Summary and Analysis of Mother had a Dream by Chukwudi Ike Okoye

by Kev

The novel tells us about a promising young girl who had zeal for her education and after achieving her mother’s dream which is to obtain a higher education, she emerged with first class and during her service to her motherland she met her death at Bauchi after the presidential election. She was mourned by all and sundry who knows her.


The novelist tells the story of a promising young girl Adaorah. Adaorah is the only child of her mother and she stays with her uncle Pantelion    in Lagos. Adaorah waiting to get admission into higher institution started working as a sales attendance in Mr. Isaac Onyekwelu’s shop. Isaac Onyekwelu sales tiles, sinks, c-way cistern etc. Adorah been a determined young lady had zeal to further her education; she had applied and sat for many jamb examination but yet did not scale through on the last attempt she was advised by a girl not to wait for the university to give her admission rather she can apply for university and polytechnic. Adaorah considered Temitope’s advise and applied for the two, she was lucky and she got admitted into the federal polytechnic Owerri to study marketing Adaorah been a determined girl went into school and took her studies serious, she later came in contact with Elvis a 200 levelled student who helped her on the wish to take her to bed but his deeds failed. Adorah met a friend who became like her sister in the school hostel, Zinab helped Adaorah out in every area she found challenging in the university. Adorah passed through many challenges as a fresh student and was disturbed by many of her lecturers who want to take her to bed, some promised to buy many things like car for her to accept their proposal but all the promises fell on the deaf ear. Adorah’s mother on hearing the news of Adorah’s admission was so happy because her daughter will fulfil the dream she felled to fulfil. On Adorah’s second year In the institution, she has to go for an industrial training which will last for six month (6), she thought on where to serve her training and decided to go back to her boss shop for her training, having had that knowledge. Adorah went back to Lagos and reported at Isaac’s shop, she found out that thing had greatly changed in the city, when she showed Isaac her program booklet she was employed to serve her I.T program in his shop, but as time goes on Isaac became attracted to Adorah that he could to take his eyes off her, he decided to seek the advice of his friend Fidelis, Fidelis told him that he is in love with the girl and so he should profess his love to her. Isaac took his friend advice and made the first step which was to take Adorah out for lunch after which he asked her to stop working in his shop. Isaac is the only son of his mother and his mother disturbs him always to pick a wife for himself. The mother went to the extent of choosing a wife for him, Isaac made his intention know to Adorah and Adorah told her aunty, aunty Oby, who advised her to follow her heart. Adorah never wants to go into a relationship after what she experienced in the hands of Elvis, she accepted the proposal later and finished her industrial training in another firm.

Adorah starting a new semester, was faced with another challenges which was Isaac’s proposal to her, she contemplated on it and later went ahead to inform her mother, the mother was happy but advised her to finish her studies. Adorah later agreed to marry Isaac and the marriage plans were made. Pantelion had to inform Adaorah’s father Ephraim about his daughter marriage as the custom demands. The marriage preparation lead to the reunion of the both parents Adaorah was angry with the father, for having abandoned her for years, but her mother calmed her down and explained things for her. Adaorah took in and gave birth to a set of twin. Andeline had to accompany her back to school to baby sit the children. Adaorah combined baby-sitting and her studies, she studied so hard that at the end of her program in school she emerged the overall best student, leaving the school with certificate of first class.

Adaorah was posted to the North for her youth service and it happened that, it was in Bauchi where Zinab stays with her husband after staying for the camp she wrote a letter to be deployed back to Lagos, but her request was not granted because her marriage certificate that that was attached to her document was missing. Adaorah continued her service days in Bauchi. It happened that, their service year was the period of election and the corps member were employed to help in electing process.

After the election, there was war outbreak and the main targets of the Muslims where the corps member who helped in conducting the election. Adaorah and her colleagues ran for their life and found confront in the police station but unfortunately for them, they were singled out and the male were killed instantly while the woman were humiliated and raped, Adaorah refused to be raped and she was stabbed to death, she died alongside unborn baby.

The death of Adaorah was great shock to everyone and she was mourned and buried. Her two children were successful one studied law to fulfil the mother dream of becoming a lawyer which she could not fulfil while the other read sciences.

Following to the death of Adaorah, Adeline became an evangelist and the father Ephraim took to drinking but later repented.

The memorial service of Adaorah was celebrated by the family and many came from all comers of the world to witness it. Adaorah’s son promised to make justice prevail for the death of his mother, the justices the government has failed to give.

Setting of the work

The novel is written in Africa. By an African author, it is a novel written in this modern time. It is mainly located in Lagos, Owerri and other part of the eastern state and Northern state. The novel shows what happens in the society.

The language 

The language of the author is simple and easy to understand. Student can comprehend the work easily.


