AMMA DARKO: FACELESS
Chapter Summaries of Faceless: Chapter Four
Here is a secret for you:
Chapter Four of Faceless is loaded. Simple truth. Take it; or leave it at your own peril.
You know why? Chapter Four of Faceless is quite an eventful one.
So I have chosen to take some time to prepare and give you a step-by-step summary of Chapter Four of Faceless for your easy understanding.
You will not be wrong to describe this tutorial as being both a summary and analysis of Chapter Four of Faceless.
I believe that a clear, point-based summary of Chapter Four of Faceless will assist you greatly.
- Read Also: Chapter Five Summary of Faceless
It will be a useful, handy resource as you make an effort to recollect much of the material you will need to answer examination questions on this novel, Faceless, in its entirety.
Let’s begin this tutorial of a summary of Chapter Four of Faceless with a brief overview.
Key Characters in Chapter Four of Faceless
- Kabria – works with MUTE, an NGO, owns Creamy and married to Adade. They have three children – Obea, Essie and Ottu
- Adade – works as an architect, husband of Kabria, father of Obea, Essie and Ottu
- Obea – Adolescent teenage girl, eldest child of Adade and Kabria, compares and contrasts in many ways with Fofo – heroine of the novel, Faceless.
- Essie – Second child and daughter of Kabria and Adade, mostly referred to as “the dreamer” in Faceless.
- Ottu – last born and only male child of Kabria and Adade; knows how to irritate both his parents and siblings.
- Sylv Po – Broadcast and investigative journalist at Harvest FM, a privately-owned radio station.
- Abena – househelp of the Adades and a dressmaking apprentice
- Dina – founder and boss at MUTE
- Vickie – worker at MUTE, Kabria’s colleague
- Aggie – worker at MUTE, Kabria’s colleague
Important Settings in Chapter Four of Faceless
- The Adade home – Kabria’s household
- The Adade children’s school gate
- Harvest FM
- MUTE offices
Key Issues That Come up in Chapter Four of Amma Darko’s Faceless
In fact, Chapter Four of Faceless is pregnant with tons of motifs that help to develop major themes and characters in the novel.
This is the reason why I consider Chapter Four of Faceless to be one of the most important in the novel. This chapter is so loaded that your massive focus on it alone can give you enough material to answer many questions on the novel.
Just take a look at this long list of the core issues in Faceless. They are all on full display in Chapter Four of the novel.
FYI: It is about these that your examiners will set their questions.
- The crucial role played by women as wives and mothers in a typical Ghanaian home.
- Amma Darko’s preoccupation with issues or problems affecting the female gender and the empowerment of women – this points to the novel as being a piece of feminist literature.
- A criticism of the attitude of the typical educated or middle-class family man in Ghana and Africa – this points to the novel, Faceless as a satire.
- The family as a vital instrument for grooming and nurturing young children in a society
- The relationship between Kabria and her children
- The relationship between Kabria and Adade, her husband
- The relationship between Dina and her workers at MUTE
- The role of Creamy in Kabria’s life, in particular, and in the life of the Adade family in general.
- The role of Harvest FM/Sylv Po/the media in the novel, Faceless
- The role of MUTE in Kabria’s life and in the novel as a whole
- The theme of the plight of street children (streetism) in Accra, Ghana
- Humour – incidents in Chapter Four of Faceless that help ease the otherwise tense atmosphere generated by the many social problems raised in the novel include the following:
The often-irritating behaviour of the Adade children – especially toward their mother, Kabria,
Kabria’s encounter with the supposed “blind” woman beggar who can actually SEE Kabria’s “blazing red lips”
The jovial atmosphere in the MUTE office.
Please don’t forget: Humour is an important element in any novel, or drama of serious social criticism.
7 Notable Incidents or Episodes in Chapter Four of Faceless
Most of the incidents below have already been mentioned in the issues section above.
They are important episodes you need to cite as you explain your points in a relevant essay.
Take a look.
- The routine activities in Kabria’s household on a Monday morning.
- Creamy refuses to move at the front of Kabria’s children’s school gate.
- The rude behaviour put up by a fellow motorist against Kabria because of Creamy’s slowness.
- Kabria’s encounter with the fake, blind woman beggar
- Kabria’s encounter with Ms Sleek – a former schoolmate.
- The jovial exchanges between Dina and her staff at MUTE offices.
- The brief exchange between Kabria and Adade about the former’s troubles with Creamy
Recommended for you: The most important issue in Chapter Three of Faceless.
Summary of Chapter Four of Faceless
Now let’s have a more detailed summary of Chapter Four of Faceless by Amma Darko.
As Chapter Four of Faceless opens, the narrator leaves behind Maa Tsuru, Fofo and Odarley’s troubles in the previous chapter and continues with where she left off with the goings-on in the Adade family as narrated in Chapter Two.
Kabria’s Household and Adade
The Adade family wakes up to a busy Monday morning.
Kabria’s chores this morning include preparing her children’s lunchboxes. Kabria listens to an FM radio station as she goes about her routine activities.
In the meantime, Adade, Kabria’s husband is still in his bedroom. He too is listening to another radio station. When Adade finally emerges to come to the breakfast table, his eyes remain glued to a newspaper he brought along.
So engrossed is Adade in whatever he is reading in the newspaper that he remains largely oblivious to all the hustle and bustle going on around him.
Adade gets irritated only when his concentration on his radio or newspaper is disturbed on two notable occasions.
