nigerian Politics Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Anchor Books edition of Half of a Yellow Sun published in 2006.
Part 1, Chapter 1 Quotes

“There are two answers to the things they will teach you about our land: the real answer and the answer you give in school to pass. You must read books and learn both answers. I will give you books, excellent books.” Master stopped to sip his tea. “They will teach you that a white man called Mungo Park discovered River Niger. That is rubbish. Our people fished in the Niger long before Mungo Park’s grandfather was born. But in your exam, write that it was Mungo Park.”

Related Characters: Odenigbo (speaker), Ugwu
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:

Ugwu, a thirteen-year-old boy from the village Opi, has been brought to Odenigbo's house to serve as his houseboy. In exchange, he is provided with room, board, and an education at the campus primary school.

In this quote, Odenigbo expresses his discontent with the colonial history that he knows Ugwu will be taught in school. He advises Ugwu as to what he must write to do well in school, but also wants to make sure that he passes on the true history of Nigeria, not the history that British colonialism has written into the textbooks. This quote epitomizes Odenigbo's frustration with postcolonial Nigeria: the true answers for an independent nation are very clear, but obscured by the shadow that remains of the imperial British empire. In order to succeed and maintain social mobility, one must pander to colonial enterprises; but to preserve any sort of native identity, one must also defy them.

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“Of course, of course, but my point is that the only authentic identity for the African is the tribe,” Master said. “I am Nigerian because a white man created Nigeria and gave me that identity. I am black because the white man constructed black to be as different as possible from his white. But I was Igbo before the white man came.”

Related Characters: Odenigbo (speaker)
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:

In the evenings, Odenigbo's house becomes a salon for many of the faculty members at the University. Ugwu enjoys listening to the academics debate literature, science, and primarily, politics. In this quote, Master (Odenigbo) argues vehemently against the broad "Nigerian" identity that white British colonists imposed upon a diverse array of tribes that resided for centuries in one particular region of Africa. 

Odenigo identifies as tribalist (meaning he sees himself as "Igbo" rather than "Nigerian"), and works towards overthrowing the various sociopolitical structures that the British put into place. He points out that Nigerians see themselves as black only because the white British colonists told them they were, and that they live in a place called "Nigeria" because white settlers decided that a particular region was to be grouped under one nation. Odenigbo is vehemently against these ideas because they are artificial, foreign creations that diminish the importance and identity of all individual Africans, and also the Igbo tribe, which he and his ancestors have been a part of for as long as they can remember. This identity is not as fully recognized politically because it did not serve the needs of the British colonists (and indeed, most colonial powers tried to exacerbate conflicts between tribes or groups in order to maintain their power over a divided populace). In his quest to overthrow colonialism in the artificial Nigeria, Odenigbo first identifies as a member of his tribe, the Igbo, before seeing himself as black and Nigerian. 

Part 1, Chapter 4 Quotes

Ugwu suddenly wished that Master would not touch his mother because her clothes smelled of age and must, and because Master did not know that her back ached and her cocoyam patch always yielded a poor harvest and her chest was indeed on fire when she coughed. What did Master know about anything anyway, since all he did was shout with his friends and drink brandy at night?

Related Characters: Ugwu (speaker), Odenigbo, Ugwu’s Mother
Page Number: 113-114
Explanation and Analysis:

Ugwu's aunt comes to Odenigbo's house to tell him that Ugwu's mother is very sick, and that he must go to see her immediately before she dies. Odenigbo tells Ugwu and his aunt to get in his car, and that he will bring Ugwu's mother from her village so that she can be treated by a doctor.

In this quote, Odenigbo insists on carrying Ugwu's mother to his car, and Ugwu suddenly feels both embarrassed and angry. Though he previously idolized Odenigbo for all of his worldly knowledge, he suddenly comes to realize Odenigbo's shortcomings: as an educated academic, Odenigbo assumes that he must know how most village Nigerians live. Ugwo feels that Odenigbo's kindness in ensuring that his mother receives modern medical help is a kind of pity, and not entirely altruistic. Ugwu does not know that Odenigbo himself comes from a village similar to Opi. This lack of transparency between Odenigbo about his past and Ugwu about his present reinforces the problems with class in postcolonial Nigeria, where social mobility is available to some and not others, and there is a severe disparity in the ways in which the poor and the rich live. Even though Ugwu and Odenigbo eventually become as good as family, they will always remain a Master and his servant. 

