Half a Yellow Sun is a novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a critically acclaimed African writer. The book was published by Knopf/Anchor in 2006 to a critical reception. The novel tells the story of the Nigeria-Biafra War that led to the death of about a million people. The Biafran War began in 1967 and ended in 1970 after running for about two and a half years. The war represents one of the most significant events that helped shape the political environment in Nigeria. The civil war began when the Biafran people seceded from the Federal government of Nigeria to establish their own independent nation, The Republic of Biafra. This new state was mainly dominated by the largely Christian Igbo community, that felt neglected from the federal government in terms of socioeconomic development. The war ended on 15th January 1970 after the Biafran forces agreed to a ceasefire and surrenders to the federal government forces.
Thereafter, the region was reintegrated into the Federal government. However, the impact of the civil war is something that cannot be forgotten by the Nigerians. Many people were affected by the war, either by losing loved ones or by fleeing to other places for safety. As such, being a Biafran means a lot to the people who were involved in the War. The author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, hails from The Igbo community. Therefore, this indicates the level of significance that the story has on her life. Therefore, this paper posits that for the author, being a Biafran means sharing the emotional challenges related to the war.
The story in Half a Yellow Sun is mainly influenced by the developments that took place during the war. For example, the plot of the story is set in Nigeria in the late 1960s, which is the exact period through which the Biafra War took place. Furthermore, most of the major political events in the story correspond to the actual events that took place during the War. The war emerged as a result of growing tensions between different communities in post independent Nigeria, for example, the Igbo community and the Hausa Community in the Northern part of the country.
The war had a major impact on women and children, majority of whom died in the course of the war. Some women were separated from their husbands and children during the war. Moreover, they were left to leave a destitute life with their children in camps as refugees. In some cases, women were raped by the soldiers during the war. Therefore, women were extremely mistreated during the war.
Being a Bafran can mean different things to different people in Nigeria. However, for example, it could mean ones cultural heritage, the language or religious faiths being followed. Nevertheless, from the authors perspective, being a Biafran means ta one has to love their cultural heritage. She is very well connected to the war, having lost some members of her family through the war, including both of her grandparents. Therefore, being Biafran for the author means having an emotional connection to the culture of the community. One character that exemplifies his element is Ugwu. Ugwu is very well connected to his culture and maintains strong contact with his family members from time to time
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