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Under the Udala Trees

Raw, emotionally intelligent and unflinchingly honest--a triumph.
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Reading Guide

The title of the book...

Created: 09/06/16

Replies: 3

Posted Sep. 06, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert

Join Date: 06/16/16

Posts: 19

What is the significance of the Udala tree? Why is the title of the book Under the Udala trees?

I found the title to the book to be an interesting choice. What is the significance of the Udala tree? And, what was meaningful within the story for the book to be called : Under the Udalla Trees? The tree is referenced on page 104 when she meets Amina. Later, the tree is again mentioned when she is with Ndidi. How does the title send the author's message or suggest the theme?

Posted Sep. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert

Join Date: 04/07/12

Posts: 233

RE: The title of the book...

The first time I remembered reading about the udala tree was at the very end of the book, when Ijeoma recounts the legend told to her by a 9-year-old schoolmate (p 309). That if they sat under the tree until they counted to one hundred, they would be fruitful and bear sons and daughters. But right after this Ijeoma dreamed two dreams about udala trees that seemed to intimate that she would lose her daughter if she continued her current life, and that they were both "choking ... under the weight of tradition and superstition and all of our legends." When she woke, she knew she had to leave her marriage.

Posted Sep. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 460

RE: The Udala Trees

I had never heard of a udala tree and had to look it up. The tree is wrapped in much of the folklore of the region and was a symbol of women's fertility and generosity. The tree appeared in Ijeoma's dream when she was so troubled and unsure of what to do. As a child she had sit under the tree and as a wife she became a mother. The tree gave life. But in the dream it was chocking her daughter. The Bible in her hand was symbolic too as a reminder of her father and of the Scriptures her mother had instilled in her. Like most dreams it was a clear message that she needed to take her daughter and leave.

Posted Sep. 10, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 449

RE: The title of the book...

The Udala Tree was one of the famous folktales of the Nigerian peoples. To them it is a symbol of female fertility. In this story as a young girl Ijeoma is told by another to sit under the Udala tree and count to one hundred in order to become fertile and produce children, particularly a male. Perhaps as Ijeoms recalls the tale, she comes to realize how different life can be from the folktales and stories she grew up with. Why not "Eve and Eve:?


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