Part 1, Chapter 5 Quotes

She would not let him make her feel that there was something wrong with her. It was her right to be upset, her right to choose not to brush her humiliation aside in the name of overexalted intellectualism, and she would claim that right. “Go.” She gestured toward the door. “Go and play your tennis and don’t come back here.”
She watched him get up and leave. He banged the door. They had never had a quarrel; he had never been impatient with dissent from her as he was with others. Or it may simply be that he humored her and did not think much of her opinions in the first place.

Related Characters: Olanna Ozobia (speaker), Odenigbo
Page Number: 129
Explanation and Analysis:

When Odenigbo's mother meets Olanna at Odenigbo's house, she accuses her son's girlfriend of being a barren, overeducated "witch" who is cursed because she did not nurse with her mother. Upset, Olanna leaves Odenigbo's house abruptly. When Ugwu tells Odenigbo what happened, he goes to Olanna's university-issued flat, where she rarely sleeps, and tells her not to worry about his mother, who he claims struggles with being a village woman in a modern world. Olanna is offended that he does not defend her (Olanna), but rather excuses his mother, and in this quote, she tells Odenigbo to leave. Olanna soon realizes that this is the first time they have fought, though Odenigbo quarrels nightly with the people who visit his salon. Olanna wonders if, like her parents and Miss Adebayo, he sees her as a pretty face whose education is dismissible and whose ideas are quaint but do not matter. She suddenly becomes ill at ease with Odenigbo's presumptuous intellectualism, and the confidence that she used to admire, and instead views it as pompous and pretentious. As a pretty rich girl, Olanna has fought her whole life to be heard for her thoughts and not for her status and appearance. This is a fight that few would pity, but it has left her weak and voiceless in many situations, and this quarrel marks the first fight in a long journey for Olanna to find her personal strength.

Olanna had wanted to give the scent of his mother’s visit some time to diffuse before telling him she wanted to have a child, and yet here he was, voicing her own desire before she could. She looked at him in wonder. This was love: a string of coincidences that gathered significance and became miracles.

Related Characters: Olanna Ozobia, Odenigbo, Odenigbo’s Mother (Mama)
Page Number: 135
Explanation and Analysis:

Even before Olanna and Odenigbo reconcile, Olanna decides that she wants to have a baby with Odenigbo, as a kind of proof of their love and future together. While in bed one morning, Odenigbo sleepily tells Olanna that he wants them to have a child together. As Olanna has not yet voiced her wish to Odenigbo, she sees this mutual desire as a sign of the strength of their lasting relationship together, despite their occasional differences in opinion (and Adichie phrases this realization in a quite lyrical way). Odenigbo's brash, often overly-intellectualized opinions can sometimes erase his decisions of any kind of compassion or sentiment. By contrast, Olanna, though highly intelligent and educated, tends to follow her heart in matters of opinions and decisions, a difference that usually binds, but occasionally divides them.

Part 2, Chapter 13 Quotes

Odenigbo climbed up to the podium waving his Biafran flag: swaths of red, black, and green and, at the center, a luminous half of a yellow sun.
“Biafra is born! We will lead Black Africa! We will live in security! Nobody will ever again attack us! Never again!”

Related Characters: Odenigbo (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Biafran Flag
Page Number: 205
Explanation and Analysis:

The same day that Odenigbo asks Olanna to sign a petition demanding that East Nigeria secede from the rest of the country, Ojukwu announces over the radio that the secession has occurred, with the new nation christened "Biafra." A joyous rally of students and lecturers congregates in Freedom Square, where Odenigbo is urged to speak. In this quote, Odenigbo proudly waves the Biafran flag, depicting the colors red, black, and green, and a rising sun, expressing his joy at independence at last. 

