Young Abigail is a Nigerian miss jumping short subdivisions concentrating on her past emmet her present life. She is Abigail the girl but there is the dominant Abigael, the female parent who died giving birth to her. The decease of Abigail ‘s female parent plays a immense function in the full novel. Abigail is portrayed as an affliction kid, without a female parent, endeavoring to detect her hereafter. She is an African miss, symbolizing the corrosion of national and confined cultural peculiarity into the terminal monumental Continental individuality of Africa. Abigail tries to body and continue herself in her female parent ‘s figure and legacy. The male parent is chronic rummy who foregoes his paternal duties and duty. He has his girl who invariably reminds him of his late married woman. Abigail ‘s is characterized by wretchedness and calamities. Her childhood is hapless and she spends most of it mourning her late female parent in commemorating self-induced rites. She mutters embodiments, cuts herself, cryings and burns her female parent ‘s exposure, burns herself.
She ab initio loses her virginity to one of her cousins, Edwin, at 10 before her male parent sends her off to London with another cousin, Peter, in the name of matrimony at 15. Peter is seemingly believed to be a outstanding concern adult male in London and Abigail ‘s male parent believes that he is a well-mannered adult male, good plenty to take attention of his girl. Unknown to Abigail ‘s male parent, Peter is malevolent and dehumanising. Fakes her paperss and attempts to turn her into a cocotte, but when she declines, he ties her up in handlocks in a kennel, violates her sexually, urinates on her and beats her every bit good. Peter ‘s adulteration of Abigail portrays crud and hungriness. Drinking from the home base of rancid H2O and holding to flex over like a Canis familiaris is upseting. Abigail finally manages to acquire out of Peter ‘s bondage by seize with teething his phallus and running off. By this clip Abigail ‘s male parent is dead. He commits suicide by hanging himself from a hook but Abigail is non shocked by the intelligence. Abigail gets involved in a steaming matter with Derek, a societal worker who unluckily happens to be married. She falls in love with him seize with teeth his married woman finds him holding sex with her in the kitchen tabular array and sent to imprison. At one point, Abigail relates Derek to her female parent. She was non certain whether he was existent or non, if what she felt for him truly existed or it was simply her innovations. These experiences get excessively much for her to bear and choose to throw herself to the Thames.
“ Even this. This memory like all the others was a prevarication ” . This refers to Abigail ‘s memories of her female parent. Abigail recalls her female parent ‘s burial ceremonial so vividly as if she was at that place, yet in world during her female parent ‘s entombment, she merely a babe fondled in her aunt ‘s weaponries wholly unaware of the universe. This makes Abigail conclude that memories can be unreal and fictional. The terminal of the first chapter leaves us with the feeling that Abigail looks precisely like her female parent. She looked so much like that her female parent that the writer takes us through the head of her male parent watching her mourning her female parent ‘s decease was like watching his dead married woman grieve. She is likened to a younger version of her female parent sorrowing her decease in progress. The exposure she is shown by her male parent tells it all. “ He turned and looked at her and she saw it and recognized what it was. She looked so much like her female parent that when he saw her all of a sudden, she knew he wanted her to be Abigail. ” Although Abigail is now a grown-up, she misses her childhood, one that she ne’er got to bask. The writer takes us through her head which juggles us from the present to her past and childhood. That ‘s when the writer alternates the two rubrics, “ Now and Then ” . Abigail has had an experience with work forces that she remembers with so much sorrow. All the in her life had ne’er been interested in cognizing her true personality neither appreciate her beauty, non to advert how she was careful with her hair to do certain that she looked presentable. She was light-skinned. An built-in characteristic from her great-grandmother. The writer similitude her to a foreign state when it comes to the work forces in her life. They ne’er stayed.
Abigail was a map maker of dreams and shades. She is said to be more shade than her female parent. She likes landscape and Markss and finds them interesting. Reading maps was her favourite thing. At one point, during her expatriate in London, she gets possessed with the memories of her female parent, Chinese poesy, old maps and her childhood rites, lies across an old crinkly map as if she was a cadaver in a offense scene, transforming her organic structure to the contours of states and rivers. Each landmark taking on a deeper significance. She decides to tag her organic structure for good with fire. She appreciates the permanency of fire. Burning herself and transforming her tegument into a personal and corporate map of injury was a thing she wanted to make so much for the memory of her female parent. She wanted to experience closely connected to her female parent and do her memory concrete. She seeks out anecdotes about her female parent, burns her organic structure with thick level noodles that burned into her tegument by Anacardium occidentale sap. She besides used acerate leafs and made ugly whip Markss of coffin nail tips. The Burnss and cicatrixs are extensions of her desire to go the life shadow and shade of her female parent ‘s memory. They tie her to her female parent ‘s image and her fatherland.
Abigail ‘s heartache procedure signifies the resentment and sorrow in her. The writer employs rites as a procedure with possible to mend when faced with injury and loss. She is in the terminal forced to take between life in expatriate in England after her lose and injury or returning to Nigeria. Nevertheless, everybody ends up dead, jailed or mutated. The full novel is dejecting and thwarting. Full of desperation and hopelessness. Some people ‘s lives may turn out like Abigail ‘s but pulling lessons from the novel remains hard.