The main character in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s short story “The Headstrong Historian” is Nwamgba, a Nigerian widow. Throughout the events, Nwamgba presents herself as determined and strong-willed. The story focuses on her struggles as well as the three relationships that define her: with her husband, her son, and her granddaughter.
Another important character is Nwamgba’s son, Anikwenwa. He plays an important role in the story, as he completely abandons the way of his people in favor of what he is taught at the Catholic school. His granddaughter, Grace, is his complete opposite, as she wants to honor Nwamgba and her people and give them a voice, despite what she is being taught by those around her.
You can read a full characterization of Nwamgba, Annikwenwa, and Grace in the following pages.
Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide: