by Kev

Brief Summary

This novel titled “Efuru” revolved a female character called “Efuru”  who is the heroine of the novel but she was betrayed severally by her lovers even when she had loved and practically adored them in all angles.

She was married firstly to Adizua who was poor to the extent that the had no money to pay for Efuru’s Dowry, but besides that Efuru ran away with him to his house to live with him even with a bride price paid on her behalf.

Efuru even when she stayed and lived with Adizua had encountered many undoings and misfortunes, while in his first marriage with Adizua, she lost her only daughter Ogorim and Adizua, her husband clopped with another wind and still she later got married to Gilbert another man yet she also suffered, severely in his hands and later left him.

More also, despite all these she remained good to people around and also she was praised and remembered for her good deeds.



“Efuru ” an eponymous novel by Flora Nwapa is a story with a linear plot- it shows the life of a beautiful young woman called “Efuru” a kind healed fellow who does nothing but to love with everything in her. But she faced so many ordeals of life which is even beyond her understanding and control

The novel started with this beautiful woman Efuru. Efuru came from a well known background and daughter to Nwaslike Ogene Agundu who holds dignity and quity because he is also a fisherman, famer and a great warrior in the village. It was on the festival where young man choose their wives and woman choose their husbands that Efuru met Adizua then after wards agreed to many him despite that Adizua has no money to pay her bride price yet. But Efuru eloped with him and they lived as husbands and with even when Ossai Adizua’s mother asked Adizua what a woman’s doing in his house he plainly told her that Efuru is his wife. Although he has no money yet to pay her bride price but assayed her that he will pay later when he makes some money. Efuru also calined her mother in-law down when she became so uneasy about what Efuru’s father will do on heart that Efuru is living with Adizua her- son.

Which Efuru’s father heard of it he deeded to take some young men of the village to go and get Efuru back , but on getting there they were served very well by Efuru who gave Kola, an alligator paper and a bottle of home pricpaed gin. Made by Nwashike Famous local gin maker there and then they saw that Efuru was happy and satisfied where she was so they decided to let her be. After some time as their tradition states Adizua’s mother met Ugumma the female circumciser who circumcised her though it was really a painful experience for Efuru, but still on it Ossai her mother in- law took good care of her fill the one mouth as stated by tradition elapsed, even every other person in the villaged singed Ossai praises, that she took very good care of “Efuru”

More over Efuru decided to go into trading. She is not ready for farm work, so while . she is no trading her husband goes farming and coking back foum products for “Efuru” but after one harvest season Adizua decided to quit farming and proceed into trading, then together with Efuru his wife they trading yam; fish and crayfish in the town and they made a lot of profit from it. So since no downy was paid on Efuru they decided to pay Efuru’s bride price- so one day they went to Efuru’sfather Nwashike  Ogene, Adizua together with his uncle and paid Efuru’s bride price. But after two years of marriage they had no issue not even one to boost of, then people began to gossip about Efuru and how barren she was. So when she became worried she told her father, her took her to a Dibia that said she was not barren but she had no much children in her womb but  there after gave her the sacrifices she will perform mother to concave and gave her an assurance that she was going to conceive after the next Owu Festival. Despite all these Adizua refused too marry another wife even after Efuru and Ossai her mother advised him to do so, but at the long run she took in and conceived and when they went back to the Dibia for apposition but he told them to return, on returning the Dibia had already died.

Later Efuru gave birth to a baby girl named “ Ogirim, Ogea the daughter of Ossai’s cousin Nwosu came to stay with Efuru, so as to help- out in something Ogea was only ten years old when she came.

Shortly after Adizua started having problems with Efuru even nothing is the problem, before Efuru new it Adizua said that he was trave thing to Ndomi, they he stayed for over years he was not yet back when “Ogirim” their daughter died yet she did not return, but Efuru carried endlessly for her child Ogirim but nothing could by doing, she was consoled by friends and long  side with Ajamufu who was her mid-wives on the day Efuru Delivered Ogirim when after so many years Efuru wanted and daughter for Adizua her husband even a advised by her father yet , it was futile effort, so when Gilbert known as Eneberi Uberife but had to be named and baptized Gilbart when he went to school because the church then regarded African named as pagam names.

