Outer characterization

Anikwenwa is Nwamgba’s son in the short story “The Headstrong Historian” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. His father is Obierika, who dies when Anikwenwa is young.

As a child, Anikwenwa is described as “dark and solidly built, and had Obierika’s happy curiosity.” He has a talent for playing the flute and is a quick learner in all matters. When he is twelve, Nwamgba sends him to the Catholic mission school, where Father Shanahan changes Anikwenwa’s name to Michael.

Anikwenwa eventually becomes a catechist and marries a woman named Mgbeke, whom he calls Agnes. He has two children, Peter and Grace, to whom he tries to impose the same Catholic education that was given to him.

Inner characterization

During his childhood, Anikwenwa is cheerful and inquisitive. He enjoys doing physical work and wrestling. However, this changes when Nwamgba sends him to Father Shanahan’s school.

Initially, Anikwenwa does not enjoy school and how the people there force him to change. He does not like that he has to wear clothes and undresses as soon as he leaves. He does not enjoy their style of teaching and thinks they are talking too much and wasting his time. Anikwenwa seems to become more and more unhappy about t...

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