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Half of a Yellow Sun

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Nur Athirah binti Zaidon Ang Wee Shin 1 PISMP TESL 4

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Authors Biography
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Enugu, Nigeria in

1977 from Igbo parents. She is the fifth of six siblings. Her father worked as first professor of statistics, then became a deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka where her mother also worked as a first woman registrar. After successfully completing her secondary education, Adichie briefly studied medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria. She obtained a scholarshipto study communication at Drexel in Philadelphia for two years. Afterward she moved to Eastern Connecticut State University, to be near her sister who lived there and continued studying communication and political science. She obtained a degree in 2001, which was complemented by a master degree in Creative Writing at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She also obtained an MA in African Studies from Yale University in 2008. Adichie lives between Nigeria and the U.S.A. where she teaches creative writing.

Adichie has to date written three novels:

Purple Hibiscus, published in 2003 was shortlisted for the 2004 Orange Fiction prize and longlisted for the Booker Prize. It was awarded the Commonwealth Writers Prize for First Book and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Half of a Yellow Sun was published in 2006 and was awarded the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2007. The Thing Around Your Neck was published in June 2009. She also participated with a short story in One World: A global anthology which was published

Exposition :

- The story start with the narrator reminiscing about the massacres that happened to her tribe - The forming of the new country Biafra by the Igbo refugee after the massacres.

Rising action

- Igbo people are happy with their new country, Biafra. - The narrators fianc Nnamdi joins the Biafras army to fight with the Nigeria. - Narrator and her brother, Obi taught the children English, Mathematics and History. - The narrator smelled a Nigerian dead body, and everybody gather around to witness the dead body and they curse the corpse.


- The Nigerians created a blockade that stopped food and supplies from entering Biafra. -There was wide spread illness, famine, and starvation. - They hid their own food from their neighbors. - People start to cross the border to get salt.

Falling action

- Obi was one of the victim who suffered the disease. - The Biafra soldiers came from house to house conscripting young men to become soldiers and taking them to the front. - Obi was hidden into a hole in the ceiling to avoid being caught by the soldiers. - Obi died due to the disease.


- Biafra lost the war. - Nnamdi with his amputated left arm married the narrator. - At the end, they become Nigerians again.

Half of a Yellow Sun refers to the Biafran flag

emblem, a sun halfway through rising. Biafras flag :

This story, Nigerian civil war took place from

1966 to 1970. -It is also referred to as the Biafran war. - Nigeria is one of the most populous countries in Africa with a population of over one hundred and forty million people, and two hundred and fifty ethnic groups. Igbo society in Biafra country that was created in 1967.

Biafran war and its violence - Brutal bequests of colonialism with the political

conflict between between the Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa and Fulani people of Nigeria which erupted into two deadly military coups. Thousands of people died in the massacres and the Igbo tried unsuccessfully to establish their own Republic of Biafra which after three years of war was eventually included back into Nigeria.

Extreme starvation - The Nigerian navy ships block their ports.

Biafrans hid their food from the neighbors by wrapped in a mat and stuck behind the door. - They are also in need of salts which require them to cross the border. The women even torn their clothes off and rolled in the dirt, wailing.


Narrator - Her name was never mentioned in the story. - She is good in English and she taught English to the children in the class. - She is a caring woman who always worried about her fianc's safety.

2. Nnamdi - Narrators fianc. - He is a loving husband because he treats his fiance with love. - He is strong like any men in Africa and he is one of the Biafras soldier - He lost his left arm after the war end.

3. Obi - Narrators younger brother and has a very close relationship with his family. - He is good in Mathematics and History. He taught the children in the class together with his sister. - He died because of sickness.

4. Mama -Narrators mother who cares so much towards her family. - She hid Obi in the ceiling to avoid being caught by the soldiers.

Writing Style
The short story used a lot of Igbo proverbs and

few words from Nigerian language. E.g. proverbs - The Igbo say that a fish that does not swallow other fish does not grow fat. E.g. word - nyamiri, nyamiri

The Nigerian language used is to grab readers

attention as to acknowledge the readers about their culture that is rich with proverbs. Other than that, it is to show that the Igbo tribe is civilized. The language used in this story is quite modern and easy for the readers to understand.

Literary Criticism

Historical theory Outbreak of civil war - The outbreak of civil war between the Nigerian and the Biafran. Massacre - The Igbo tribe were the victims of massacre during the civil war -The war includes great human suffering, tragedy and deaths of thousand of people. - Page 100, paragraph 3, line 3. Auntie Ifeka was killed during the massacres in the north. So was Arize, her pregnant daughter. They must have cut open Arizes stomach and beheaded the baby first.

The form of new country, Biafra.

-After the massacre, Igbo people fled to east where they formed the independent nation of Biafra. - Page 100, paragraph 3, line 9. Ive told you, dont dwell on the massacres. Isnt it why we seceded? Biafra is born! Dwell on that instead. We will turn our pain into mighty nation, we will our pain into the pride of Africa.

2. Socio cultural theory -Effects of civil war Starvation -In the Biafran case it meant hatching up a diabolical policyto reduce the numbers of his enemies significantly through starvation. - Page 100, paragraph 6, line 4 Nigerian navy ships blocking our ports


- Thousand of civilians, especially children, lost their lives to multinutrition of suffered kwashiorkor, a vitamin deficiency disease. - Page 103, last paragraph, line 2 Stick-thin children whose bones stuck out, so unnaturally. Children with rust-colored hair and stomach like balloons. Children whose eyes were swallowed deep in their faces.