SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS OF CHILDREN OF THE EAGLE BY AKACHI ADIMORA-EZEIGBO

by Kev
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SUMMARY

Children of the eagle can be described as a novel that portrays different issues in the society. In the beginning of the novel, the family members are requested by their dead father before he died to write about the family.

Nnenne is said to be the greatest writer takes up the task and describes to interview them in order to get more information than on their life events, by doing so this reopens the wounds the family member had tried to seal.

During this interview we find out that Obioma, during her secondary school days got pregnant for a white military man. She slept with the man in order to make money because she was dying of starvation in the hostel. We the readers also find out that Nkem their younger is not really their brother but their nephew.

We find out about Ogbonna’s past lover Harry who died during the war on a mission because he was a squadron leader. She then later marries a man called Uzoma whom she didn’t love and who made their marriage a living hell. He (Uzoma) refuses to pay for anything in the house.

We find out about Amara who is in love with a white man called Nicholas. Amara plans of not giving birth to a child which Nicholas agrees to.

The writer of the family book Nnenne also has secrets too. She is married to Afam, who does not come and tries to control her like a robot who obeys to his every command. We also see Chiaku who is married before but later divorces .but no one knows the truth because Chiaku did not invite anyone to the marriage but only sent pictures to indicate her husband. The novel also portrays societal issues and problems in Nigeria, which is in dire need for a change but no one is making any efforts in resolving the issues.

 

PLOT

This is the background information of the novel.  The expositions of the novel are shown through flashbacks by the major characters. Like in page 85. During Nnenne’s interview with their mother. In that flashback eagle woman takes us back to 1957. When her husband was still alive. She tells us about Uneli Reuben’s visit in port city in order for papa to sell the four plots of land papa has in Enyimba city to Uncle Reuben’s disappointment papa rejected his request. That period the children were still teenagers but Amara.

It is through the flashback in the novel we the reader sees the civil war that happened around 1957, in the flashback we can see how papa and mama suffered. This war also makes Obioma sleep with a white captain in the military barracks.

Initiating Incident

This is the stage in the novel that changes the situation established in the exposition and sets the conflict in motion in a narrative.

The initiating incident in the novel is when papa died leaving mama alone with the six children.

After his death, his brothers came to mama to collect their share from papa’s property, that was not the only problem mama faced. The children of the man who sold the land came to mama after papa died to start making about the land saying that the landmark is inverting into another compound space, that the land marking was not done properly. Not only that after papa died a creature started attacking the compound at night, masking a horrible howl and digging a hole near the fence, the neighbors tongue started wagging saying that papa spirit is the creature haunting the night.

 Raising Action

This is the point of complication, the tying of knots in a story. The rising action in the children of the eagle is when Nnenne decided to write the book about their family history. Thereby reopening sealed wounds and sears they have not get recovered from.

Climax

The climax in this novel occurred when Nkemdirim did not come back on the day of the celebration.

After a while Unele Nnamdi’s servant Obed came to the family in one morning to deliver bad news that their brother Nkemdirim was involved in a motor accident that sends him to the hospital and that he was unconscious for more than three days. On hearing this news mama faints, which raises alarm in the house.

Falling Action

This occurs when mama wakes up from the faint and every people decides to take the in good faith and hope that Nkemdirim will be alright. We can see that the siblings does not lose hope and still continues to plan Amarachi’s traditional marriage.

Denouncement

This is the ending of the novel. The denouncement of this novel occurs when Uncle Nnamdi comes to mama bearing good news from her son. The family finds out that Nkemdirim is still alive and will be joining them in a short while. The whole family jubilates because of the good news.

 

SETTINGS

This novel the children of the eagle has different background in the novel. Different cities were been mentioned in this book.  Umuga is being mentioned. This is the eagle woman and her children’s hometown. The children come back to Umuga to see their mother and sometimes stay for Christmas holiday. Kada city is being mentioned. This is where Uncle Nnamdi lives. This is also where Nkemdirim is studying medicine. London is also being mentioned. This is where Chiaka works as a medical doctor. This is also where Nicholas lives and where Adanna went to on a lecturer’s conference.

Coal City: This city is also one of the cities being mentioned in the novel. This is one of the places papa is being transferred to and this is also where Obinna studied.

Lagoon City: This is residence of Nnnenne and her family members.

Eyimba City: This is where papa bought four plots of land which uncle Reuben wanted to collect. This is also one of the cities papa was being transferred to but was later transferred.

Port City: This is also one of the cities papa and mama lived in before finally settled in Umuga. This is one of the cities papa was being transferred to because of his promotions.

Atagu is also one of the cities papa and eagle woman lived in. The time of the novel can be traced to the 1990’s. like in page 91 in the beginning we can see that the event of that day took place on Saturday, December 22, 1990 and also in page 85 mama made mention of the civil war that happened in 1957 during the civil war. The novel also made mention of the Biafra war.

 

THEMES

Theme of Regret

The theme of regret in this novel can be traced to the characters Ogonna, Nnenne and Obioma. Ogonna regrets ever getting married to Uzoma. Who does not contribute anything in the family and does not see a problem in it and yet eats what Ogonna puts on the table and when she tries to complain, he asks her what she uses her salary to do. Obioma regretted ever succumbing to her talk. She regrets ever following Florence to the barrack s and also not telling Ikechi her darkest secrets.

