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Ghosts: Essay on Effects of War-A Silent Song

War causes a lot of harm and thus should be avoided at any cost. Validate this statement basing your illustrations from Chimamanda Adichie’s ‘Ghosts’ (20 Marks)

Whenever parties engage in some form of fighting, there are grave implications that follow as is seen in Ghosts’ where the civil war that happened in July 6, 1967 cause suffering and pain to the people.

To start with, war is seen to cause displacement of several people. Many people are forced to run away from their country and their homes when the civil war broke.

Prof. James and Ikenna’s meeting takes James down the memory lane where he recounts how they were forced to evacuate Nsukka in a hurry in July 6, 1967 when the war began. Through their conversation, we learn that Ikenna has lived in Sweden ever since the war began and has only come back to Nsukka recently. He discloses that he was flown out on Red Cross planes just like many other children had been airlifted to Gabon. Prof. James did not escape the displacement since he and his wife, Ebere had to move to America when the war broke out. Many people are seen to have been forced to leave their motherland as a result of the civil war.

secondly, we see that war leads to loss of lives. Several people had their lives cut short due to the civil war that broke out. The return of Ikenna comes as a surprise to Prof, James since Ikenna was thought to have died in the war. It is no wonder that Prof initially thought of throwing a handful of sand at him just like his people did to ensure that it was not a ghost. Actual loss of life is seen through Ikenna’s family.

While explaining to prof the reason why he never returned to Nsukka after the war, Ikenna tells him that his whole family was killed when Orlu was bombed during the war thus he had nobody to come back to. It is not just Ikenna who lost loved ones but Prof too. His first daughter Zik died in the war. He tells Ikenna that the war took Zik. It is no wonder they named their second daughter Nkiruka which means: what is ahead is better.

Thirdly, war is seen to cause massive destruction and loss of properties. When Prof James and his wife first returned to Nsukka when the war ended in 1970, they notice major destructions that had occurred. Prof recounts how they found their house and items destroyed. His books were lying in front of the gate, his Mathematical Annals torn and used as tissue paper, the bath tab used as toilet and their photos ripped and their frames broken. The massive destruction of their house was too much that they had to be assigned a different house in a different street to avoid seeing their old house. In the process of their house being destroyed, they lose their Piano that belonged to Ebere. Prof also remembers the landscape of drove back to Nsukka after the war. The massive destruction a recounted by Prof shows how destructive war is.

Lastly, war causes psychological and physical suffering o live with nightmares the victims. Those who experience war and sad memories of it. Prof James is seen to have lived with the memories of the war. He easily remembers every detail of the war as he recounts it to Ikenna. Ikenna has suffered psychologically as is seen from the fact that he lost all his family in Orlu hence the reason he does not return to Nsukka.

His psychological suffering is further seen from the fact that he never remarries after the war took his wife. Further evidence o psychological pain is seen where Prof observes how his people avoided the topic of war and if they engaged in it, it was with some vagueness. The naming of their second daughter Nkiruka- what is ahead is better, also shows the pain that Prof and Ebere: were trying to avoid. The people also suffer physical pain. Prof.James remembers how a wounded soldier was shoved in their car on the day they returned to Nsukka

War causes loss of lives, displacement of people and destruction of properties among other effects. People should thus strive to live in harmony and avoid it at all costs.

A Silent Song and Other Stories

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