The New Tribe by Buchi Emecheta

The New Tribe - Buchi EmechetaIn The New Tribe by Buchi Emecheta we have the theme of change, love, insecurity, identity and acceptance. Narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator the reader realises from the beginning of the story that Emecheta may be exploring the theme of change and love. Life changes dramatically for the Arlingtons when Julia arrives at their doorstep. Ginny in particular adapts very well to her new role as a mother while Arthur tends to remain in the background when it comes to the rearing of Julia. However it is noticeable that Arthur becomes stressed by all the documentation he must provide in order for both him and Ginny to become Julia’s adoptive parents. This may be important as it suggests that Arthur (and Ginny) love Julia and will do whatever they have to do in order to become Julia’s adoptive parents. Similarly when it comes to Chester’s arrival, though hesitant at the start. Arthur does go through the same procedure in order to adopt Chester. It is also noticeable that Arthur and Ginny love Chester regardless of the colour of his skin. Ginny is so in love with Chester that she creates a small book for him about Nigeria. Which may be important as Ginny is making sure that Chester when he is old enough to understand will not forget his roots.

Emecheta may also be exploring the theme of insecurity, particularly when it comes to Chester. From a very early age Chester feels as though he doesn’t belong. This insecurity or doubt also manifests itself when Chester goes to school. He does not want to stay in school even going as far as shouting out his wish to go home. Similarly when Ginny tells Chester that ‘your people’ are from the east; Chester again begins to doubt who he is. Which may be important as Emecheta may be suggesting that through the insecurity or doubt that Chester feels he is also beginning to question his identity. No longer is his life as simple as being Arthur and Ginny Arlington’s child. Chester knows he is different. Something he only begins to understand when he questions Arthur when he is older. Chester’s friendship with Ray Miller may also be significant as Emecheta may be using the friendship to highlight just how well-rounded Chester is despite the insecurities he feels. He identifies with Ray in school when Ray arrives to the school and begins to cry. Likewise when Chester grows older Ray is there for him. Neither boy appears to judge the other negatively. It is as though their friendship is solid. Probably the only solid or certain thing that Chester feels he has in his life.

What may also be important about the story is the fact that despite the narrator calling Arthur, Ginny and Julia ‘his family’, Chester believes the recurring dream he has is about his real home. It is as though Chester cannot at times make any type of identification with the Arlingtons being his parents. It is also noticeable that the pressure within the family unit increases after Arthur tells Julia and Chester they are adopted. Despite showing calmness throughout the story there is one occasion in whereby Arthur gets angry. The reader realising that the trigger for Arthur’s anger is not the fact that Chester has laughed at him but in reality Arthur knows the dynamic within the family has changed since both children became aware they were adopted. Though Arthur had hoped that both Chester and Julia would accept the fact they were adopted, without too much difficulty, this has not been the case. Chester has escaped into his dream while Julia has become introverted.

The end of the story is also interesting as Chester for the first time in the story acts with surety or certainty. He knows that he doesn’t wish to play the king in the nativity play and despite Ginny’s wishes stays off stage. This may be important as in many ways Chester is turning his back on his dream. He may have been born in Nigeria but he lives with the Arlingtons now. If anything Chester is accepting who he is. He is the son of Arthur and Ginny Arlington. No longer does he have the doubts that hindered him previously. It may also be symbolically significant that Chester has bought Ginny a new diary. It is as though they are starting afresh. Nothing has been written as of yet. A new life with independence awaits Chester He is not drawn to the past as he had previously been nor is he overly concerned about discovering who he had previously thought he might be (son of a Nigerian mother). If anything Chester not only accepts who his parents are (Arthur and Ginny) but he fully accepts who he is regardless of the fact that he is adopted. Chester at the end of the story no longer has any insecurities about who he is or about belonging. He fully accepts his circumstances.

Cite Post
McManus, Dermot. "The New Tribe by Buchi Emecheta." The Sitting Bee. The Sitting Bee, 15 Aug. 2017. Web.


  • Thanks for the summary! Now I understand the story better.

  • How does it relate the title of new tribe to the story and why did Julian bring the baby to Arthur?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Ntshuxi. The title of the story suggests that Chester has found a new tribe (or family) to live with. As for why Julian brought the baby to Arthur. Arthur is a kind man who works in the Church. Julian probably thought it was more appropriate to bring the baby (Julia) to Arthur than to anybody else.

      • How did Ginny resolve each dilemma?

        • Dermot (Post Author)

          Thanks for the comment Felicia. Ginny through patience and honesty resolved a lot of the issues that she was confronted by. She also wrote a story book for Chester should he ever query where he came from. Similarly when Chester becomes aware that he is adopted Ginny allows him to be himself. To be independent. Something that is noticeable when Chester decides he doesn’t want to play the King in the nativity play again.

