Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree Themes & Motifs

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
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Government

Through its insistent references to democracy, the novel captures the breakdown of the Nigerian state in the northeast, a dissolution conditioned by competing notions of good governance and statehood. The characters most involved in this discussion of democracy are Malam Zwindila, Ya Ta’s teacher in her home village; Malam Adama, her new teacher at the first Boko Haram camp; and Ya Ta herself, who is trying to figure out her relationship to their competing ideas.

The first scene mentioning democracy highlights the fact that there is a right and wrong answer to the definition of democracy. Malam Zwindila asks Ya Ta’s class for the definition of democracy. Many of the students do not know. Another of the students, Ibrahim, tries to answer: “Sir, democracy is the government of all types of people” (4). Though to some people this answer will seem correct, Malam Zwindila and...

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This section contains 2,453 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree Study Guide
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