As a "revolutionary," as Kainene is fond of calling Odenigbo, Odenigbo has grand dreams of freeing Africa from the colonial clutches of Europeans. Even though Nigeria is technically independent of Britain, the artificial structures left behind by occupation still very much govern the diverse array of tribes grouped under one Nigeria. As a nation born post-colonialism, Biafra has the chance to actively shed these structures and govern itself presciently against foreign influence. Odenigbo is ecstatic to be a part of a cause beyond the debates in his living room, and exhibits a passion at the podium that he seldom releases in his personal life.

To Odenigbo, Biafra is a chance at rebirth for both him and his Igbo people. Yet, neither he nor the joyous members of the audience know that a terrible civil war (largely inspired and supported by foreign powers) is about to ravage the nation. The half of a yellow sun on the flag becomes an important symbol throughout the novel: a rising sun on the horizon, half of a nation that will soon become whole. Yet the lack of a full sun may also come to represent pessimism, a half that remains a half and never comes to fruition. At the end of the war, it is up to each person to decide for his or herself whether the glass is "half empty" or "half full" in the seemingly futile fight for independence. 

Part 3, Chapter 23 Quotes

Or she should have told him more: that she regretted betraying Kainene and him but did not regret the act itself. She should have said that it was not a crude revenge, or a scorekeeping, but took on a redemptive significance for her. She should have said the selfishness had liberated her.

Related Characters: Olanna Ozobia (speaker), Kainene Ozobia , Odenigbo
Page Number: 306
Explanation and Analysis:

After Olanna sleeps with Richard, they agree not to tell Kainene what has transpired between them. Olanna tells Odenigbo, who is shaken at the breach in Olanna's loyalty, and the fact that she would discard her morals to the extent that she would sleep with her twin sister's boyfriend. In this quote, Olanna, back at her apartment, wishes she had elaborated more on her feelings about her night with Richard. 

As the more attractive, "agreeable" twin, Olanna is perceived as morally and socially superior to Kainene, to a fault. Kainene, whose slender figure appears masculine to many, acts traditionally "masculine" in what seems to be a response to her sister's personality: she is sharp, sarcastic, and relies on shrewd logic in both her own life and in her career as a businesswoman. In a way, sleeping with her twin's boyfriend and not regretting the act is something that Kainene might have done if Richard cheated on her: challenge one morally reprehensible act with one that might be even more despicable. The danger and general badness of the act is delicious to angelic Olanna, and her lack of regret inspires a "liberation" in her feelings towards herself and Odenigbo's infidelity. Now that they are even--and in fact, she has the upper hand--she can forgive him, and herself. And more importantly, the very act of taking full control of her life and agency over her actions makes this seeming sin into an identity-affirming moment for Olanna herself.

Part 4, Chapter 25 Quotes

She taught them about the Biafran flag. They sat on wooden planks and the weak morning sun streamed into the roofless class as she unfurled Odenigbo’s cloth flag and told them what the symbols meant. Red was the blood of the siblings massacred in the North, black was for mourning them, green was for the prosperity Biafra would have, and, finally, the half of a yellow sun stood for the glorious future.

Related Characters: Olanna Ozobia (speaker), Odenigbo
Related Symbols: The Biafran Flag
Page Number: 352
Explanation and Analysis:

After the school is shut down to be used as a refugee camp, Olanna and Ugwu teach classes in their backyard to children whose parents pay a small fee or provide payment in kind, such as gifts of food. In this quote, Adichie describes how Olanna proudly teaches her pupils to be patriots, and explains to them the symbolism of the Biafran flag. 

The colors of the Biafran flag signify both remembrance and hope, showing that the country will not blindly be created without remembering the bloodshed that occurred in the fight for independence. Biafra would be a state that knew the dangers of colonialism and the greed of foreign influence, and would be (ideally) impervious to repeating such corruption again. The titular "half of a yellow sun" that all soldiers bear on their shoulders represents an optimistic future, yet there is also something ominous about a sun that is never depicted as whole. Olanna, who has been told who she is and how to think by her parents, sister, random people who appraise her beauty, and Odenigbo her whole life, is elated to find something to truly believe in, something she is a part of in the beginning.