      • No Julian brought Julia not Chester.

  • When Chester was dreaming what was he dreaming and hoping for?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Chester was dreaming, or at least he thought he was, about a village in Nigeria. A place where he felt he belonged. A new home for him. Somewhere where Chester felt connected with others who were like him.

  • Why do you think the title is suitable to this story?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Samu. Chester has found a new family or tribe that love him unconditionally. He accepts that he is adopted and he accepts that Ginny and Arthur are his parents. Regardless of the differences in the colour of their skin.

  • There’s two children? or three adopted and their gender? and colour? What things start to make Chester think that he doesn’t belong?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Boyza. There are two adopted children. Julia a white female and Chester a black male. Chester senses he doesn’t belong because he looks different (black) to everyone else he sees.

      • Where does Julian fit in into this whole story, cause only two kids were adopted Chester and Julia. Who is Julian?

        • Dermot (Post Author)

          Thanks for the comment Thato. Julian was the paperboy who found Julia and handed her to Arthur and Ginny.

      • sorry but I’ll like to disagree with you DERMOT on Julia being a white. reading to the end, we discover that her parents where not found. no one knew a thing about her origin. to give her an origin, I’ll have to say she’s black


        during the time of the author, the blacks where in serious discrimination and suffering. life was unbearable for them as they were all trying to survive the auto biography of the author as written in HEAD ABOVE WATER, will give you a clearer picture of black women who dumped their children cos of the inability to cope or survive. this I’ll say was the plight of Christine who had to give Chester up, same also is the plight of Julia’s ghost parent who had to do same.

        don’t forget the whites where in control at that time it’s not possible that a white would possibly have dumped her own child. she is possibly a mullato.

  • Did Ginny buy Chester a new diary at the end or did Arthur buy a new diary for Ginny?

  • Did the headmaster mean any harm when he said “jokingly to Chester you little devil?”

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Makatla. The headmaster meant no harm. He realised it was Chester’s first day in school.

  • I thank you for the answers to questions. They have helped me understand the story even better.

  • I don’t see where it says Chester bought Ginny a new diary but at last paragraph it talked about Arthur and the new diary.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Suzan. On the last page of the story (Pg180 in Changes). At the top. It says that Chester not only made an elaborate Christmas card but bought Ginny a diary with a pretty cover of roses and violets.

  • Can you please summarize in a simple way so that I can understand.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      A white couple called Ginny and Arthur (Vicar) are given a baby by the local paper boy. They adopt the baby and christen the child Julia. Word of their good news and deed spreads and an adoptive agency ask Ginny and Julian if they will adopt a black baby called Chester. Things run smoothly till Chester begins to question his identity and who his real parents might be. It is by asking questions that Chester develops his own identity and begins to accept who he is. Though he knows he is a different skin colour to Ginny, Julian and Julia. He still accepts them as his family.

  • Thank you, you helped me with this summary.

  • Thanx a lot, you helped me.

  • What does Chester’s dream symbolize? Does it symbolize that one day he will go back to where his roots are and become a king?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Nsina. Chester’s dream symbolizes what he thinks Nigeria is like. However the reality is Chester may be dreaming about the picture book that Ginny made for him. Though the essence of the dream is the same. Chester returning as you suggest to become King of the village where he was born.

  • What happened to everyone in this story at the end?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      As far as I can work out Ginny and Arthur accepted that Chester wanted his independence. That he wished to explore his identity on his terms. As for Julia I think she was just happy that the family were together as one.

  • Where was the setting of the story?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Mdumiseni. Emecheta never mentions the setting but I think the story is set in England.

  • “The Arlingtons were like a good strong tree, under whose branches Chester and Julia sheltered” I think this figure of Speech is a Simile’ Am i right ? And can you tell me whats the meaning of that speech, can you please break it down for me

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Yes it is a simile. It’s meaning is as follows. The Arlingtons are always there for Chester and Julia. They are there to protect them and to help them through life.

  • How is the title of the story relevant to the plot?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Vumile. Chester as the only black child in his family is part of a new tribe (the Arlingtons). Even though Chester exerts his independence near the end of the story which suggests that he wishes to stand on his own two feet at the same time he wishes to be part of the Arlington’s way of life. Something that is noticeable by the fact that Chester buys Ginny a diary as a Christmas present. He is not part of his Nigerian tribe.

  • What is the name of Chester’s friend?

  • What is the point that the writer is trying to show us as readers?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Kgotso. Emecheta may be trying to show the reader the difficulties that someone who is different to those around them encounters. Chester stands out because he is the only black member of his family. He struggles to become independent yet at the same time to also become part of the Arlington’s family. He questions his identity which for anybody is a difficult task. Even more difficult for a child.

  • Thanks for the comments and the summary they are both helpful.

