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Gender in Half of a Yellow Sun

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Amber Riggle

on 11 September 2013

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Transcript of Gender in Half of a Yellow Sun

Half of a Yellow Sun

Throughout Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun, gender is a topic that is brushed upon again and again. In three main questions, she looks at how the Biafran war affected what it meant to be a man or a woman.
Who holds the power?
Early Sixties
Men held power for the most part:
Home (Master-houseboy)
Politics (Ojukwu and Gowon)
Marriage (Ozobia and Art)
Late Sixties
Power shifts to women
Olanna controls Odenigbo (Ch. 31)
War, rape, violence
"They forced themselves on her. Five of them." (Adichie, 526)
Ugwu doesnt know who to obey (301)
Who carries the weight?
Late Sixties
Women still carried a majority of the weight:
Family (food, education)
Early Sixties
Women generally carried the weight of life:
Raising children
Marriage (polygamy, Aunty Ifeka)
Kainene carried extra weight
"Kainene is not just like a son, she is like two," (Adichie, 39)
"He was a short pathway away from home when he saw two soldiers standing next to a van and holding guns. 'You! Stop there!' one of them called." (Adichie, 447)
Who had more influence in Nigeria?
Late Sixties
Men still had more influence in Nigeria:
Battle front (conscription)
"Maybe I should join His Excellancy's new S-brigade." (Adichie, 416)
Home front (building bunkers, p.416)
Early Sixties
Men had more influence in Nigeria
Politics (Odenigbo's parties)
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