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Odenigbo Character Timeline in Half of a Yellow Sun

The timeline below shows where the character Odenigbo appears in Half of a Yellow Sun. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 1
Race and Culture Theme Icon
...town of Nsukka to work as a houseboy. His Aunty got him this job with Odenigbo, who she calls “Master,” and she leads him through the town. Odenigbo is a professor... (full context)
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Ugwu and his Aunty come to Odenigbo’s house, which is large and filled with books. Odenigbo is young, hairy, wears glasses, and... (full context)
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Odenigbo goes out and Ugwu explores the house, marveling at everything. He imagines what would be... (full context)
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Odenigbo wakes Ugwu up and says that the room smells like chicken. Ugwu sheepishly takes the... (full context)
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Odenigbo says that Ugwu will be the oldest in his class, so he will have to... (full context)
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Ugwu says that he can cook, and so Odenigbo has him write down ingredients he needs. He says his gardener Jomo will show him... (full context)
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...is horrified, and convinced that “evil spirits” made him iron the socks. He worries that Odenigbo will send him home, so he searches for a special herb called arigbe that is... (full context)
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Ugwu starts to realize that he has a much better situation with Odenigbo than most houseboys do – other houseboys in Nsukka sleep on the floor and don’t... (full context)
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...of the white man, while Igbo is a self-made identity. Miss Adebayo argues flirtatiously with Odenigbo, and Ugwu worries that he will marry her. Ugwu wants everything to stay as it... (full context)
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After four months Odenigbo says that a “special woman” is coming to visit from London, so Ugwu should clean... (full context)
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Ugwu learns that Olanna will be moving to Nsukka to live with Odenigbo soon. He is worried about this life change, but he is also excited to have... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 2
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The narrative now follows Olanna, who is driving with Odenigbo to the airport and listening to High Life music. She is about to fly to... (full context)
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...flight, and the man sitting next her compliments her beauty. Olanna knows that the confident Odenigbo laughs at her many admirers, and decides to tell Odenigbo about this man on the... (full context)
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...mother comes to her room and praises Chief Okonji’s expensive lace. She finally asks about Odenigbo, and questions Olanna’s decision to move to Nsukka. Her mother is clearly disappointed, but Olanna... (full context)
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...Mohammed implies that he is still in love with Olanna, but he teases her about Odenigbo. She remembers how she broke up with him immediately after she met Odenigbo. (full context)
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When Olanna finally moves to Nsukka, Odenigbo has to leave the next day to attend a conference about the black American mathematician... (full context)
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When Odenigbo returns Olanna feels suddenly joyous, and like the house is really hers now. They immediately... (full context)
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Weeks pass and Olanna starts to settle in. Odenigbo teases her that Okeoma and Dr. Patel are both falling in love with her, and... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 3
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...Richard that she asked Olanna to introduce him to her “revolutionary lecturer lover.” Kainene mocks Odenigbo and the foolishness of his socialist ideas. (full context)
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...comforted by how sparse and soulless it looks inside. He goes to visit Olanna and Odenigbo and then gets his houseboy, who is a middle-aged man named Harrison. Harrison boasts about... (full context)
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Odenigbo’s gardener Jomo also takes care of Richard’s yard, and one day Richard asks him about... (full context)
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Richard starts spending time with Odenigbo and Olanna, and sitting quietly while they and their friends argue about politics. Richard admires... (full context)
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...him into her spacious house and around the grounds. She seems disappointed that he likes Odenigbo and Olanna, but doesn’t say why. They walk through a grove of orange trees and... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 4
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The narrative returns to Ugwu. Ugwu clears up after Odenigbo and his guests have lunch, and he sucks on the leftover chicken bones. Then he... (full context)
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...says that his mother is very sick and he must come home. Aunty waits until Odenigbo comes home, and then tells him that she must take Ugwu. (full context)
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Odenigbo scoffs at Aunty’s description of Ugwu’s mother’s illness, and he offers to drive both Aunty... (full context)
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Odenigbo follows Ugwu into his hut to see his mother. Ugwu is suddenly reluctant to have... (full context)
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...were there to live with him in the comfort of the house. Ugwu’s mother thanks Odenigbo but then quickly sets off to return home. (full context)