Nnenne also regrets ever getting married to Afam. He does not provide enough for the family and always tells Nnenne what to wear. When Nnenna tried to complain about the house allowances, she mentioned that her father always provides for the mother and them when he was alive, Afam asked her why she did not marry her father.

Theme of image of the omen in the society

In Umuga women are regarded as nothing but weaker vessels to step on and crush in page 85, the writer explains to us that women are not permitted to own a land even if you paid for it. Also when Amara was talking on the issue of ferminism, their mother told her to shut up. Women were also not allowed to see the village council because they are women and not men. We can also see the way Afam beats his wife Nnenna. He treats her like trash. He does not eat her food, has a separate room. He also tells her what to wear. And we can also see this in mama’s issue. After papa’s death, the sons of the seller of the land started making problems about the land that has already been paid for.

Theme of War

The writer of these books uses her novel to take the society the consequences of war. In the novel we can see the aftermath of the civil war. Buildings were destroyed. Properties were marked as abandoned properties. This is the same war that took the love of Ogbonna’s wife (Harry) and Florence’s two brothers. After the war, we can see that the people were suffering of starvation.

Theme of Secrets

 This theme is being portrayed by the Okwara family numbers. The family members are filled up with secrets they do not want to let out to the public. Obioma has a secret that burdens her yet she refuses to tell her husband with fear that he may leave her. We readers are not told the secrets of Chiaka but we suspect that her secrets are deeper than a deep pit. Nnenna and Ogonna have problems in their marriages but they refuse to tell their mother in fear that she may collapse.

 

CHARACTERS

Nnenna Okwara-Nduka

She is a senior lecturer at the university of the South in Lagoon city, married with two children- a daughter and a son. She is married to a man named Afam who she met at a cinema and married in her final year. She is a very intelligent woman, a poet and a writer.

She is the second child of the eagle woman. She is also the who has taken up the task to write the family history but she is told to guide their secrets from the public and her book. She is in a loveless marriage, where her husband does not talk to her and has a separate mom and also tries to control her. She is a strong woman.

Ogonna Okwara-Nduka

She is a secondary school teacher in Lagan city. Married with four children- two sons and two daughters. She is also in a loveless marriage where her husband does not provide for her and her children, she had to open up a trading business in order for her and her children to survive.

She is an intelligent woman who can identify a tree with just looking and touching it. She is also strong. She is the person whom the writer told we the reader had a cover during the civil war who was called Harry and was the squadron flight leader, he was a military man. He died during the war which left Ogonna’s heartbroken for a long period of time.

Obioma Okwara Ebo

She is a church leader, pastor and evangelist who lives in Lagoon city. Married with four children – two sons and two daughters. She is married to the love of her life Ikechi who is a part-time pastor. She is withholding a dark secret of her past from her husband Ikechi. When she was in secondary school, she was dying of starvation. She met a girl named Florence who took her to the Army barrack to make fast, free money. There she met captain Roberts who slept with her for the night.

She got pregnant, came back home and told her parents who took her t stay with the Odeyemi’s who took care of her back home pretending the baby boy was hers. She (mama) named him Nkemdirim.

Amara Okwara

She is a journalist living in Coal city. She is single and has no intentions of bringing children into the world. She is a strong ferminist and a great talkative. She asks question that does not concerns her, for example when she asked Chiaku what her real relationship with her black American friend was. She loves a white man named Nicholas and intends to marry him.

Chiaku Okwara-Kwesi

She is a medical doctor who practices medicine in London and lives in a flat with her African-American friend. She is divorced for her husband of three years. She does not have a child. She is said to be petite.

Nkemdirirm Okwara

He is a secondary school boy in Kada city, the youngest member of the family. He is said to be down to earth. He is the son Obioma had with the white military man.

Nicholas

He is a white man that intends to marry Amara. He tells her that he does not want to have a child because of the ugly divorce his parents went through at his tender age. He is said to be gentle, kind and down to earth. He lives in London.

Ikechi

 He is the husband of Obioma. He is married to her and has four children with her. He is a part-time pastor. He does not yet kneow Obioma’s darkest, deepest secret.

 

LITERARY TECHNIQUES

Simile

The literary technique simile is said to be used in the novel, the Children of the Eagle. For example in the page 89, “mama withdrew into her room like a snail protected by its shell”.  “She struggles it off like a duck’s bath that is imperious to water.

Proverbs

The novel Children of Eagle is said to have proverbs because the setting of the book is mostly based in rural setting.

 “A lizard that nods his head for the downfall of his colleague should die of a stiff neck.

Example 

Pg 89 “Eyes that flash like lightning sight legs that fly like a shooting star” I will not wash my hands and crack nuts for a fowl to carry.

Motifs

The motifs in the novel is exactly found in the title of the novel “The Children of the Eagle”. In Umuga, the eagle is predominant in their culture. In Umuga, the eagle is seen as a bird of distinction. Everything about then bird is valued including its feathers and claws. The eagle is even believed to see three times better than human beings.

Language

The language is said to be very simple enabling the readers to connect with the booth and the writer. Also enabling the reader to understand the morals the writer is trying to teach. In the morals in the novel and the novel itself.

The writer of the book adopted the African style of writing. In the novel, we can see that she makes uses of English, Igbo and Pidgin to a certain appealing level, thereby making the readers of the book to enjoy the book.

Flashback

This novel the Children of the Eagle is filled with the literary technique flashback. It is through the flashback we are able to know their hidden and know how they suffered in order to become what they are.

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