”She will look at only one of the corpses, naked, stiff, facedown, and it will strike her that she cannot tell if the partially burned man is Igbo or Hausa, Christian or Muslim, from looking at that charred flesh.”
How does the device of ignorance of the dead serve as a plot device to round Chika’s character?
The quote above portrays the burnt human flesh and destruction to people of multiple ethnicities and religions, that all people have the capability in the world to die in the story. Though Chika is from an elevated social class compared to the woman who she finds her companion in taking refuge, they are both people with worries and fears, which she sees, as well as strength and kindness in the woman who at first she patronizes internally. Chika is allowed to grow through the narrative because her perspective on the enemy, or the “them/us” binary as smaller and less distinct compared to the beginning of the story, which allows her to sees the horrors of social uprising and oppressive governments as opposed to groups of people who persecute one another in attempts to regain justice.