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On the day Odenigbo’s mother will arrive Ugwu is cooking peppery rice. Jomo compliments the smell and then complains... (full context)
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Olanna comes home and greets Odenigbo’s mother, who immediately says “I hear you did not suck your mother’s breasts” and accuses... (full context)
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Ugwu is very irritated but he decides to just agree with Odenigbo’s mother to make her stop talking. He is frightened when she says she is going... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 5
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The narrative now follows Olanna. Odenigbo shows up at her house and tries to dismiss the incident, saying that his mother... (full context)
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Olanna realizes that they have never fought before, and she wonders if Odenigbo really values her opinions or has just been humoring her. She eats some rice and... (full context)
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...he isn’t home. Olanna is suddenly struck with the realization that she wants to have Odenigbo’s child. They had never discussed children before. Odenigbo then shows up and apologizes, and Olanna... (full context)
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When Odenigbo’s mother leaves, Olanna moves back into his house. Ugwu is concerned, as he saw a... (full context)
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One day Richard knocks on the door when Odenigbo is out. Olanna answers and tries to engage him in conversation, but he is awkward... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 6
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The narrative now follows Richard, who is eating spicy pepper soup at Odenigbo’s house. The other guests marvel at his ability to eat it, as most white people... (full context)
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While Odenigbo argues with Professor Ezeka, Okeoma asks Richard about his novel. Richard is embarrassed that he... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 7
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Ugwu returns to Nsukka. Odenigbo and Olanna are there, and they have a baby they call Baby. Ugwu tells them... (full context)
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...the premiers of the North and West are all missing. There are many guests in Odenigbo’s house, and most of them are overjoyed at the coup. They make fun of the... (full context)
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...says that it was mostly Northerners in government, which was the fault of the English. Odenigbo praises Major Nzeogwu for having a “vision,” even though another (American) guest accuses the Major... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 8
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...town with Arize and they shop for baby clothes. Olanna sees that people are reading Odenigbo’s article in the newspaper, which discusses the need for a unitary government. (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 10
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The narrative now follows Ugwu, and a few weeks have passed since the second coup. Odenigbo and his guests no longer laugh and argue, but instead they discuss troubled reports from... (full context)
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...train, so people should bring whatever food they have to spare to the railway stations. Odenigbo sends Ugwu to the station with some tea and bread. (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 13
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Olanna survives the long ordeal of traveling and she collapses outside Odenigbo’s door, both her legs and her bladder giving out. Baby finds her and then Odenigbo... (full context)
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One day Odenigbo is in the living room with some guests, and Olanna has to use the bathroom.... (full context)
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Olanna listens to Odenigbo talk about Aburi, the Ghanaian town where Gowon and Colonel Ojukwu (now seen as the... (full context)
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Later Ugwu brings Olanna some food, and Odenigbo brings her a petition to sign – the university staff at Nsukka are demanding “secession... (full context)
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Odenigbo says “this is our beginning,” and he starts to dance around the room with Baby.... (full context)
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Odenigbo gives a speech and waves the Biafran flag, which is red, black, and green, with... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 15
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The story returns to Ugwu, who is with Odenigbo delivering food for refugees. The man at the office says that people have stopped giving... (full context)
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Olanna, Odenigbo, and Ugwu hurriedly gather up their precious possessions and leave with Baby. Biafran soldiers at... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 17
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Olanna is at Odenigbo’s house in Abba. Odenigbo’s mother now acts civilly toward Olanna and has started showing affection... (full context)
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The family will move again the next week, to Umuahia where Odenigbo will work for the “Manpower Directorate.” Olanna wonders how Baby will handle the move, and... (full context)
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After the meeting Olanna tries to sympathize with Odenigbo about Mohammed, but Odenigbo gets angry and says Mohammed is complicit in all of the... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 18
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Soon afterward refugees start arriving in Abba, and Odenigbo decides to move the family to Umuahia ahead of schedule. Ugwu wonders why Odenigbo and... (full context)
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Odenigbo promises that the house in Umuahia will be “perfectly normal,” but it seems like a... (full context)