The novel tells us about a promising young girl who had zeal for her education and after achieving her mother’s dream which is to obtain a higher education, she emerged with first class and during her service to her motherland she met her death at Bauchi after the presidential election. She was mourned by all and sundry who knows her.

Theme of the Novel

The themes in the Novel are:

Theme of handwork can be seen in the lives of Adaorah, the main character of the novel. Adaorah, after her secondary education rejected to be idle and took a job for herself as she did the job. She aspired for a better and brighter future, which she can attain only by furthering her education. She was admitted into the higher institution and she studied so hard not minding all the trials she got and at the end of the academic year she emerged as the over-all best student of the institution

Theme of marriage: the theme of marriage can be seen in the novel, when Andeline was married to Ezekiel and after the death of the husband she was re-married to Ephraim, Ezekiel’s younger brother, who later took another life. The theme can be seen in the union of Adaorah and Isaac when they tied the knot as husband and wife.

Theme of war: These themes came alive during Adaorah’s service period. After the election and it happened that their brother a Muslim did not win & they took it up upon themselves to eliminate all the Igbo’s especially the corps members, they killed almost all the corps members serving in their land.

Theme of Re-union: the theme of re-union can be seen between Andeline and Ephraim, after Twenty-three years of separation, the marriage of their daughter Adaorah brought them back together. Ephraim was so happy to have his lost wife back.

Theme of tradition: the theme of tradition can be seen in the novel in simony area of it. It can be seen when Isaac’s mother persuades him to get a bride for himself because she could not want his lineage to end. It can be seen in the re-union of Adaorah’s parents, the wine carrying should not be done at the back of Adaorah’s real father, since the wine he carried in his wife’s head was not returned back after they separated.

Characters in the novel  

The five (5) major characters

  • Adaorah
  • Isaac
  • Pantelion
  • Andeline
  • Aunty Oby

The minor characters

  • Zinab
  • Fidelis
  • Ephraim


Adaorah: She is the main character in the novel. She is a young promising girl whom through the help of her uncle got educational upbringing. Through hr hardwork and determination she got into the higher institution and knowing what she there to do avoiding distractions and faced her studies. She passed though many temptation but exalted in all she got a reward after education, she came out with flying colors and emerged the best graduating student in the time. She was also a good wife, mother and daughter-in-law, she does her duties well. Adaorah lost her life during her service days and was buried by all Sundry who knows her

Isaac: He is a dominate character in the novel. He is said to have been accused by his master for stealing during his aprehentice. Days, his kindred helped in raising money for him to set up his own business. He is Adaorah boss who is known for his hardwok. Being the first son of the family he takes good care of his sick mother. Being the first son the family he takes care of his sick mother he later married Adaorah.

Pantelion: He is Andeline younger brother and Adaorah’s uncle. He took Adaorah from her mother when she was five years old and had trained her as his own child. He is a trader and is married to Obiageli.the mother of Adaorah trader and is married to Obiageli. He is a good husband and father to his children and wife.

Andeline: The mother of Adaorah. The wife of Ephraim. She was determined to study to an end but the war made it difficult for her. She was married to Ezeikel and after their marriage Ezeikel died, she was married to the brother of Ezeikel, Ephraim but after the marriage, she had no child and the kindred mounted pressure on Ephraim and he took another wife, Andeline left the marriage with her unborn baby unknown to the husband she was pregnant. Andeline re-united with the husband before the tradition wedding of the daughter and later became an evangelist after the death of Adaorah.

Aunty Oby: she is a dominate character in the novel. She saw to the upbringing of Adaorah needed one. She is a good mother and a wife to both the husband and children.

Minor characters

Zinab : She is a minor character who played a bit role of a major character. She was said to be Adaorah’s sister. She was Adaorah roommate in the college and when they can confide in each other they became more than a friend. She accommodate Adaorah at her place in Bauchi when she came for her camp exercise.

Fidelis: He is the friend of Isaac and also his classmate in primary school whom helped him secure a shop in Lagos. He always advice Isaac on the things to do when it per-takes love and marriage.

Ephraim: He is the husband of Andeline the father of Adaorah. He married another wife following the pressure on him when his wife cannot give birth to a child. He re-united with his wife and daughter and did everything to pay for the lost days. He turned into a drunkard after the daughter’s death but later was converted.

Literary Techniques used in the Novel

Diction: the diction of the author was simple and easy to understand. The author used a simple language that people can easily red.

Flashback: the use of flashback can be seen in the novel when Andelyn and Ephraim went to Adaorah’s lodge in school after the re-union. Adelyn told the daughter all that happened and how she left the husband. It can also be seen when the author explained whom Isaac was and also we see the use of Flashback when the author tells us hom pantelion was.

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