Half of a Yellow Sun

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Half of a Yellow Sun Part 3, Chapter 24 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Richard is enraged at Harrison, who couldn’t keep his 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 Richard decided to tell the truth. Kainene immediately stops eating and calls Richard’s actions “unoriginal.”
Kainene reacts to betrayal in a totally different way from the more emotional, dramatic Olanna, but she is no less deeply hurt. Kainene draws even further behind her protective shell, and criticizes Richard with the writer’s worst insult – “unoriginal.”
Themes
Loyalty and Betrayal Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Later that night Kainene tells Richard that she spoke to Olanna. She says it would have been forgivable with anyone else, but not with her sister. She tells Richard to sleep in the guest room, and he worries that she will immediately leave him for Madu.
Richard loves Kainene greatly and has wrapped up his identity in her, but he is also very possessive, and there is still an element of racist condescension in this possessiveness.
Themes
Loyalty and Betrayal Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
The next morning Richard wants to talk, but 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 this,” and she sends them away. Richard remembers how Odenigbo had showed up at his house and yelled at him, demanding that he stay away.
Richard contrasts Kainene and Odenigbo in how they deal with their betrayals – Kainene remains terrifyingly calm, while Odenigbo is blustery and aggressive.
Themes
Loyalty and Betrayal Theme Icon
Kainene then tells Richard that she took his manuscript and burned it that morning. Richard is upset at the loss of “The Basket of Hands,” which was nearing completion, but he is also joyful, as he recognizes that this act means Kainene will not leave him. He wonders if he should be a writer after all, as love is more important to him than his work.
Richard now accepts that his life with Kainene is more important to him than his identity as a writer. This is the first manuscript Richard has lost, which will be followed by “In the Time of Roped Pots.”
Themes
Loyalty and Betrayal Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
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In The World Was Silent When We Died, the author writes about how other nations ignored the suffering of the Biafrans. The United States and Canada decided to stay out of the conflict, while Britain and the Soviet Union provided arms to Nigeria. Many other Black African countries also supported Nigeria, as they feared secessions of their own. Only China and France approved of Biafra, but they offered little real support.
Contrasting this book with the loss of Richard’s manuscript starts to make the reader question the author of “The World Was Silent When We Died.” This section relates directly to the title, as it shows just how many countries refused to help Biafra because of their own economic interests.
Themes
Colonialism and Nigerian Politics Theme Icon
War and Violence Theme Icon