I STRONGLY believe that you will be happy seeing this tutorial on the role of Creamy in Amma Darko’s novel, Faceless.
Once again, I give you a complete outline on the key points worth mentioning in an essay relating to the role of Creamy in Faceless, a novel by the Ghanaian author, Amma Darko.
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Who or what is Creamy?
Creamy is the name of the 1975 VW Beetle belonging to Kabria.
In Amma Darko’s novel, Faceless, Kabria is a career woman and wife of Adade and mother of Obea, Essie and Ottu.
This vehicle, Creamy, has actually been given to Kabria by Adade who had used it in its prime. At the start of the novel, therefore, Creamy can only be described as a vehicle which has seen better days. It is now old, cranky and one miserable assemblage of scrap metal.
“The car had been in and out of every kind of workshop from Abeka to Zongo so many times and undergone all kinds of clinical and plastic surgeries, that it seemed to have grown immune to both.”
Below are the important attributes of Creamy
- The name Creamy is derived from the colour of the car.
It is Kabria who gave that name to the car and would have no one take it away by spraying it with any other colour.
- Creamy is unpredictable.
Creamy breaks down anytime, anywhere, mostly in places that cause huge embarrassment to Kabria and even her children.
A case in point is when Creamy suddenly breaks down in front of her children’s school gate one early morning. In fact, it is the old, unpredictable Creamy, not Adade’s brand new Toyota Corona, that carries the children to school each day throughout the week.
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- Creamy never disappoints
Creamy may misbehave when Kabria least desires it but one thing you cannot take away from it is this: Creamy has been Kabria’s only dependable partner for a long time now. Day in day out, Creamy gets the children to school, gets Kabria to work, takes her to the Agbogbloshie Market and brings her back home safely.
The relationship between Creamy and Kabria
- Kabria is deeply attached to both Creamy, the car and Creamy the name.
That is why she stood her ground when Adade tried to make her spray it with a different colour.
“How do I call my Creamy, Creamy, after it has been sprayed this metallic sea blue?” Kabria cries out in despair.
One wonders if Kabria can truly let go of this car even if she has the opportunity to acquire a newer, stronger and more reliable one.
- Kabria treats Creamy as if it were human.
One proof of this is how she speaks to the car, even if just in her mind so nobody can hear her:
“Did you have to go off like this right in front of their school gate?”
Another proof is the way Kabria easily blames Creamy for her lateness to work. Thus, Creamy has become a convenient scapegoat anytime Kabria is late to work. Dina, Kabria’s boss, has heard so much of Creamy always made to carry the blame of Kabria’s troubles that she once remarks:
“If Creamy could talk, it would always be fighting you. You push everything down its throat.”
And Vickie, Kabria’s co-worker, cannot agree more:
“Kabria, we know you too well. Even if you go and knock down some groundnut seller’s wares at Makola Square, you would find a way to put the blame on Creamy.”
- The relationship between Creamy and Kabria is, therefore, a love-hate relationship.
Creamy is loved by Kabria, despite all the trouble it keeps causing her. But at the same time, Creamy – both the name and the vehicle – is one car Kabria will not have anyone easily take away from her.
The role of Creamy in the novel, Faceless
Creamy plays an important role in Kabria’s personal life, her work life as well as in the lives of her children and the entire Adade family.
Creamy also is of artistic importance in the novel, Faceless. It has a role to play in the development of at least one theme and also in the development of the plot of Faceless.
Now let’s take these, one at a time.
- Creamy’s role in Kabria’s personal life
Creamy provides some form of emotional stability for Kabria, an overly stressed woman who has to combine and perform too many roles while Adade looks on unconcerned.
Kabria’s deep emotional attachment to Creamy enables her to deal with the physical and mental stress she suffers from the unending impossible demands coming from both her husband and her three children.
It is as if Creamy were a loving, understanding person to whom she can go after her morning toils and on whom she can unburden all her cares.
So, despite the fact that Creamy keeps giving Kabria some terrible moments of embarrassment, it is one car that really gives Kabria desperately needed respite as she leaves home riding in it, speaking to it, to work and to the market.
- Creamy’s role in Kabria’s work life
It is Creamy that takes Kabria every day to and from the other love of her life – her job at MUTE.
- Creamy’s role in the Adade family
Creamy sends the children to school, takes Kabria to the market to buy vegetables and other foodstuffs to enable her to prepare meals for the family.
- Creamy’s symbolic role in the novel
In many ways, the relationship between Creamy and Kabria appears to represent the imperfect but better-than-nothing marital relationship between Adade and Kabria. The same can be said of Kabria’s relationship with her children too. These two may have given her too many moments of discomfort, but she still loves them and will not let them down for anything.
Similarly, in spite of the many troubles, Creamy keeps giving her, Kabria holds tightly to Creamy, respects it, gives it all the care and support she can. Kabria is willing to stand and defend their relationship anytime.
She confesses this “loyalty and absolute faithfulness to it.” to her co-workers at MUTE.
Kabria’s expressions of frustration at the recalcitrant behaviour Creamy puts up so often are, therefore, just as normal as you would have it in her relationship with her husband and children whom she cares for and loves so much.
We cannot, therefore, fail to appreciate the fact that Creamy is more than just an old ordinary car that misbehaves in the middle of the road.
Creamy is more or less a metaphor for Adade and his impossible children put together.
- This brings us to the thematic importance of Creamy
Creamy is used to enhance the themes of loveless, broken homes and parental neglect that ultimately create the street-child problem.
Amma Darko could as well be making a point with Creamy: Here is a model family which is far from being imperfect. They may have their fair share of troubles, but somehow, just like Creamy and Kabria, they have found a way to live together – at least for the sake of stability so the children can thrive.
And, so far, so good. The Adade family have succeeded in keeping the children in the home and at school. They have succeeded, in spite of the challenges they go through, to maintain stability in the home. The obvious result of this family stability is that the children stay away from the street.
- Finally, Creamy contributes to the development of the plot.
Here are some highlights for you.
Creamy takes Kabria to Agbogbloshie Market where she hears of the sad story of Baby T. She also has an encounter with Fofo who turns out to be Baby T’s direct younger sister. This encounter marks a major turning point in the novel.
As Kabria tries to drive Creamy away from a visibly distraught Fofo, Fofo makes the disclosure that the late Baby T was, in fact, her sister.
Again, Creamy is used to provide a reference point to the venue where Kabria and Fofo will meet for the second time.
“… Maybe I will come back here tomorrow. If I do, I will park my car at this same spot. If you want to, you can meet me here before noon …”
This is how Creamy helps to bring these two together to embark on a journey that will change Fofo’s life and, apparently, those of many others for the better.