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Life does return to a semblance of normality, and Odenigbo starts having guests over to laugh and argue. Among these guests are Special Julius, an... (full context)
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...soon capture the midwest and march toward Lagos, and it seems that they are victorious. Odenigbo and his guests sing, drink, and curse Britain and Russia for supplying arms to Nigeria. (full context)
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Olanna and Odenigbo get married with a small ceremony, with only a few friends attending. At the reception... (full context)
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...up. People pick through the rubble, some of them searching for lost loved ones. Later Odenigbo says that the Biafrans have lost all their captured territory, and that Nigeria has now... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 19
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Ugwu and Richard drive back to Nsukka, and Ugwu is surprised to find Odenigbo’s mother and Amala at Odenigbo’s house. Even Odenigbo didn’t know they were coming. “Mama” sends... (full context)
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Ugwu watches Mama (Odenigbo’s mother) put a packet of spices into Odenigbo’s soup, and he grows suspicious, worrying that... (full context)
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...the sink, which he knows is the sign of something bad. He tries to tell Odenigbo, who seems unperturbed. That night Ugwu keeps waking up, and he starts to clean to... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 20
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...raging at a servant for stealing some rice. Olanna calms the situation and then calls Odenigbo to complain about her mother. Olanna notices that Odenigbo sounds strange, and he says that... (full context)
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Olanna returns to Nsukka and Ugwu greets her. Odenigbo’s mother is still there, but is about to leave. Olanna notices something different in the... (full context)
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Days pass, and Olanna sinks into a haze of depression in her apartment. Odenigbo comes by to explain and apologize, but Olanna soon kicks him out. She goes to... (full context)
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Olanna returns to Odenigbo’s house and packs all her things up. Ugwu tries to portray Odenigbo sympathetically, but Olanna... (full context)
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...while they discuss men, and Edna suggests that Olanna should talk to a priest about Odenigbo. Olanna takes her advice, but is disappointed when the priest suggests attending church as a... (full context)
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The next morning Odenigbo comes to Olanna’s apartment looking distressed, and he says that Amala is pregnant. Olanna starts... (full context)
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...who tearfully tells her what happened. Edna angrily tells Olanna to pull herself together, as Odenigbo probably isn’t spending his days crying. Olanna tells Edna that she shouldn’t project her own... (full context)
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...talk about Richard’s writing and get steadily drunker. Olanna notes that Richard is nothing like Odenigbo at all, and she touches his face. Soon they start to kiss, and when they... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 22
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Ugwu gets diarrhea because he is so stressed about Odenigbo and Olanna’s relationship. Mama returns with Amala, and she gloats about her coming grandson. Finally... (full context)
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A few days later Olanna visits, and she gets angry when Odenigbo again tries to put all the blame on his mother. Ugwu is so anxious about... (full context)
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Ugwu goes inside and eavesdrops. He hears shouting, but then he hears Odenigbo and Olanna having sex. Afterwards Olanna leaves. Ugwu asks Odenigbo if she will return soon,... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 23
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...and both decide to keep what happened a secret from Kainene. Soon afterward Olanna tells Odenigbo, though, after he asks her to move back in with him and tries to blame... (full context)
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...washed off.” She decides to not choose misery, and resolves to move back in with Odenigbo. (full context)
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On their first night back together Olanna and Odenigbo eat in silence, and then discuss politics. Olanna is somewhat glad that Odenigbo’s confidence has... (full context)
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...to make sure Richard hasn’t confessed. Kainene is her usual sardonic self, making fun of Odenigbo, and Olanna is relieved. She decides it is probably best that Richard won’t be visiting... (full context)
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Amala has a baby girl, and Olanna and Odenigbo go to Abba. They visit the hospital and Mama looks dour. Amala won’t look at... (full context)
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Olanna and Odenigbo drive home, and Odenigbo says that Mama doesn’t want the baby, as she wanted a... (full context)
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Olanna brings the baby home, and tells Odenigbo about Ugwu’s belief in Mama’s medicine. Odenigbo says it is no more irrational than Christianity.... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 24
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...mouth shut. In the process of boasting about his own cooking, he told Kainene that Odenigbo yelled at Richard, and Richard isn’t allowed at Odenigbo’s anymore. Kainene asks about this, and... (full context)
