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Prose; Summary of Second class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta and past questions.

Prose; Summary of Second class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta and past questions; This prose is necessary for students who are sitting for the following examinations and should be studied so as to stand a chance of passing the exams. JAMB, WAEC, NECO, GCE.

PLOT SUMMARY (Prose; Summary of Second class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta and past questions.)

The main character, Adah Ofili, is an Ibo woman from Ibuza, Nigeria, who now resides in Lagos. She was conceived during World War II. The parents believed that because she was a girl, she did not require a western education, although her younger brother Boy was sent to school. Adah forcibly entered the Methodist School where their neighbor, Mr. Cole, worked as a teacher. Ma was detained by the police after they learned that it was ludicrous for a mom to actively dissuade her child from attending school. As a young child, Adah fantasizes about migrating to the UK. Adah is taken to live with her uncle’s family after her father passes away since Ma remarries. She faces a variety of difficulties, including being treated like a slave by her uncle’s children, having to perform numerous arduous house duties before going to school, and being forced to be married when she finishes school.

 Despite all odds, she completes her education in Nigeria and finds a job as a library clerk for the British embassy. She can get enough money from this work to make Francis and her InIaws want her as their wife. Francis, a conservative, adheres to the Igbo culture that denigrates women, thinks he is the boss of his wife and doesn’t think a man’s primary responsibility is to provide for his immediate family.

Francis spends several years studying law in the United Kingdom. Adah assumed the role of earner, mother, wife, and caregiver for her kids, but her husband never shows her any love. Adah persuades the relatives of her husband that she and the kids are British citizens as well.

As soon as she arrives in the UK, where she had imagined they would have a pleasant environment in which to live, read, and raise their children, she is disappointed leading to an unrealistic hope of love and peace. Francis thinks that because they are not British citizens, they are treated as second-class people there. Adah secures a job at another library, covering their expenditures and serving as the primary caregiver for their kids.

While all of this was going on, Francis resorted to verbal and physical abuse on his wife Adah, and the kids. Francis takes offense when Mr. Okpara, a fellow Igbo living in England, points out that a man who didn’t give a damn about his children’s upbringing will soon realize that he will no longer be a man. Additionally, he dismisses Adah’s efforts to become a writer. The burning of Adah’s book manuscripts, which she refers to as her “brainchild,” by Francis represents the height of his depravity. This ends up being the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back. The only things Adah took from her marriage were her kids and the fifth pregnancy.


THEMES (Prose; Summary of Second class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta and past questions.)

The theme of Motherhood: The condition of motherhood is a two-edged sword for Adah. She adores her kids and gives her all to help them, keep them content, and make sure they can go to school. The fact that Adah is the only parent who works and makes money, however, adds to the weight of the children, which at times seems overwhelming. In order for the family to maintain financial stability, she must leave occupations she enjoys in order to give birth, then she must rapidly find new jobs thereafter.

Adah makes the decision to focus all of her attention on her children and stop worrying about Francis after having a cesarean section following the delivery of her third kid. She needs rest and healing. She also makes the decision to stop having children in the future. She is aware that she is in London to further her education, but she is unable to do so at the moment due to her current situation. Francis learns that Adah obtained birth control covertly and restricts its usage. While finally preparing to part ways with Francis, she gives birth to a fourth child and discovers she is expecting a fifth.

  Adah decides to take her kids away from Francis in order to protect them. At the conclusion of the book, Adah tells the judge during her legal battle with Francis, “The children are mine, and that is enough. I shall never let them down as long as I am alive.

The book draws an intriguing comparison between Adah’s book and her children, contrasting the process of giving birth with that of finishing her manuscript. Bill informs her that writers refer to their works as their “brainchildren,” a description that Adah finds particularly endearing.

Immigration: The hardships and sheer mistakes that often accompany immigration are accurately depicted in Second class Citizen. Nigerians who move to London with the goal of getting a top-notch education and returning to their home country as influential and prosperous people have aspirations of doing just that. Although many people do not succeed after arriving in the UK, the story implies that this road to success is frequently exceedingly difficult.

