30 pages 1 hour read

Ken Saro-Wiwa

Africa Kills Her Sun

Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1975

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Character Analysis


Bana is an analytical, insightful protagonist whose looming execution is the catalyst for the story’s progression. Other than his writing of the letter, no real event takes place throughout the course of the story. Rather, the story consists of the moments leading up to his execution, which consist of Bana’s attempts to grapple with his impending death. This grappling takes the shape of recollecting past events and exhibiting great disgust toward life. Bana’s confrontation of the reality of his death is what propels the story and provides the piece’s texture and complexity.

No physical description is given of Bana other than the fact that he is wearing a dirty prison uniform. He is relatively young, most likely under 30 if he is only 10 years older than he was when he and Zole had their young romance. His physicality pales in importance to his thought processes, his conclusions, and his ability to see his situation clearly even before the sobering definitiveness of his execution.

Bana could be considered an antihero because he is a criminal, but the distinction between hero and antihero relies on a clear moral boundary between good and evil. In the corrupt society Saro-Wiwa paints, only the criminals have a moral compass, but because this is a

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