What stands out about the sex act between Chris and Beatrice in Anthills of the Savannah?

Chris and Beatrice's lovemaking helps reveal the power dynamic between them and emphasizes the spiritual power of female sexuality.

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One thing that stands out is that their lovemaking comes as the culmination of a kind of argument. Beatrice is angry that Chris let her go off to a party alone and was too "considerate" to call her about it until the next afternoon. Beatrice tells him that she wants a man who cares about her safety, or, in other words, a man she can make jealous. Chris has said he wants to marry her; her expectation is that, if true, Chris should feel some responsibility for her well being. She is telling him what he needs to do to earn her trust. Chris's simple response—"Well, well"—seals the new understanding that they have.

The lovemaking that occurs after this moment is significant more for the way Achebe describes it than anything else. Beatrice reveals herself as a kind of "holy priestess"; her command to "come in" is an invitation to intercourse, but also an invitation into a sacred place. Her sexuality was "clearly … her grove" and their lovemaking "her own peculiar rites over which she had absolute power." Achebe's use of nature imagery to describe sex, and Beatrice's role as a divine figure leading Chris on, suggests the nature of their power dynamic, in which Chris very much is under Beatrice's control.

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