  • What is Chester’s character in the story?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Chester is a young black boy who has been adopted by Ginny and Arthur and is trying to figure out his identity. He knows by his skin colour that he is different to Ginny, Arthur and Julia. He just needs to find out who he is and be comfortable with it.

  • Sorry for lots of question What is the relationship that the Arlingtons have as a family and may I have some examples

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      The Arlingtons are a loving couple who love both Julia and Chester. Something that is noticeable by the fact that even though both Chester and Julia are adopted. Ginny and Arthur love both children as though they were their own. They are involved in both children’s lives. Something that the reader is aware of through Ginny’s involvement with the nativity play. They are also an open family and are prepared to discuss issues as they happen. Particularly when it comes to Chester wondering where he is from.

  • Can u please explained explain the theme of love n change

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Lusani. The Arlingtons (Ginny and Arthur) love both Julia and Chester. Something that can be seen by the fact that they not only adopted both children but they have also been there for both Julia and Chester throughout the story. The theme of change is noticeable by the fact that Ginny and Arthur’s life changes dramatically when they decide to become adoptive parents. The void that may have been in their life is filled. Also Chester goes through change. He becomes more independent of his parents and decides what he wants to do (not participate in nativity play).

  • Thank you. You’ve been helpful.

  • If I may ask Mr Arlington’s reaction when he was told that the second child that they were about to adopt is black could possible tells us about the kind of person he really is.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Mathews. Arthur’s reaction is one of silence. So too is Ginny’s. It is as though they are shocked. Which may be natural. Both Ginny and Arthur may be aware of how difficult it would be to raise a black child in a predominately white community. They might be able for it but the child will incur difficulties. I doubt that Ginny and Arthur themselves are concerned about Chester’s skin colour.

  • Hi Dermot. Just wanna say thank you For all the short stories summaries and also answering our questions..It is all helpful for us when preparing for our exams…I was writing my English paper two today and it was much easier….

    Thanks A lot……

  • Refer to the last line. Identify the figure of speech. Comment on its effectiveness.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      The figure of speech used is a simile which is suggesting that Arthur is rock-solid and dependable. Which Arthur has been throughout the story and Chester believes he will continue to be throughout his life.

  • Refer to paragraph 7 .”he could hardly contain the storm reging inside him”. Identify the figure of speech. Comment on its effectiveness

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      The figure of speech being used is called a metaphor. Which on this occasion is effective considering that the reader is also aware that Arthur’s face is red with rage.

      • Identify the figure of speech’the room was frozen into silence’ and comment on its effectiveness

        • Dermot (Post Author)

          As far as I can work out it’s a metaphor. It’s difficult to work out its effectiveness without knowing the context it is being used in but I imagine a statement like that has a deep impact on what is happening. Changing the tone or mood that may have existed at the time.

          • Am I be wrong to differ a little bit about this figure of speech being metaphor instead of hyperbole? the reason I am asking is because i think the significance underlying the use of this particular figure of speech is to exaggerate the silence that was in the room after whatever has been said or seen

  • Refer to the last paragraph. “He didn’t mean— tell on her. What do we learn about the relationship between Julia and Chester?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Julia is supporting and protecting Chester. She doesn’t want to see him getting into trouble with Arthur just because he laughed.

  • refer to line 14-15″ in chester’s mind —-how has chester gained his independence? to what degree. in your opinion, has chester gained independence?

    • he could hardly contain the storm raging inside him. identify the figure of speech. comment on the effectiveness.

      • Dermot (Post Author)

        The figure of speech being used is called a metaphor. Which on this occasion is effective considering that the reader is also aware that Arthur’s face is red with rage.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Thanks for the comment Caswell. You appear to be working of an extract. If you give me the first line of the extract I should be able to find it in the story and answer your question.

  • he didnt mean —— tell on her. what do we learn about the relationship between julia n chester?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Julia is supporting and protecting Chester. She doesn’t want to see him getting into trouble with Arthur just because he laughed.

  • Thank you very much for helping me.

  • Why did they name their baby girl Julia? And why did Chester ‘s mother chose the Arlingtons to raise her child?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Ginny and Arthur named the baby Julia because she was brought to them by the paper boy Julian. She is named after him. As for Chester’s mother choosing the Arlingtons. Chester’s mother read an article in the paper about the Arlington’s adopting Julia and thought that they would be good parents for Chester.

  • Did the Arlingtons celebrate the adoption of Julia and Chester? And how did the adopted children transform Ginny and Arthur’s characters. Also Ginny as a mother to adopted children how did she show them love.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      The Arlingtons did not celebrate the adoption of Julia or Chester. They seem to have jumped right into the role of parenthood. Both Ginny and Arthur felt happy that they were parents. Ginny showed love by being there for Julia and Chester. Particularly Chester. Ginny wrote a small book about Nigeria for Chester so that he would know where he came from.

