Examples Of Spousal Betrayal In Half Of A Yellow Sun

Decent Essays
Spousal betrayal
According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary ‘to betray’ means to hurt somebody who trusts you especially by not being loyal or faithful. It frequently happens in our societies between two siblings, two spouses or two States. Adichie depicts this situation throughout all her works. Half Of A Yellow Sun, her second novel is no exception in this regard. In fact, the novel is a love story between Odenigbo and Olanna, two lecturers at the university of Nsukka. Olanna’s parents, Mr and Mrs Ozobia use her as sexual bait in order to get business contrat from politicians. But she is clever enough and has rejected three wealthy men for Odenigbo : chief Okonji, chief Okaro and Okagbue’s son all proposed to her by her materialistic
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By so doing, Odenigbo betrays her fiancée Olanna who has rejected beforehand the opportunity to marry a Finance minister. Unfortunately, African beliefs and customs do not condemn men’s infidelity. It is even seen as a sign of bravery. Patriarchy condones and even encourages infidelity on the part of men. Olanna is upset and traumatised by the situation. She went to complain to her aunt Ifeka who cheers her up because she was out of herself. After ruminating her situation for many days, she has finally found the solution that suit her best ; to avenge herself. Rather than wallow in dejection and in self pity after discovering the infidelity Olanna seduces and sleeps with Richard, the enigmatic Englishman who is engaged to Kainene her twin sister. She enjoys the sexual escapade and so does Richard. Indeed what man can resist a woman described as ‘illogically pretty…a water mermaid ?(49). Olanna does not regret the sexual satisfaction which she withdraws from sleeping with the white man. An authorial voice let us know : ‘It made her feel like she was throwing shackles off her wrists, extrating pins from her skin, freeing herself … Afterwards, she felt filled with a sense of well-being, with something close to…show more content…
It is a kind of freedom which satisfies and relaxes and rejuvenates one and sets one free from one’s anxieties. Nobody sees them doing it but she avows it to her fiancé. By so doing Olanna breaks the statuquo. Olanna, fiancée to Odenigbo known to everybody in the University of Nsukka dares sleep with another man and say it openly to her future husband. Her action would not have had any importance if she had not informed Odenigbo. She informs him purposedly ; to let him feel what she has felt when he did the samething with Amala. Here, Adichie uses her feminist weapon to charter such denigrating and degrading treatments meted out to women by their lover. Olanna has reached her goal because Odenigbo is upset and frustrated at hearing her love affair with Richard. He is obliged to forgive her the way she did to him. Adichie puts Odenigbo in the same condition he has put Olanna in to show that men through patriarchy should stop ill-treating women and that like men women have a conscience, feelings and a soul. The situation reminds me of a custom in Things Fall Apart where the woman should say publicly how many men have slept with her since her fiancé has first expressed the desire to marry her (TFA ; 11). Nobody asks such a question to men simply because patriarchy has made people believe that men are superior to women and should not be controlled. Adichie by making Olanna sleep with Richard is making a clarion call for the
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