Indirect Insight

In the novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, the author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, introduces the reader to several political and economic issues that are occurring in Nigeria at the time that this story is taking place. She does this indirectly through the conversations that transpire between Odenigbo and his fellow colleagues and friends. Odenigbo’s inadvertently gives his viewpoint on Nigeria’s current political system when he tries to explain to Olanna why his mother acted the way she did towards her. He tries to excuse his mother’s behavior by telling Olanna that it should not matter what his mother says because she is a village woman. He says “Nkem, my mother’s entire life is in Abba. Do you know what a small bush village that is?…The real tragedy of our postcolonial world is that the majority of people had no say in whether or not they wanted this new world; rather, it is that the majority have not been given the tools to negotiate this new world” (129). Odenigbo does not believe that any blame should be placed on the village people because it is not necessarily their fault that they are acting they way they are. They have not adjusted to the new life style that is being imposed upon them. No one has taught them how to navigate through this new world. Later, Odenigbo displays his dislike for Balewa, the only prime minister of independent Nigeria, by comparing him to the likes of a puppet. He believes that Balewa will do anything for his masters, the British. “He’s their stooge. They put him there, and they tell him what to do, and he does it, Westminster parliament model indeed” (139). He does not believe that Balewa cares for other African people. He only cares about “the white man”.