  • What a touching story thank you so much.

  • Hey Dermot

    Here are the questions

    (1 ) what was ginny’s first impressions of Nigeria?

    (2) why did she try to teach Chester about africa?

    (3) do you think this was the right thing to do? give a reason

    (4) discus whether the headmaster meant any harm when he jokingly said “you little devil you started the uproar and now look at you smiling away with your sister ” explain your answer

    (5 ) why did Chester eventually ask about who his parents where?

    (6) did the turning point concerning the role of the 3 wise kings help the family achieve some solution?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Hi Priscilla

      (1) Ginny considered Nigeria to be a country in whereby the Government was dreadful. There was chaos, poverty and violence reigned.

      (2) Ginny thought it was important that Chester should know where he came from. Knowing it would help him with formulating his identity.

      (3) Yes it was the right thing to do. It is important for an individual to know where they come from. Particularly if they are different to those around them. As mentioned above it helps an individual formulate or understand their identity.

      (4) The headmaster was only trying to make Chester feel comfortable on his first day in school. The important thing to remember is that the headmaster said what he said as a joke with no malice intended.

      (5) Chester was beginning to question who he was. He knew he looked different from Ginny and Arthur and as such wanted to know who his birth parents were.

      (6) At first Ginny is upset because Chester wishes to no longer play a role on stage. However she adapts to the fact that Chester has found his independence.

  • Thanks for your answers.

  • 1. Was it easy for the parents to arrange to adopt Julia?

    2. Of the two adopted children whose mother do you think was more responsible?

    3. Why did Ginny make Chester one of 3 wise kings

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      1. Yes the social services were happy with how Julia was being treated by Ginny and Arthur.

      2. Chester’s mother would in my opinion have been more responsible as she tracked Ginny down looking for Ginny to adopt Chester. Whereas Julia had been abandoned and her parents were unknown.

      3. Ginny liked to make the costume for Chester and was proud of him being part of the play. The teacher choose Chester because of his skin colour. Believing that the Kings would have looked like Chester.

      • 1 yes its was easy: was it easy pls scrutinize 168 to 169 where they say they were not sure they wanted to go through it again on Chester’s turn. Even on 167 they call it in depth interviews and endless questionnaires sounds negative to me.

  • What is the occupation of Arthur in the story and how it helps his family?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Arthur is a member of the clergy. It was because of his occupation that Julian handed Julia to Arthur. He believed that a man of the church (Reverend) would be best suited to look after Julia.

  • Here are the questions. Give me a theme of this short story, settings, title, plot, conflict.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Theme – the predominant theme of the story is identity.

      Setting – Possibly a small town in England.

      Title – I’ve answered this before. You’ll find an answer here.

      Plot – The Arlingtons (Ginny and Arthur) adopt two children. Julia who is white and Chester who is black. Chester realises that he is different to his adoptive parents and seeks to discover who he is.

      Conflict – Chester realising he is different to everybody else and wanting to discover who he is.

  • Can you help me with to discuss each phase of the six phases of plot and also giving examples of it from The New Tribe

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Exposition – Ginny and Arthur Arlington adopt two children. Julia who is white and Chester who is black.

      Conflict – Chester knows that he is adopted and different to Ginny, Arthur and Julia.

      Rising Action – Chester wants to know where he came from.

      Climax – Chester’s decision to not participate in the nativity play.

      Falling Action – Chester buying Ginny a Christmas present.

      Resolution – Chester accepting he is adopted and still a part of the family (Arlingtons).

  • Thanks. Can you also help me discuss the following from the story

    The plot
    The theme
    What is the milieu
    What is an ironic/twist ending
    What is the characterisation in the story


    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Plot – Ginny and Arthur Arlington adopt two children (Julia and Chester). Due to the fact that Chester is different to everyone else in his family he wishes to discover who he is and where he came from.

      Theme – The central theme is identity. Chester is looking to discover who he is.

      Milieu – I’m assuming you mean social environment. Ginny and Arthur’s home in England.

      Ironic – Even though Chester realises that he is different he still wishes to be part of Ginny and Arthur’s family.

      Characterization – Ginny is the mother who loves both Julia and Chester equally. Arthur is a Reverend who is married to Ginny and also loves Julia and Chester. Both Ginny and Arthur are happy to have a family. Julia is Ginny and Arthur’s first adoptive child. She adapts well to her environment and does not face the same challenges as Chester. Chester is Ginny and Arthur’s second adoptive child. He finds it difficult to adapt to his environment because he knows he’s different to the other members in his family.

  • Create one long question for creative homework based on the short story. Also can you in short characterize each character

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      I’m not sure what a long question is. Do you mean in length or in substance? Perhaps a question could be How does the title relate to the story? or Why does Chester not want to participate in the nativity play?

