Half of a Yellow Sun

Limiting the Narrative: This is Not a Romance College

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie is a literary tour de force that examines Nigerian culture through the lens of three main characters. The novel focuses on violence and the familial relationships of core characters over a significant period of time, the Biafran War. Some of the fundamental issues that Adichie focuses on is the way femininity and masculinity are performed though these specific characters and how these roles are treacherous and sometimes devastating to relationships and morality. The film representation of Half of a Yellow Sun lacks focus on the subjection of women as inhuman beings, the nature of masculinity as portrayed through sexual violence, and the dichotomization of men and women into separate spheres; by distorting the narrative to fit the lens of Olanna the film is unable to portray femininity and masculinity as a structure of culture and power like Adichie does in the text.

In the film Ugwu is fascinated with Olanna as a sexual being and intimidated by her intellectual prowess. In contrast, in the novel Ugwu is obsessed with the sex to the point where rape becomes a reflective fantasy of the cultural impact of his surroundings. His growth within Odenigbo’s house challenges some of his ideas...

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