La discusión más importante fue sobre el final de la novela. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie crea varios personajes prometedores. Odenigbo, el profesor, anti imperialista, amante de los buenos libros, el buen brandy y la música clásica; Ugwu, el campesino que llega a la casa de Odenigbo, el devorador de libros, el pequeño hombre que aprende las ventajas dedesarrollar el intelecto, Kainene & Olanna, las dos gemelas no idénticas, hijas de padres adinerados, muy educadas: Olanna idealista y bella, capaz de hablar igbo e inglés con perfecto acento; Kainene la práctica (y no tan bella) capaz de lidear con bandidos, bribones políticos y contrabandistas ,heredera de los mismos instintos de negociante de su padre. Richard, es el británico perdido en este pais que no entiende y al que ha llegado para encontrarse a sí mismo. Richard en proceso de escribir un libro, Ugwu en el proceso de aprender a escribirlo.

La historia está bien contada, los personajes se desarrollan, se complican, crecen. Sin embargo, hacia la tercera parte la mayor parte de ellos se desinfla (un cierto sabor amargo en la boca, como si la novela estuviera inconclusa o como si la escritora no se hubiera tomado todo el tiempo necesario para construir el desenlace.

Interesante la perspectiva histórica-la guerra civil en Nigeria y la lucha por crear el estado independiente de Biafra.

Pero sólo Tolstoi puede contar toda una guerra y a la vez escribir una obra maestra (claro, con 800 páginas más).

 

Response paper to Half of a Yellow Sun

Ugwu wonder[s] if he had died and this was what happened at death: an unending journey in a car. (395)

 

War is very ugly” says Adichie’s father. Adichie’s book is the novel of a group of people and their transformation through the war’s experience.

Like the best novels, the heroes are depicted as human beings, with all their defects. Ugwu will never forget the day when the worst of him emerged. His sister’s rape reminds him of a guilt that he will carry on his shoulders all his life.

I admire the way Adichie used the disappearance of Kainene to give Half of a Yellow Sun a mood that stays with the reader after finishing the last page of the novel.

Kainene represents the people who disappeared in the war, but at the same time creates in the reader a sense of loss that is stronger than the death of a character. Nobody knows, we can even imagine that not even the writer knows, what has happened to Kainene.

Adichie creates a character that redeems herself through the experience of the war. For exemple, Kainene seems to be more human than ever when she helps the people at the refugee camp. Kainene is the one who seems to understand better than anyone else the mechanics of the war.

The transformation of Richard surprised me also. He seemed to be a character lost in an unknown territory–a version of Conrad’s Marlow. Marlow is surrounded by a hostile land and people who will never understand him completely. However, Richard ends like Lord Jim, because he is the one that Ugwu looks to find some comfort after the war. He is the one who understands Ugwu’s heart, and what to do after the news of tragic death of Eberechi.

Madu, the patriotic and heroic symbol of the military resistance, seems at the end to be the one who can’t understand Richard.

Olanna and Odenigbo, who started as the crucial characters of the plot, ended as the more crumbled, the more deteriorated. Their faith let them survive the war, but they look as weak and hollow as the house they found back in Nsukka.

Through all, the book is very important in mentioning books that play an important role in the development of the plot. One of the books is the one that Richards is writing. The other is the one that Ugwu writes, inspired by the Narrrative of Frederick Douglas.

Like Adichie, the books are used as vehicles of transformation and healing. They inspired the authors, and the authors write their owns book looking to inspire others.

Maybe the best revenge for Adichie is the scene when Ugwu discovered the pile of books burned in the patio of the Nsukka house: “Why did they have to burn them?” Ugwu asks (418). Maybe it is the same reason that explains why people have to write books after a war–to keep the memory of what has happened alive.
As Adichie says at the end of her final note: May we always remember (435.)

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