      As for characterization. I think I’ve answered that in my previous reply to you (characterization of story).

  • If you would have to explain and analyse the story to learners how would you do it?

  • Very good story. As a student I am dealing with its analysis. Thank you.

  • Hello Dermot

  • Hello our teacher is giving me an account about the five first chapters of the novel but the problem is I don’t know how I am to start …your help will be welcomed thanks.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      I’ve only read one chapter of the story. The chapter about Julia and Chester being adopted by the Arlingtons.

  • The Doll’s House :
    1.How are Mrs Burnell and Mrs Kelvey described in this short story ?
    Give Two Descriptions of each Character
    2.Refer to lines (‘like Two little. ..doll’s house stood).
    a)Identify the figure of speech in this line

    b)Explain why this figure of speech is appropriate.

    3.Which answer is Correct?

    Item inside the doll’s house that both Else and Keiza are Fascinated with is :


    4.Give two Examples from the story to prove that the Kelveys are poor
    5.Give two possible reasons why Else is ‘dazed'(they didn’t. ..The white gate’)
    6.Explain the irony in the words,’Wicked,disobedient little girl!’In the context of the story as a whole.
    7.In your opinion, do the Kelveys contribute to the way in which they are treated by others? Discuss your views.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      1. Mrs Burnell – Comes across as being isolationist not allowing her children play with the Kelvey girls. She may be arrogant because she doesn’t really want her children to go to the school they are going to.
      Mrs Kelvey – ‘Spry, hard-working little washerwoman.’ Mrs Kelvey is a hard-working woman who is ostracized by others because her husband might be in jail and she makes her children’s clothes from other people’s spare material.
      2a. It’s called a simile.
      2b. I need the full sentence or page number. I can’t find it in the story.
      3. d) Lamp
      4. Mrs Kelvey is the breadwinner (on a low salary as a washerwoman) and looks after both children. Also Mansfield describes the Kelvey children as being dressed in ‘bits.’ Leftovers of other people’s material.
      5. I need the full sentence or the page number. I can’t find it in the story.
      6. Ironic because Kezia has done nothing wrong. She has only tried to include the Kelvey girls. Whereas Aunt Beryl wishes to ostracize them.
      7. I don’t think so. They don’t seem to provoke anyone and if anything it is others who are picking on the Kelvey girls.

  • Hi describe how you would explain the drama/short story – (The New tribe) to learners, following the combrinks model phase 5

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      I don’t know what the combrinks model phase 5 is. However I would describe the story as being about a boy’s need or desire to discover who he is.

      • okay so forget about the combrink model. Can you in 50 words at least describe how you would explain the story to learners, please?

        • Dermot (Post Author)

          I would suggest that the story is about a young black boy called Chester who has been adopted by white parents (Ginny and Arthur). Both Ginny and Arthur have another adopted child called Julia who is white. When Chester starts school he realises that he is different to others, particularly Ginny, Arthur and Julia. He longs to know who he is (identity) and as such asks Ginny and Arthur who his real parents are. Chester also gains independence from Ginny and Arthur when he decides not to be part of the nativity play. However he still remains a member of the family despite this. At the end of the story not only is Chester independent but he also knows who he is. He is comfortable about who he is.

  • What is the difference between a text-experience and a text-analytical approach?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      I’m not sure. I’m assuming that a text-experience calls for the student to identify with events in a story. Events that they themselves might have had. While a text-analytical approach may involve an analysis of the story in a manner that breaks the story down in an attempt to solve it. Again I’m guessing.

  • Can you describe the characters of Chester and Julia?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Both Chester and Julia are kind with Julia being extra protective of Chester. Julia is also a quiet child. They both live comfortable lives. However Chester longs to find out where he might of come from. Not so that he can do anything in particular but just to discover who he is. Which may suggest that Chester is inquisitive.

  • Talking about the white couple (Arthur and his wife) didn’t they get a birth a long their union? or what pushed them to the adoption as young they are?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      I’m not sure if they did have a child of their own. Ginny was happy to adopt Julia when Julian arrived to their home with her. Similarly though Chester was black Ginny and Arthur felt it was the right thing to do when they adopted Chester.

  • Thank you all for clarifying the story for me.

  • God bless you a million times Dermot.

  • Good morning, I’d like to know the central theme of the new tribe.

  • Hi? I need your help please. I don’t really understand the main theme on the chapter 5. I read it many times but can’t figure it out.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      I’m not sure what you think the main theme of Chapter 5 is? Can you tell me and perhaps I can help? For me the theme of Chapter 5 is identity and independence. Chester’s dream is Chester’s attempt to discover who he is or at least who he assumes he is. The fact that Chester doesn’t tell Julia about his dream might also suggest that Chester is beginning to distance himself a little from Julia. To stand on his own two feet. To be more independent. Arthur’s reaction to the cup breaking might also be important as in many ways he is over reacting. Leaving the reader to suspect that in some way the family is beginning to fracture since Chester found out he was adopted. If anything since Chester found out he was adopted he’s felt different to the rest of the family.

