Q & A: Account for the contribution of Lawyer Nweze to the plot development of “Second Class Citizen”.


Account for the contribution of Lawyer Nweze to the plot development of Second Class Citizen.

The arrival of Lawyer Nweze from England is a defining moment in Adah’s life. It gives form to her dream. The success of Lawyer Nweze gives Adah, the daughter of a railway worker and a semi-literate seamstress, the opportunity to dream of going to England too.

Lawyer Nweze is one of the first few Ibuza men to be educated in England. There, he trains to become a lawyer. His arrival from England prompts a lot of celebrations and brings on a festive mood on the Ibuza men and women. The Ibuza people in Lagos are sure this England-trained lawyer will fight for the development of Ibuza and bring to them their fair share of the dividends of democracy.


Apart from the fact that the Ibuza people are becoming passionate about Western education like other Igbo people elsewhere, a lot of them are particularly awestruck that one of them has gone to England and come back. To them, going to England is like going to a heaven — a paradise in precise terms. This impression we can deduce from Adah’s Pa’s view of England, a stereotypical view of what going offshore to a place like England to study means to them.

The festivities that ushered Lawyer Nweze into Nigeria and the people’s high regard for England would ultimately influence Adah to go on and leave a good-paying job in the American Embassy in Lagos for England. Adah would come to adopt the view that going to England is the peak of her success. It is less surprising that she pays her dues to get there.

In more concise terms, Lawyer Nweze is the paragon of educational success, an archetypal Ibuza educated man to whom people give high regard for having been to England. Adah wants to be as educated as everyone else and would discover early in life that England seems to be the pinnacle of educational success — hence her desire to go to England too.

Lawyer Nweze’s arrival from England changes a lot of things in the novel plot-wise. First, we see the concretion of Adah’s dreams, followed closely by the change in the novel’s setting from Nigeria to England. Then, the cold welcome that greeted Adah on her arrival to England, the racism, the jealousy from fellow Nigerian sojourners, and her marital problems all deflate her misinformed larger-than-life sybaritic view of England.

In summation, the coming into picture of Lawyer Nweze, an epitome of foreign-bred educated Igbo elite, gives Adah, the novel’s protagonist heroine, a dream to hold on to and a life course to follow. While Lawyer Nweze is a minor character, his arrival from England no doubt has remarkable impact on the protagonist and the overall plot development of the novel.

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