The substance of Chapter Two of Amma Darko’s novel, Faceless is largely about the goings-on in the Adade family.
This summary of Chapter Two of the novel Faceless will, therefore, throw a searchlight on the members of Kabria’s family – Kabria herself, Adade, her husband and their three children namely Obea, Essie and Ottu.
In Chapter Two of Faceless, we are introduced to the Adade family. We meet Kabria at home with Adade, her architect husband, and their three children. They are Obea, the first-born, Essie, the dreamer, and Ottu, the only son.
The three children’s ages range from seven to fifteen years.
The Adade family lives in a “modest home in a middle-class suburb of Accra”.
Kabria and Adade have been married for sixteen years. Both are employed; though Kabria is not much enthused about her meagre salary.
Kabria is described in Chapter Two of Faceless as “mother, wife worker and battered-car owner”. That battered car is Creamy, Kabria’s beloved personal car.
In Chapter Two of Faceless, the first traces of the theme of feminism begin to appear. The author presents us with a a full list of Kabria’s domestic and marital troubles as a career woman.
Kabria is perpetually under a lot of pressure. She has to deal with the unending, and often strange, demands coming from her children, cope with the problems that Creamy causes her on the road to work and to the Agbogbloshie market and take on more domestic functions which Adade has no interest in sharing with her.
But somehow, Kabria acquits herself creditably, being the regular Ghanaian career woman that she is.
“The mother, wife, worker and battered-car owner that she was, no day passed that Kabria didn’t wonder how come the good Lord created a day to be made up of only twenty-four hours, because from dawn to dusk, domestic schedules gobbled her up; office duties ate her alive; her three children devoured her with their sometimes realistic and many times very unrealistic demands; while the icing on the cake, their father, needed do no more than simply be her regular husband, and she was in a perpetual quandary.”
Chapter Two also gives a detailed description of the idiosyncrasies of Kabria’s three children.
- The significance of the Adade family in Faceless
- The character and role of Adade
- The role of Creamy in Faceless
- Obea is the 15-year-old first child of the Adade family.
- Obea is a fast-growing adolescent girl who suddenly does not want to be regarded as a little girl anymore.
Essie, the Dreamer
- Essie is 9 years old.
- She is the second child and second daughter of the Adade family.
- With regards to Essie, one motif of the theme of superstition comes to the fore in this chapter.
We are told that Essie, an otherwise normal and typical child, was born at midnight. Within her culture, this is believed to be a strange and ominous occurrence.
Superstition has it that such children “grew up with their feet everywhere else but firmly on the ground.” In other words, midnight-borns are regarded as having been cursed with wandering thoughts and unstable minds.
There are times when an overwhelmed Kabria begins to suspect that Essie’s often strange financial and other material demands may have been caused by her failure to perform certain rites that would have broken the “dreamer jinx” now tormenting Essie, so to speak.
“Essie was born at midnight. Kabria ignored the age-old superstition that alleged midnight-borns grew up with their feet everywhere else but firmly on the ground. She should otherwise have performed a rite like touching Essie’s tiny feet three times on hot sand, three days following her birth, to nullify the dreamer jinx. Nine years on, and she couldn’t help but wonder at times if maybe, just maybe, she had not underestimated the notion after all, especially when it came to some of the methods and timings of Essie’s financial and material demands.”
Ottu, The Special One
- Ottu is the third and last child of the Adade family.
- The 7-year-old Ottu is the only son of his parents.
- Ottu considers himself as a very special child. He actually thinks he has done his mother, in particular, a big favour by choosing to be a male child after two successive female children.
Ottu, therefore, thinks he must have and enjoy special privileges so he “always held Kabria at ransom” with his own type of demands.
Adade, the regular Ghanaian husband
It is in Chapter Two of Faceless that we gain a great deal of insight into the character of Adade, Kabria’s “regular husband”.
Adade limits his manly role to the mere provision of the material needs of his family. He then leaves Kabria alone to take care of all else hence the intense strains and stresses Kabria goes through each and every day of the week.
Chapter Two of Faceless ends with the episode where Kabria insists, despite Adade’s resistance, on Creamy being sprayed the colour cream and nothing else. At the end of this battle of nerves between husband and wife, Kabria has her way. She successfully resists Adade’s attempt to change the colour to metallic sea blue.
So, the following summarizes what Amma Darko is telling us in Chapter Two of her novel, Faceless:
Behold, here is a regular Ghanaian family made up of a regular husband, a regular wife and a very much regular set of children.
Take me to Chapter Three Summary of Faceless.
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