  • How did Chester gain his independence?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Chester decides to go against Ginny’s wishes rather than play the King in the nativity play again. He stands up for himself.

  • What do they mean when saying Arlingtons? Is it a surname? Or what actually?

  • Who does the word Vicar refer to?

  • Hello please help me here. Give three reasons why Arthur and Ginny were chosen as parents for Chester?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      1. Social workers think that Ginny and Arthur have been exemplary parents when it comes to Julia and would be good with Chester.

      2. Chester’s birth mother thinks that Ginny and Arthur are good Christians.

      3. Chester’s birth mother because of her circumstances thinks Chester will stand a better chance growing up with Ginny and Arthur.

  • Who was having an argument at the table and why? Was it Chester who bought the diary for Ginny or Arthur?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Working from memory I think Arthur was arguing with Chester over Chester not doing the dishes. Chester bought the diary for Ginny.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      The argument between Arthur and Chester was based on the fact that Chester laughed when Julia knocked over a teacup on the table.

  • thank about the new tribe summary

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Sorry Oscar it’s been a long time since I read the story. Any summary I give you may not be complete.

  • I thank you. I find this very helpful

  • Can Discrimination and sense of belonging be the theme of the story…by this I mean like there is an incident if I remember vividly in the story where Chester was called a little devil.

    Sense of belonging as Chester keeps growing he can see that he looks differently from the rest of the people in the society even In school , that I think triggers the desire inside to want to know where he comes from

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      I think you are right when it comes to sense of belonging being a theme. However with regards to discrimination being a theme. The quote ‘little devil’ was said in a joking manner by the school principal.

  • How did Ginny show love to her children?

  • What would you say it’s the main theme of the story and the turning point in Chester life’s?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      I would suggest the main theme is one of identity. With Chester trying to discover who he is. The turning point is when Chester refuses to participate in the nativity play. He becomes his own person at this point.

  • I find something confusing in one of the summaries i got about this story which is not found in the story when one reads it. I become confused when it says Julia fell pregnant by Ray Miller who is a friend to Chester and where it says Julia stole the church money and Ginny was aware of that, it further says that Chester left for Nigeria with the help of Jimoh and Ugwu but we don’t see that part when we read story. can you please clarify something for me here?

  • Thank you for the review of the story. It is much understandable now, my question is that does Julia face any challenges in coming to terms with how she was adopted by the Arlingtons?

  • what is the plot of the story from exposition, rising action, turning point and the falling action

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      When I review a story I usually deal with the themes of the story and if there is some symbolism I add that too.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Exposition – Ginny and Arthur are childless and end up adopting two children (Julia and Chester).

      Rising Action – Things go well till Chester realises that he is different to Ginny, Arthur and Julia.

      Turning point – Chester learns he is adopted and refuses to play the King again in the nativity play.

      Falling Action – Chester buys Ginny a diary as a present (for Christmas I think) and he realises that both Ginny and Arthur will be okay. As too will Chester.

  • Who is Victoria and Robert in the story?

  • how did Chester feel about his first in school and and how was his first day?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Chester wants to go home on his first day in school but as the day progresses and he meets Ray Miller. Things get better for Chester.

  • Can you please help me ,with strategies on how I will master the short stories.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      With short stories anything is possible. Try to look at each character mentioned. Do they have a motive. For example are they greedy or selfish or do they have the concerns of others at heart. Also try and see if there is any symbolism in the story. The weather for example can often be seen as symbolic, particularly seasons. Also try and understand the message the writer is trying to tell the reader.

  • How chester’s behaviour changes after hearing that he is adopted?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Chester starts to become more independent. Something that is noticeable by the fact that he does not wish to play the king in the nativity play.

  • What are the two incidents in the story that contribute to chester’s sense of unbelonging?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      I would suggest that the fact that Chester is adopted and that his skin colour is different to others may contribute to him feeling as though he doesn’t belong.

  • Why chester’s city is always written as ‘city’?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      I hadn’t noticed that. I would need to read the story again. To see the context the word is used in. Though it might be the author’s way of suggesting that Chester is on the outside.

  • How Chester and Julia react to the news of their adoption?

  • “It was like learning to feed yourself “….Is it a Simile..?..Further explanation please.

  • Why Catherine Mba chooses the Arlingtons to adopt Chester?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      She has heard or read about how the Arlingtons adopted Julia and how well Julia is doing with the Arlingtons.

  • “The room was frozen into silence” What figure of speech is this and comment on its effectiveness..Please!

