The Famished Road: Chapter 5, 6 and 7 Analysis

In chapter five, Azaro after being hospitalized is taken to the policeman’s house. In the policeman house, one discovers an irony. There are pictural representations of two people who once existed; Jesus Christ and their son. Even though Christ is the ”unseen guest” it is the boy who, unseen by the parents that is tormenting Azaro.

Allusions and African Religion

Even when allusions are made to Christ, we realize that the policeman never really believes in Christianity. Rather, as the story progresses, he is the leader of an occult group. One of the first suspicions of this is when Azaro is ill. Rather than calling a pastor or praying together with his wife, they call unto an herbalist. Thus, there is an innate conflict between western religion and indigenous religion. It is clear that the policeman chooses his African religion simply because he believes in its effectiveness.

Trust and Allegiance

In chapter six, one realizes that the man is not as much of a saint as initially projected. This chapter reveals the harsh realities of society in terms of security. The policeman is the head of an occult of other policemen. They not only take bribes but do so with an oath.

The theme of trust and allegiance plays a very crucial role in this chapter. Whereas it almost seems as if the policeman trusts his cohorts, we realize as we read more, that he requests they take an oath. This is not just an ordinary oath. It is rooted in the lives and families of the policemen. Thus, we see that there is an absolute difference between trust and allegiance. Trust, does not place a curse on you when you eventually fail and ultimately, you still have a chance of gaining trust back. However, allegiance especially when there are blood oaths comes with a price.

The Rain Spiritualism and Other Symbolisms

In chapter 7, it began to rain. The rain symbolizes an end to evil and punishment for evil deeds. The kitchen which is supposed to be where all the food comes from is set ablaze by lightning. Perhaps it is ironic that on the day he decides to eat is when the incident occurs.

Azaro also reveals that one of the policemen who had refused to take the oath had died from a car accident. This brings about the concept of spiritualism. Azaro is able to see the unseen things/ people in the house. This allows him to see clearly that the policeman is somehow responsible for the deaths of all the people in his house. Also, because they cannot be seen by the policeman and his wife, they remain powerless. However, because Azaro can see them, he is continuously tormented by them. This is perhaps one of the most interesting points; the idea that what you do not regard/see, cannot have higher power over you. However, the place poses a great danger for Azaro who will eventually lose his existence through the child of the policeman hypnotizing him. The next morning represents a change; the change being that Azaro will finally go home.

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