- The first incident that briefly take Adade out of the comfort of his own world of radio and newspaper is when Essie shouts Ottu’s name. Ottu has apparently become deaf, suddenly, when Kabria calls him. So Essie, in her characteristic manner, decides to shout out Ottuuuuuuu!
A clearly annoyed Adade calls out to Kabria and demands to know why she should allow Essie to be making noise that early morning.
- The second occasion on which Adade’s mind moves briefly away from his preoccupation with his newspaper is when Kabria complains about Creamy’s troublesome behaviour.
“Creamy is giving me headache again.”
A visibly irritated Adade shouts back at his wife to postpone any discussion about Creamy to another time.
Kabria’s Children and Abena, the Househelp
In Chapter Four of Faceless, the narrator tells the reader a lot about the idiosyncrasies of each one of Kabria’s three children.
In most cases, the behaviours exhibited by Obea, Essie and Ottu add to Kabria’s irritation and her feeling of being under pressure.
Obea is the eldest. She comes in to switch on the radio to Harvest FM. Other behaviours put up by Obea in Chapter Four of Faceless which we cannot ignore are:
First, Obea keeps her toothbrush in her mouth as she performs her duties which include laying the breakfast table.
Kabria decides to ignore her.
Secondly,when Obea enters the bathroom, she remains there for eternity. Kabria wonders if her adolescent daughter has just gone into labour and is in the process of giving birth to twins in the bathroom.
Then finally, we see Obea enter the girls’ room in the house to hide some Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) sex education pamphlets.
She got them from school.
Obea is afraid her mother would not like the sight of sex education materials in her possesion.
The narrator does not say much about Essie in Chapter Four of Faceless; except that Essie is the one who calls out Ottu’s name very loudly to the irritation of Adade.
Rather than reprimand Essie or Ottu, Adade, in a “typical Ghanaian father’s fashion”, accuses his wife of being the cause of the noise.
Ottu is his usual self – calmly troublesome. There are two instances of Ottu’s irritating behaviour, especially towards Kabria, his mother.
First, Ottu flatly refuses to answer his mother’s call. This is what makes Essie shout out his name very loudly.
Second, Ottu comes in, holding a single sock in his hand. He is in no mood to offer any sensible explanation for that.
“Why are you standing there with one sock?” Kabria asked him.
“I don’t know,” he replied coolly with a shrug.
Abena, the househelp, is also a dressmaking apprentice. We see Abena tidying up the kitchen before going to work.
Morning Breakfast Show on Harvest FM
After a review of the day’s newspaper headlines, Sylv Po interviews a female guest on the problem of HIV and how it affects girls or women in general. The discussion focuses on the following:
- Child prostitution
- Deplorable conditions under which the street children live
- How the street children cope with their problems through premature sex, drug and alcohol abuse
Sylv Po’s guest also bemoans the reluctance of some individuals and churches to accept sex education for school children.
Kabria’s Troubles with Creamy
Kabria has had to go through at least two humiliating experiences with her VW Beatle, Creamy, in Chapter Four of Faceless.
READ ALSO: The role of Creamy in Faceless
The first incident occurs at the entrance to the children’s school.
On reaching that very spot, Creamy will not move anymore. As if the embarrassment Creamy has just caused her is not enough, Kabria’s children decide to add salt to injury.
They complain bitterly to Kabria for causing them embarrassment before their schoolmates.
Ottu calls the experience “a disgrace” while Obea tells Kabria “This is the greatest and most embarrassing moment of my life.”
And Essie: “Mum, why can’t you just buy a new car?”
A second nasty experience Kabria has had to endure this morning is when a fellow motorist who cannot tolerate the slow pace at which Creamy is practically crawling in front of him decides to rain insults on Kabria:
“Foolish woman, … clear that piece of outdated metal off the road.”
Kabria’s Job at MUTE
In Chapter Four of Faceless, we get to know much about MUTE and Kabria’s work experience there.
Here are the highlights.
- How MUTE came to be founded by Dina is narrated in Chapter Four of the novel.
We meet Dina, founder and boss, and her three subordinates – Kabria, Aggie and Vickie. Note that this is an all-female workforce.
We also get to know the kind of job the people of MUTE do. They deal with all manner of social and human-centred issues.
Recommended for you: The Significance of MUTE in Darko’s Faceless
The MUTE job is not paying well enough for Kabria to afford a new car.
But Kabria loves her job all the same. This is because MUTE plays an important role in Kabria’s life.
At least three reasons account for this.
- For one thing, the MUTE job is flexible enough so it is not monotonous. More importantly, the nature of the job makes it possible for Kabria “to be there for her children”.
- Also, the atmosphere at the MUTE workplace is always relaxed and very friendly. You can hardly tell who is the boss and who is a subordinate.
- Clearly, MUTE provides a welcome refuge for Kabria. It is a place she comes to unwind after all the strains and stresses she has to endure at home and on the road.
End of Chapter Four Summary of Faceless
Our summary and analysis of a most eventful Chapter Four of Faceless ends with the last significant incident in this chapter:
Kabria readily agrees to take Dina’s shopping list and money so she can buy foodstuffs for her when she visits the Agbogbloshie Market for her own shopping.
This definitely sets the stage for Kabria’s unforgettable encounter with Fofo at Agbogbloshie – a meeting that will mark a major turning point in the plot of the novel, Faceless.
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Thank you; once again.