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      I would think it was a metaphor as it cannot be taken to be literal. I could be wrong. As to it’s effectiveness it may suggest that those in the room are lost for words and do not know what to say. Which may suggest a serious element to the situation the line refers to.

  • Thanks for being helpful and I also thank you for your generosity. Keep on doing a great job.

  • Have you read ‘My Children My Africa’?

  • You were born for it indeed, one day I hope I’ll read a short story that will be written by you.

  • Why does Ginny look at the social worker questioningly?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      It may be possible that Ginny is surprised that the social worker would suggest that she adopt or foster a black child (Chester) when Ginny herself is white.

  • Why does the headmaster go to miss slattery’s classroom

  • 1-The teacher smiled…Julia’s face clouded. Explain what this lines mean
    2-Explain why the headmaster and Miss Slattery give each other a knowing look
    3-Why do Ginny and Arthur christen the girl Julia
    4-What is Arlington’s profession

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      1. It was less clear what Julia’s facial expression might mean.

      2. They most likely know that the children are anxious with it being their first day in school (I would need more context to be more accurate).

      3. Julia is named after Julian the paperboy who gave Julia to Arthur.

      4. I think Ginny is a housewife while Arthur is a Reverend.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      3. Both the Headmaster and Miss Slattery probably know that Chester is anxious as it is his first day in school and that Julia is defending him.

  • Thanks a lot for answers and sorry for asking too many questions..Who called Chester a little devil and what is a Vicar in the story

  • I thank you (Demot), you did what I had been looking for !

  • Why was Arthur angry when Chester laughed?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Arthur thought Chester was laughing at the fact that Julia had broke a cup and as such was being disrespectful.

  • How Julia found her self being a part of the Arlington family?

  • Thank you for all the help with the analysis and questions about the short stories. It helped me very much. In the story “The New Tribe” Arthur and Ginny don’t have children as she can’t have children and that is why they adopted Julia and Chester.

  • Do you think the Arlington’s will be suitable parents to Julia? Please do provide me with evidence?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Working from memory. I think the Arlington’s will be suitable parents to Julia. They are kind, caring and considerate people. Who treat Julia well.

  • Can you look at the last paragraph of the summary. Arthur is said to be accepting his new life. Mustn’t it be Chester?

  • I want to ask what happen at the beginning of the story?

  • I really enjoyed the summary it made my life easy…..I mean I’m so thankful to all the Excellencies out there ….thank you.

  • I have a bigger understanding now, you are so awesome

  • 1) As Christians, which advice did Arthur and Ginny give to Julia when she aborted the pregnancy?
    2) Did Chester have intentions to be Julia’s boy friend?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      I’ve only dealt with the part of the story that leads up to Chester becoming aware that he is adopted.

  • How does the story consists post colonial approach and can we say the story deals with the theme of identity crisis if yes, why? And how does the story celebrates cultural hybridity and can we count it as an diasporic literature if yes than why?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      A post colonial approach is taken by way of the fact that the narrator is studying in a private school. This would not have happened prior to post colonialism. There is also a sense that the narrator is trying to discover who she is. Which would play on the idea of the narrator going through an identity crisis.

      Cultural hybridity is celebrated two fold. One by the narrator attending the choir and secondly through the praise poet’s actions. Both sit side by side with one another. The story itself may be considered to be diasporic literature if Emcecheta wrote it outside her homeland. Even if she didn’t the story still deals with the backgrounds and traditions of her homeland.

  • 1. (… You little devil you started the uproar and now look…) This is an example of which figure of speech metaphor, simile, oxymoron or personification?

    2. Why did the headmaster and miss Slattery give each other ‘knowing look’?

    3. How did a revelation about their adoption affected them?

    4. What does the extract tell about Julia?

    5. Discuss relationship between chester and ray!

    6. What is the profession of Arlington?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      1. It’s a simile because it is a comparison.

      2. They both knew that the the children were frightened about starting shcool.

      3. Julia handled it better than Chester who felt a crisis with his identity.

      4. You haven’t included the extract.

      5. Chester and Ray are friends with Chester standing up for Ray in school.

      6. Arthur is a vicar while Ginny appears to be a housewife.

  • 1. according to your knowledge of the story briefly explain how the following people become members of the Arlington’s family

    (a) Chester
    (b) Julia

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      (a) Chester’s mother saw the story about how Ginny and Arthur Arlington adopted Julia and wanted them to adopt Chester. Chester’s father didn’t want him.

      (b) Julia was found abandoned by the paperboy Julian and knocked on the Arlington’s door. Thinking that they could help. They did and adopted Julia.

  • Debate the following topic: Xenophobia (an intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries) plays a role in the new tribe.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      I’m not sure that it does. Ginny and Arthur treat Julia and Chester as equals. Without thinking about where they may come from.