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...Kainene says they will talk when she is ready. Later in the day Olanna and Odenigbo arrive, and Olanna tearfully apologizes. Kainene says “it is stupid to expect me to forgive... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 25
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...Two. Since the air raid, Olanna now fears thunder and is very jumpy. She and Odenigbo trade all their money for Biafran currency, and Odenigbo promises that they will get their... (full context)
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...victorious song about Biafra. That evening the alarm goes off again, and Olanna doesn’t see Odenigbo in the bunker. Olanna rushes out into the open and sees Odenigbo bent over a... (full context)
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...Olanna that she wants to kill all the vandals, and Olanna is shaken by this. Odenigbo tells her that this is just patriotism. Odenigbo brings home some food from the Red... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 26
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Odenigbo and Olanna have guests in the living room, and they discuss how “saboteurs” cost Biafra... (full context)
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...old dinner-party guest from Nsukka) gets out. He is now the Director for Mobilization. Neither Odenigbo nor Olanna are home, so Ezeka leaves a note and goes. Eberechi, the neighbor girl... (full context)
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...Sometimes Eberechi watches him teach, and Ugwu starts slipping her some of the food that Odenigbo brings home. Ugwu now feels totally comfortable with her, and Eberechi tells him how her... (full context)
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...the army officer. He tries to remember some sexual positions he found in a book Odenigbo had in Nsukka. Ugwu then gets sad that there are so few books in their... (full context)
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...radio announces that Tanzania has recognized Biafra as a real country, and everyone is overjoyed. Odenigbo says that other countries want to do so as well, but “America is the stumbling... (full context)
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...with Eberechi, but when he goes inside to do it Olanna is in shock – Odenigbo’s mother has been shot in Abba. Even though he had disliked her, Ugwu still starts... (full context)
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Odenigbo comes home and goes into his room with Olanna. Ugwu cooks Baby’s food, and then... (full context)
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The next day Odenigbo leaves early to try and find his mother’s body, even though it is in occupied... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 28
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Olanna remembers Odenigbo returning after midnight, covered in mud, on the day he tried to bury his mother.... (full context)
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Okeoma arrives to pay condolences to Odenigbo, and Odenigbo is more open with him than he has been with Olanna. Okeoma and... (full context)
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That evening Professor Achara arrives and says that Odenigbo and Olanna must leave in two weeks, as their landlord has found someone who will... (full context)
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Odenigbo, Olanna, Ugwu, and Baby move into a single room, which is still lucky considering the... (full context)
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...she gets angry at Ugwu for being outside. Olanna goes to their room and finds Odenigbo crying about his mother. Olanna holds him, and he says he has been considering joining... (full context)
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Odenigbo gets some other men to help him dig. The other men joke and talk, but... (full context)
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A few hours later Professor Ezeka’s driver arrives with supplies for Olanna and Odenigbo. Ugwu is overjoyed at all the food, but Olanna immediately puts some salt aside for... (full context)
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That day Odenigbo comes home with a gun. He looks tired and sad, and rejects Olanna’s suggestion to... (full context)
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...Olanna cake and alcohol, and Olanna resents her happiness. She asks Professor Ezeka to transfer Odenigbo somewhere else, and Ezeka says he will try. (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 29
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While Olanna is away visiting Kainene, Ugwu overhears Odenigbo talking and laughing with Alice. The next day Odenigbo and Alice sit together on the... (full context)
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...and they make up. She promises to come visit him later. Ugwu goes home, and Odenigbo comes home late and drunk. He says “my good man” and then throws up on... (full context)
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...as a “memorial to death.” Ugwu lies awake that night and imagines running home to Odenigbo and Olanna, but there is also a part of him that wants to fight, so... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 31
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...her that Alice isn’t a saboteur, and Mama Oji tells Olanna that Alice sits with Odenigbo when Olanna is away. Olanna is surprised at this, but she still trusts Odenigbo. (full context)
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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... (full context)
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Olanna immediately goes to the bar, pours Odenigbo’s drink onto the floor, and tells him that Ugwu has died. She yells and runs... (full context)
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...for Ugwu in the yard, and Alice brings out her piano. Olanna is repulsed by Odenigbo’s presence, and feels that his drinking is somehow complicit in Ugwu’s death. The couple speaks... (full context)
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...her, and she thrashes with such force that the stones in the road cut her. Odenigbo comes out and picks her up, and she starts to cry on his shoulder. Olanna... (full context)
