In the Shadow of War

by Ben Okri

Start Free Trial

Topics for Further Study

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Locate a copy of the first version of ‘‘In the Shadow of War’’ that appeared in the magazine West Africa in 1983. Compare and contrast this version with the one that appeared in the 1989 collection, Stars of the New Curfew. What are the most noticeable changes? Why do you think that Okri made these changes? Do you think Okri was trying to communicate the same things in both versions? If not, what is different about the two versions, and how do those differences make you arrive at different readings?

Have a debate about whether Omovo behaved admirably in this story. Consider whether he should have taken the ten kobo from the soldiers, whether he should have told them the truth about seeing the woman in the veil, whether he should have alerted the woman to danger, and whether he should have protested more as his father took him back to bed.

Civil war is a reoccurring event in world history. Aside from researching the Nigerian Civil War, choose another country that has been involved in a civil war in the last one hundred years, and prepare an overview of the conflict for your classmates. How did the causes of the Nigerian Civil War and those of the country you chose differ? In what ways were they similar? How does each of these events compare and contrast to the American Civil War?

Do you think that the soldiers or Omovo believed that the woman with the veil was a witch? Research the Salem witch trials, which occurred during the late 1600s in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Do you think that everyone believed that the women who were killed in Salem were really witches? What other motivating factors might have contributed to the deaths of the Salem women and the woman in this story?

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

What Do I Read Next?