Half of a Yellow Sun

Half of a Yellow Sun

Half of a Yellow Sun Part 4, Chapter 36 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Richard goes to his old house in Nsukka. Harrison couldn’t find the old manuscript he had buried, but Richard doesn’t even care. There is a Nigerian woman living in the house now, and she won’t even let Richard in to look for photographs of Kainene.
Richard has lost yet another manuscript, but it is nothing compared to his loss of Kainene, and he has now accepted that Ugwu is the true narrator of the war. Nigerians seized almost all Igbo property and jobs, and didn’t return them after the war.
Themes
Colonialism and Nigerian Politics Theme Icon
Race and Culture Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Richard then goes to Kainene’s old house in Port Harcourt, only because Kainene’s mother asked him to. She had originally been very confident that Kainene would be found, but over time her faith has diminished. Madu is staying with Kainene’s parents, as he had been dismissed from the army.
Madu is extremely lucky to still be alive. Kainene’s parents seem just as unsympathetic as Mohammed, as they only return to Nigeria now that their safety is assured.
Themes
Colonialism and Nigerian Politics Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Richard then goes to Umuahia and finds Eberechi’s address. The old woman who greets him looks unsurprised at his presence, which surprises Richard, as he is used to “his Igbo-speaking whiteness being noticed, being marveled at.” She invites Richard inside and tells him that Eberechi was killed by shelling. Richard decides not to tell Ugwu this, but to let him keep his dream until he finds out the truth on his own.
Richard still has traces of British racism even about his own Igbo-ness, as he assumes that he is special and unique. Without Kainene and in the anger and grief of her loss these problematic feelings start to resurface. Ugwu has lost another ideal and the only true love he experienced, but Richard lets him keep the small hope that he himself still holds about Kainene.
Themes
Colonialism and Nigerian Politics Theme Icon
War and Violence Theme Icon
Race and Culture Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Richard then goes to Lagos, where Kainene’s parents greet him. After lunch Richard goes onto the veranda with Madu. Madu says the rumors are that a million people died, but he thinks it is more. Madu tries to talk to Richard about Kainene, and Richard asks if he loves her. Madu says of course he does. Richard asks Madu if he ever touched her, and Madu only laughs. Richard wants to demand to know if Madu laid his “filthy black hand on her,” but instead he hits Madu in the face.
Richard is totally sinking into despair, and as he loses control he also lets down his guard and slips easily into racist, dehumanizing insults towards Madu. Madu remains untouchable and confident as Richard feels himself collapsing, and he hates Madu for this. The number of casualties of the Biafran War is still unknown, but estimated between one and three million.
Themes
Colonialism and Nigerian Politics Theme Icon
War and Violence Theme Icon
Race and Culture Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
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Madu says “you idiot,” and then punches Richard to the ground. Madu then helps him up and examines his nose. Richard suddenly realizes that he will never see Kainene again, and his life will be dark and shadowy from now on.
Richard’s story arc is almost the opposite of Ugwu’s – he starts out as the most privileged character, but ends up in despair, totally ineffective and without hope. Richard still has the privilege of returning to England if he wants, but it is clear that his emotional life is totally broken.
Themes
War and Violence Theme Icon
Race and Culture Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon