100 pages 3 hours read

Nnedi Okorafor

Akata Witch

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2011

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.

Symbols & Motifs

Sun and Light

One recurring motif in Akata Witch is imagery that relates to the sun or light, symbolism associated with Sunny herself. Although Sunny is initially not someone who is supposed to be in the sun at all because of her albinism, Sunny is surrounded by sun symbolism, even in her given name. When she is two years old, a light appears to her that looks like “a tiny yellow flame or sun” (4). This light seems to protect her and save her from malaria, an event she doesn’t understand at the time, but later will come to see as an early sign of her Leopard Person identity. After she goes through initiation as a Leopard Person, Sunny’s sensitive skin newly tolerates sunlight. When she sees her new spirit face, it resembles “the sun, all shiny gold and glowing with pointy rays” (93). Sun and sunlight consistently represent both Sunny herself and her Leopard abilities.

Usually, light imagery is associated with power and protection for Sunny, but at one important moment in the beginning of the novel, it takes on a more ominous tone. Sunny relates in the Prologue that she has always enjoyed staring at candles.