What happens when the conversation becomes reality?

“the conversations no longer ended in reassuring laughter, and the living often seemed clouded with uncertainties, with unfinished knowledge, as if they all knew something would happen and yet did not know what. None of them would ever have imagined that this would happen, that the announcer on ENBC Radio Enugu would be saying now, as Ugwu straightened the tablecloth ‘We have confirmed reports that up to five hundred Igbo people have been killed in Maidurguri’” (179).


Adichie explores how the characters’ views of civil war change throughout the course of the war as the violence increases, and the point of the war and the views of the characters begin to change as well. In the above quote from Half of a Yellow Sun, the characters who used to be so excited that a coup had taken place in Nigeria were now skeptical of the consequences and the second coup and were worried of what was to come. No one had anticipated such violence and this response to the much rallied behind overthrow of the government. Now they were uncertain of what they wanted to happen next, what could happen, and what needed to happen for the violence to end. Before they would argue their points and laugh at each other as they were just making up scenarios of what should or could happen, but now it is happening and they don’t know what or how to stop it. They didn’t realize that the change they vied for would result in this outcome and they didn’t think of the consequences of the change they rallied behind. They didn’t realize their fellow countrymen who are now their enemies would be full of such hatred from the coup. Adichie reveals that the characters did not put much thought into what others were thinking, just what they wanted and desired, and not what the outcome or result would be from these types of actions.