Half Of A Yellow Sun Literary Analysis

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Adichie’s novel Half of a Yellow Sun is told with true brilliance through her use of pendulum narration, moving from one character narration to the other. The three key narrators of her novel are divergent in every sense – adding to the richness of the books storytelling as their lives interweave through the use of an extradiegetic narration. Ugwu takes us through the life and experiences of an adolescent houseboy coming of age. Olanna shows us the world of a well-educated and privileged woman whose life is irrevocably changed during the tragic events of the Igbo massacres and Biafra war, and Richard, an Englishman and writer, who adopts Biafra as his home country. Each character narrates various pieces of the story and “become dependent on …show more content…
This style of narrative is essentially the “story within a story” (Narrative Theory and the Eraly Novel, n.d.). The story is depicted by a character within the text “who shares” with the other characters of the novel, “a narrative of his or her own” (Narrative Theory and the Eraly Novel, n.d.). It can be argued that Half of a Yellow Sun does uses a metadiegetic narrative as “Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie views the use of a clever book within a book” (Ojiambo, 2014) however, the story within the story only plays a small part within the book and makes an appearance merely at the ends of chapters 3, 6, 12, 18, 21,24, 30, 37. A metatext is also only known to make critical commentary, whereas an Extradiegetic narrator has ‘higher’ level of narration and includes everyone and everything that determines how the story is told – which is the way in which the “the book” is styled in Adichie’s novel. It may even be more suitable to describe “the book” as being Multi-generic as it is made up of verse, prose and reportage. The Extradiegetic narration is when the story is narrated from an outsider’s perspective of a particular text. This narrator is able to communicate, “the primary narrative to an audience equally removed from the story world” (Narrative Theory and the Eraly Novel, n.d.). The narrator is able to communicate with the reader outside the story. In the novel Half of Yellow Sun, Adichie has chosen the Extradiagetic narration to tell her story. The Extradiegetic narration allows for the reader to get a sense of the personal experiences and perspectives of the three characters; Olanna, Richard and Ugwu - allowing the reader to acquire a rich sense of research and experience - the impact of war on various unique

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