So later on, because of Efuru’s good heart and kind gestures towards people even  how she took Nwosu Ogea’s father to Dr Uzaru’s to queen him of his illness that spread throughout the whole village, Gilbert did not water time and he went on and paid for Efuru’s bride stage they enjoyed every bit of the marriage do things together and play like kids, but after some years again, she wasn’t able to get pregnant for bilbert, so she advised her husband to get another wife which he did and but even before Efuru had a dream which his father interpreted that she was alive but her father cousulted Eresha Agoru, the dibia to look into her problem. Then he  told Efuru that she has been chosen by Uhamiri the woman of the lake to perform, but after words four years in marriage yet nothing came no child. So that was when Gilbet took the second wife “Nkoyeni’ a sister to “ Sunday Emeka” Gilberts childhood friend. Yet Gilbet had a son by one Ndoni woman so when the child came to stay with them Nkoyeni refused that the child will stay and Amounted to leave the house if the boy did not go back to Ndoni where he comes from.

Afterwards Efuru’s father Nneashike died, because at that time Gilbert travelled to Onicha and no knows his where about and he did not even attend Nneashike’s buried. But after wards he later came back, that was when Efuru knows that she is being at lost again after all.

She has also done for Gilbert, because Efuru  heard that Eneberi was Jailed all those which he was in Onicha when she friend confronting him, Gilbert told him that he was not failed because of stealing even when Nkoyani heard it also, he made troubles with Gilbert over the issue.

Then after some days Efuru took ill and after series of treatment by her mother in- laws through the help of some Dibia’s yet no cure, so as her sickness because worst Omirima came to Anude Gilberts mother and told her that Efuru’s illness was because she committed Adultery, so on believing this she went and told Eneberi Gilbert though he never believed at first but he later believed and accused ‘Efuru’ of committing adultery. Because Odea has come of age and Efuru married her to Gilbert to at least give him a child, so the news of the Aligation got Ajanupu came she was bittered and cursed Enebeti that not will go well for him Eneberi slapped her and she used pastel and  broke. Eneberi’s head and Eneberi was hospitalized while Ajampu took Efuru’ to Aba and treated her there.

Then the novel ended when Efuru was asking herself a questions while. She was meditating at night about the woman of the lank.



The novel was a colonial novel. The period colonization was still at its peak due to the things mentioned by the writer like, men padding or travelling with boats and also how Eneberi’s name was baptized into Gilbert when the white men came because they considered native names as paganism

It also have a cultural and social back ground because the actions of the novel revolves around cultural happenings at that time.



Theme of Barrenness or infertility

The issue of infertility was what was the major problem in the novel and there also was considered as a major problem or a bad in Igbo land. Efuru’s major problem was nothing else but infertility and childlessness, and that was why she supported severally in the hands of the men she got married to and even watch and support them to get to another without reflecting it here “Efuru” was redeed to nothing that she had to make Eneberi get married to “Ogea” a child that he knows  when she was born, a child that was bearly ten when she came to live with her in her formed home so this is the major theme of the story.


There was true love in the heart of Efuru to everyone around, starting from when she despite all, decided to chief with Adizua a poor wretched man that cannot even afford her bride price and even while she was with Gilbert despite all ordeals. She stayed and loved and wanted his good. Even to Nwosu and his households, depite that they did not even thank her for taking Nwosu to the hospital but she still loved and helped them when the need arises.



Efuru =She is the heroine of the novel who the story revolves around. She a very beautiful woman with a loving heart but it seems everything do not work out smoothly.

Adizua – he is Efuru’s first husband and the an she clopped with out of love even when he has not paid her bride  price, he was the same person who clopped to Ndomi with another woman who left her husband, abandoning Efuru and his only child Ogirim

Eneberi Uberife Gilbert- He is Efuru’s second husband who also treated her bably and accused her of adultery after everything Efuru has passed through with him.

Ajamupu– she is Efuru’s highest confident and a kind of savior, she is always there for Efuru at any point, she was the mother Efuru has and every thing Efuru has and she was also who helped Efuru to deliver and nurse he baby Ogirim

Nwashike Ogene:  He was Efuru’s father a story warior, farmer and fisher he was another conpident Efuru has he helps Efuru his daughter to any length just to make sure that she is well. He was the person that even met the Dibia that performed the ritual that even made Efuru to take in while she was still Adizua her first husband and also many other helps.

More also the writer has all other minor characters that helped in the development of the story like Ogea, Nwosu, Ossai, Amede, Omarima Nkoyeni e. t c



The diction of the writer contains simple English and also Igbo Language and some translations to them. The writer made use of simple English that could be understood by everyone them the Igbo Language there is referred to as code- mixing that is bringing on a foreign Language into another while writing.



The writer used a third person point of view. She employed this point of view. She employed this point of view just to tender her story or place he story the way it would be suitable for every reader.

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