Chike’s School Days

Sarah Character Analysis

Chike’s mother. Sarah belongs to the Osu, the lowest social class in the village. However, she has converted to Christianity and no longer believes in the traditional Igbo system. Her newfound beliefs allowed her to marry Amos, even though, traditionally, Osu are forbidden from even lifting their heads in front of members of higher castes, or “free-borns.” Sarah’s Christianity also leads her to raise her children in ways that isolate them from the rest of the villagers, who still engage in traditional Igbo cultural practices and spiritual beliefs. This effect of her parenting becomes most obvious when she tells her children not to accept food at their neighbors’ houses, because they offer foods to the traditional Igbo gods, whom Sarah refers to as “idols.”

Sarah Quotes in Chike’s School Days

The Chike’s School Days quotes below are all either spoken by Sarah or refer to Sarah. 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 as a Form of Violence  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor Books edition of Chike’s School Days published in 1991.
Chike’s School Days Quotes

Sarah taught her children not to eat in their neighbors’ houses because “they offered their food to idols.” And thus she set herself against the age-old custom which regarded children as the common responsibility of all […]

Related Characters: Chike, Sarah
Page Number: 37
Explanation and Analysis:
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The neighbor was full of rage, but she controlled herself and only muttered under her breath that even an Osu was full of pride nowadays, thanks to the white man.

Related Characters: Chike, Sarah
Page Number: 38
Explanation and Analysis:
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It was unheard of for a man to make himself Osu in that way, with his eyes wide open. But then Amos was nothing if not mad. The new religion had gone to his head. It was like palm-wine.

Related Characters: Amos, Sarah
Page Number: 38
Explanation and Analysis:
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The only person who supported Amos in his mad marriage venture was Mr. Brown, the white missionary, who lived in a thatch-roofed, red-earth-walled parsonage and was highly respected by the people, not because of his sermons, but because of a dispensary he ran in one of his rooms.

Related Characters: Amos, Sarah, Mr. Brown
Page Number: 38
Explanation and Analysis:
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A few days later he told his widowed mother, who had recently been converted to Christianity and had taken the name of Elizabeth. The shock nearly killed her. When she recovered, she went down on her knees and begged Amos not to do this thing. But he would not hear; his ears had been nailed up.

Related Characters: Amos, Sarah, Elizabeth
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:
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The diviner was a man of great power and wisdom.

Related Characters: Amos, Sarah, Elizabeth, The Diviner, Mr. Brown
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:
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Old Elizabeth performed the rites, but her son remained insane and married an Osu girl whose name was Sarah. Old Elizabeth renounced her new religion and returned to the faith of her people.

Related Characters: Amos, Sarah, Elizabeth, The Diviner
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Sarah Character Timeline in Chike’s School Days

The timeline below shows where the character Sarah appears in Chike’s School Days. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chike’s School Days
Colonialism as a Form of Violence  Theme Icon
Language and the Struggle to Create Meaning Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...his family, he is the first boy after a string of five girls. His parents, Sarah and Amos, are so happy to have birthed a son that at his baptism, they... (full context)
Colonialism as a Form of Violence  Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Although Sarah and Amos still have traditional beliefs about gender, they have chosen to raise their children... (full context)
Colonialism as a Form of Violence  Theme Icon
Leadership and Authority Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...the village. In the past, an Osu couldn’t marry a free-born, but that is changing. Sarah, Chike’s mother, is an Osu, while his father, Amos, was not. But when Amos converted... (full context)
Language and the Struggle to Create Meaning Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...end that Amos would call off the wedding. The ritual didn’t work, and Amos married Sarah. Elizabeth remained so shocked and disappointed at what Christianity had made her son do that... (full context)