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...take her with him, as there are some people from the village in his compound. Odenigbo asks Olanna to go get the Alice’s things, but Olanna refuses and goes into her... (full context)
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Olanna wakes up to the sound of shelling. She and Odenigbo hurry to the car, but it won’t start. Everyone else in the building evacuates, and... (full context)
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...in Orlu and unpack their things. They have dinner with Kainene and Richard. Richard offers Odenigbo some brandy – it is the first time they have spoken since Odenigbo told Richard... (full context)
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Olanna then comes back out and talks to Kainene. She tells her that Odenigbo “has become somebody else,” drinking all day and possibly sleeping with Alice. She says she... (full context)
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...this is an old resentment for Kainene. In the past she would have talked to Odenigbo about it, but now he has found a new bar and hardly ever leaves it. (full context)
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Olanna refuses to worry about Odenigbo, but she worries about Baby and the other children. Their starvation makes them start losing... (full context)
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Olanna and Kainene always walk home together, discussing Odenigbo and the war. Kainene affirms that Biafra will win, and Olanna believes it more when... (full context)
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Olanna starts to scream and she grabs at Odenigbo. They enter their room and have grief-stricken sex. Afterward Odenigbo tells Olanna that she is... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 32
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...Father Damian, a priest who worked with Olanna in Nsukka. Father Damian promises to tell Odenigbo about Ugwu, and he gives him some milk and sugar. (full context)
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When Ugwu comes home Olanna and Odenigbo hug him, which they have never done before. Ugwu starts to cry and tells the... (full context)
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At night Ugwu listens to Olanna and Kainene talk, creating “their own world” that Odenigbo and Richard can never enter, and he uses their words as inspiration for his writing.... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 33
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Richard sits with Kainene, Olanna, and Odenigbo as they eat and laugh together. Richard has started to enjoy these evenings, as they... (full context)
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...says that she wants to cross over to a Nigerian-occupied market to trade for things. Odenigbo warns her that it is dangerous, but Kainene says that lots of people have been... (full context)
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Odenigbo asks Richard about Kainene and then turns on the radio. Ojukwu is announcing that he... (full context)
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Two days pass, and Richard starts to slip into despair. Odenigbo says that Kainene is probably just held up on the other side, as delays happen... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 34
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Odenigbo and Richard return from searching for Kainene, but they have no success. A few days... (full context)
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...into the family’s yard carrying a green branch and saying that the war is over. Odenigbo turns on the radio. An unfamiliar voice defends the Biafran cause but says that there... (full context)
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...food if they marry them. The roads are still closed between Biafra and Nigeria, but Odenigbo wants to pack so they can go look for Kainene as soon as they open. (full context)
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Richard leaves on the night that the roads open. Olanna and Odenigbo go the next morning, leaving a note for Kainene if she should return there. The... (full context)
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...keep driving into Nsukka and are stopped by a belligerent Nigerian officer. The officer makes Odenigbo and Ugwu get out of the car and carry wood, and he slaps Odenigbo for... (full context)
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...the officer stop a man wearing glasses, remove him from his car, and flog him. Odenigbo had removed his glasses earlier, to avoid looking like an intellectual The Nigerian assumes the... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 35
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Ugwu finds a pile of burned books in the yard of Odenigbo’s old house. Olanna and Odenigbo stare at it, and Odenigbo realizes all his old research... (full context)
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Ugwu hears banging on the door and thinks that soldiers have come for Odenigbo, but it is Miss Adebayo. She starts to cry when she sees Odenigbo and hears... (full context)
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...house lie flat on the ground. They eat some of Ugwu’s cooking, shred some of Odenigbo’s papers, and then leave. After they go Ugwu tries to give Baby a bath, but... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 37
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...soldiers came and ate their rice, Olanna took all her Biafran pounds and burned them. Odenigbo accused her of “burning memory,” but Olanna responded that her memory is inside her. (full context)
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Weeks pass, and foreign academics send books to Odenigbo. Edna sends Olanna a package from Boston, where she lives now. Olanna’s bank account in... (full context)
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Odenigbo disparages the dibia, but Olanna says she will believe in anything if it brings back... (full context)