Binti

by

Nnedi Okorafor

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Binti’s Mother Character Analysis

Binti says little about her mother, but her mother’s warnings about Oomza University wanting to coopt Binti’s talents for their own nefarious uses ring in Binti’s head as she travels. Binti’s mother also has the gift of “mathematical sight,” which she primarily uses to protect her family and which Binti inherited.

Binti’s Mother Quotes in Binti

The Binti quotes below are all either spoken by Binti’s Mother or refer to Binti’s Mother. 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:
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Tom Doherty edition of Binti published in 2015.
Binti Quotes

“There is a reason why our people do not go to that university. Oomza Uni wants you for its own gain, Binti. You go to that school and you become its slave.” I couldn’t help but contemplate the possible truth in her words. I hadn’t even gotten there yet and already I’d given them my life.

Related Characters: Binti’s Mother (speaker), Binti (speaker), The Chief
Page Number: 14
Explanation and Analysis:

“It smells like jasmine flowers,” she said to the woman on her left, surprised.

“No shit?” one woman said. “I hear it smells like shit because it is shit.”

“No, definitely jasmine flowers. It is thick like shit, though.”

“Is her hair even real?” another woman asked the woman rubbing her fingers.

“I don’t know.”

“These ‘dirt bathers’ are a filthy people,” the first woman muttered.

I just turned back around, my shoulders hunched. My mother had counseled me to be quiet around Khoush.

Related Characters: Binti (speaker), Binti’s Mother
Related Symbols: Otjize
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:

My brothers had all just laughed and dismissed the idea. My parents said nothing, not even congratulations. Their silence was answer enough. Even my best friend Dele. He congratulated and told me that I was smarter than everyone at Oomza Uni, but then he’d laughed, too. “You cannot go,” he simply said. “We’re Himba. God has already chosen our paths.”

Related Characters: Binti (speaker), Dele (speaker), Binti’s Father, Binti’s Mother
Page Number: 29
Explanation and Analysis:

Spongy. As if it were full of the firm jelly beads in the milky pudding my mother liked to make. I could sense current all around me. These people had deep active technology built into the walls and many of them had it running within their very bodies. Some of them were walking astrolabes, it was part of their biology.

Related Characters: Binti (speaker), Okwu, The Chief, Binti’s Mother
Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Binti LitChart as a printable PDF.
Binti PDF

Binti’s Mother Character Timeline in Binti

The timeline below shows where the character Binti’s Mother appears in Binti. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Binti
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
...about Binti, from her family and past to her possible futures. Binti can hear her mother’s voice suddenly, reminding her why the Himba don’t attend Oomza Uni: the school wants to... (full context)
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...The first woman mutters that the “dirt bathers” are filthy. Binti faces front again. Her mother always told her to be quiet around Khoush, while Binti’s father always tried to make... (full context)
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...was a “master harmonizer” by age 12 and is gifted with “mathematical sight,” like her mother. Binti’s mind grows clear as she thinks of complex equations and trees. (full context)
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...Okwu says it wishes it could just kill Binti, but Binti parrots a phrase her mother used often: “we all wish for many things.” Okwu observes that Binti doesn’t look like... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Fear and Prejudice vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
...and Okwu are risking their lives. But the ground feels spongy like pudding that Binti’s mother likes to make, and Binti can see that the Meduse have technology running through the... (full context)
Identity, Home, and Travel Theme Icon
Science, Humanity, and the Ethics of Research Theme Icon
Community, Friendship, and Belonging Theme Icon
...The burn is gone. Later, Binti sends signals to her family with her astrolabe. Her mother answers. (full context)