One such instance is Pa Noble. He worked hard to study in England and return to Nigeria to acclaim as a Nigerian guy. Instead, he botched his law school exams, hurt himself while working outside, and now earns money by renting out rooms in a dilapidated home. Francis too fails all of his tests and is unable to fulfill his dream of becoming an accountant in the civil service. Due to her employment obligations and several pregnancies, Adah is unable to continue her education as she had intended.

Due to xenophobia and racial discrimination, immigrants find it challenging to advance in society even when they perform honest work. Emecheta provides a soberingly realistic depiction of what it was like to travel from Lagos to London in the 1960s, even though there is a sense of hope for Adah at the novel’s conclusion.

Loveless marriage: Francis and Adah’s marriage in Emecheta’s “Second—Class Citizen” is not based on true love. Adah married Francis at a young age since she lacked a family member who would be willing to take her in and all she wanted was a place to study. Although the marriage begins out on the wrong foot because both of them are minors and the pair even forgets to bring a ring to the ceremony, when Francis showed up, she saw it as an opportunity.

Francis is unmotivated and curious about what Adah has to offer. They had a lot of disagreements, all of which indicate that there is no love in their marriage.

Feminism: The feminist journey of the protagonist, Adah, is at the heart of the feminist theme in the book “Second Class Citizen.” In a society where men predominately rule or make decisions, as is the case in our culture or tradition, feminism seeks to increase the freedom or welfare of women. In the book, the narrator raises concerns about how women are treated unfairly and how presumptions have been made about them. Because everyone was anticipating and had prophesied a boy kid, the birth of Adah was not documented in the novel’s opening episode. This shows that culture prioritized male children more than female children. While her brother Boy is urged to attend school, Adah is also discouraged from receiving a western education. Adah became aware of the sexes as a result of the further and more cruel treatment of a girl youngster.

Adah is forced to choose an elderly suitor while deciding who to wed, but she longs for a young suitor so she married Francis instead.

Adah is portrayed as “the IBO tigress,” and she is known for being feisty, especially when it comes to her spouse. The novel does a good job of establishing her feminist brashness, especially when she leaves her husband and moves to rent a two-bedroom apartment with her kids.

Characters (Prose; Summary of Second class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta and past questions.)

Adah Obi, née Ofili

Second-Class Citizen’s main character, Adah, is recounted from a third-person perspective that is near to her own. Adah was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, and has always wanted to visit the UK. Despite the fact that education is neither required nor expected of girls in her nation, she insists on pursuing it. Both of her parents pass away when she was still quite young: her mother after Adah weds Francis, and her father, Pa, when she was just a tiny child. Adah ultimately decides to get married young—as a teenager—in order to have a secure existence from which to complete her studies in the wake of Pa’s premature death.

Adah weds Francis Obi with the intention of having a happy marriage and going to England for her profession and education. Adah has her daughter Titi very soon after being married, and less than two years later, she is expecting her son Vicky. She tells Francis that she wants to go to England while she is pregnant, but at first, he decides to travel without her or the kids. After Vicky is born, she moves in with him, and before long, Adah becomes pregnant with Bubu, their third child. Adah is dissatisfied with their surroundings, and she becomes irate at her husband’s lack of ambition and inability to find employment.

Adah secures a job at a library but is unable to stay there for too long due to her pregnancy. She makes a secret attempt to get birth control after nearly passing away while giving birth to Bubu and pledges never to have another child. However, her domineering husband swiftly coerces her into confessing and prevents her from utilizing “the cap” or any other kind of contraception. As a result, Dada, Adah’s fourth child, is conceived. Adah makes the decision to stop asking Francis for anything after the birth of Dada and simply to treat the kids as her own. She also starts writing, fulfilling an “ancient desire” of hers, and finishes the draft of a book called The Bride Price.

After showing her husband ‘The Bride Price’, Adah eventually decides to leave him after he burns the piece and constantly beats her. Adah assumes full parental responsibility for the kids and gets her own apartment, even though Francis would not give her any financial support and has burned the paperwork proving his paternity.

The optimistic quality of Adah’s character forces her to develop realism as the story progresses in order for her to survive. She is a smart, hard-working woman who zealously guards her children. She puts up with Francis’s abuse for much too long in the hopes that he will change. But eventually, she decides to leave him for the sake of her children and herself.

Francis Obi

Adah gets married to Francis in Nigeria when she is just a teenager. Adah likes him and wants to get married since it will provide her security, but he cannot afford her expensive bride price. Soon after their wedding, Francis left to study accounting in England.

He is an African who is self-conscious and enjoys flaunting his maleness, the gender that is recognized in his immediate culture. He never seems to make much progress, and he appears to love living in poverty. He fails every exam and attributes his failure to Adah.

Francis turns Trudy, his children’s nanny, into his lover despite the fact that he is a very traditional man who finds it difficult to establish friends. Francis has a somewhat conventional view of gender roles, although he does not believe that he is required to support his wife and children financially. He destroyed his wife’s manuscript, which is clear proof that he is evil. Additionally, he destroys the birth certificates for both his children and his marriage.

Francis is Igbo-centric in both his thoughts and deeds. He lets the Igbo way of life dictate how he interacts with his wife, which is the main cause of their disagreements.

Pa Noble

Pa Noble is a Nigerian who has tried unsuccessfully to find success in England. After their initial landlords eject them, Adah, Francis, and their kids finally reside in his home. Pa Noble was known as a clown or fool by white folks who made fun of him and forced him to prove that Africans do not come pre-equipped with tails. This is how he got his name. Pa Noble was no longer able to conduct manual labor after hurting himself at the office while attempting to raise an elevator. He anticipated earning money by purchasing a home and collecting rent, but the two women who were already residing there at the time of his acquisition steadfastly refused to do so.

Adah and Francis ask Pa about renting a room in his home following the murders of the women. Later, while Adah and Francis are fighting, Pa steps in to stop Francis from humiliating his wife in front of the other tenants for trying to use birth control without notifying him. Pa acknowledges that she shouldn’t have lied, but he informs Francis that his wife is allowed to decide not to have any more children.

Sue Noble

Pa Noble’s wife; Sue is a white woman. Because they don’t have a lot of money, Sue and Pa treat their kids with Christmas gifts they bought on credit. When Francis and Adah rent a room in their run-down and filthy home, Sue is a cheerful and welcoming presence, despite Adah’s assumption that Francis and Sue will have an affair. Sue allows Francis to watch television in the Nobles’ area of the house, something they occasionally do together. Sue criticizes Adah for not being able to buy her children Christmas presents, but she also steps in to assist her by phoning the police when Francis starts beating Adah so severely that Sue fears for Adah’s life.

Boy Ofili

Due to his gender, Boy, Adah’s younger brother, receives a better and more expensive education than she does. Boy and Adah are divided between several houses after their father passes away, and she doesn’t see her brother again until the day she departs for England from Nigeria. Adah feels touched and thankful that he is on the platform waving goodbye. Later, they correspond by letter, and Boy sends Adah money and exhorts her to leave Francis.


Trudy is a lady who works as a daily minder, or babysitter, in London. Francis won’t watch the kids during the day because he claims they interfere with his studies, so Adah takes the kids to Trudy while she works at the library. Trudy is a mother of two, although it doesn’t appear that their father is involved. When Adah visits Trudy’s kids, she discovers that Trudy is getting intimate with a man as Adah’s kids play unattended in the backyard close to the garbage can. Adah views Trudy’s bedtimes with Francis as payment for Trudy’s babysitting services.

Questions (Prose; Summary of Second class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta and past questions.)

1. What are the themes in Second class Citizen?

2. Who are the characters in Second class Citizen?

3. Discuss the theme of motherhood in the book.

4. How does the author make use of biblical allusions in the book?

5. Write short notes on each character in the book.

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