  • Hi! What is the tone and mood? Could you also explain the imagery and symbolism please thanks.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      I would say the tone is direct which is contrary to to the mood which would be less certain. An example being Chester’s concerns about who his birth mother and father may be. As for imagery I’m not sure. Similarly with symbolism if I haven’t covered it in the post I may not have noticed it.

  • Can u please clarify this paragraph for me I dnt know if there is a mistake or its just me who don’t understand.
    Warmed the milk he had been going to drink with his coffee with her free hand.she looked as if she had been doing it all her life.

    Who warmed the milk actually

    Thank u

  • How can we talk about the trauma of adopting children in Buchi Émécheta’s new tribe?

  • How can we deal with unhappiness of adopted children in Émecheta’s new tribe?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      I would suggest that being honest like Ginny and Arthur were with Julia and Chester might be a good starting point. At least then the children have a foundation to work from and their adoptive parents’ support.

  • Can you please explain the setting of the story

  • What is the character analysis of Julia and that of Ray.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Bearing in mind I’ve only read two or three chapters of the book. Julia is a confident young girl who is protective of Chester. Ray I don’t know a lot about. He is a good friend to Chester.

  • Thanks very much u made me understand the story well

  • Why does Chester resign from being the King of the Orient? &Why they choose him to be the king out of all learners?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      I’ve only read the ‘short story’ version of the book. It doesn’t cover Chester being King of the Orient.

  • How does the changes in Chester’s character affect his relationship with Ginny?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Ginny feels as though she is losing Chester. Something that is more noticeable when it comes to the play and Chester decides he doesn’t want to play the King but rather wants to work back stage.

      • What effect does the revelation behind the adoption of Chester and Julia have on the children?

        • Dermot (Post Author)

          Julia handles it well and there is no noticeable change. Chester on the other hand rebels somewhat. The part he plays in the nativity being an example.

  • Hi Can You Please Answer these questions:
    1.In two sentences provide a brief summary of the story
    2.Why did Julian bring the baby to Arthur?
    3.How did Ginny solve each dilemma?
    4.How did Ginny show love to her kids?
    5.Why did Julian protect chester at school?
    6.List three events that strengthened chester’s ‘unbelonging’
    7.Explain how each child reacted to the news of their adoption
    8.Explain the theme of this story
    9.What did you learn from this story?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      1. Young family adopt two children and struggle while raising them.
      2. He felt that Arthur would be able to look after the baby.
      3. Through logic and determination.
      4. She made Chester a book about his home country.
      5. Because she loved him and was protective of him.
      6. I would need to read the story to answer that question.
      7. Julia was fine while Chester was upset.
      8. The theme of the story is identity and discovering who who are.
      9. The importance of knowing whoa who are.

  • Why were Ginny and Arthur shocked?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      I’m not sure if you’re referring to the fact that they have been asked to adopt a black child. While they themselves are white.

  • Why could the adoption of Julia be regarded as miracle

  • Describe the incident that has led to Chester’s purchase of the gift in this extract.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      I haven’t got access to the extract but I assume you mean the gift of the diary. It occurs after Chester decides not to play a part in the nativity play (on stage).

  • I need help about the new tribe i wanted to choose a topic about my master project and on what i would focus my work is about the seeking of family belonging ,identity and otherness in it .
    And i wanted to be helped about another author who has written about identity and otherness in his writting .

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      You might like to look at The Father by Raymond Carver or A View of the Woods by Flannery O’Connor. There is also The Toilet by Gcina Mhlophe.

  • Of the two adopted children, whose mother do you think was more responsible, why?

    Was it easy for the parents to arrange to adopt julia, why?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Chester’s birth mother acted more responsibly because she knew that Ginny and Arthur could provide a good home to Chester. Whereas Julia’s mother abandoned her.

      Ginny and Arthur’s adoption of Julia was easy as those with responsibility for adoptions could see that Ginny was a good mother.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Though the adoption of Julia was easy. Ginny and Arthur still had to answer a lot of questions and sit through many interviews.

  • Wow, the story is understandable now.

  • Questions:1:explain why catherine mba chooses the Arlingtons to adopt chester

    2:what is the chatecter trait of Ginny

    3:the room was frozen into silence what is the figure of speech used comment on its effectiveness

    4:why does Ginny look at the social worker questioningly?

    5:how is the title of this story relevent to the plot?

    6:identity and discuss one theme thatvis evident in this story

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      1. Catherine saw a story in the newspaper about how the Arlington’s adopted Julia and thought that they would make good parents for Chester.

      2. She is full of kindness.

      3. It may be a metaphor. I would have to see the context but it suggests a complete, sudden silence. Which would be may be an effective way to describe what is happening.

      4. She is worried that the social worker is taking Julia back.

      5. Very. A new tribe is being born in two ways. One in the Arlington family and secondly with Chester himself.

      6. I go through some of the themes in the post.

  • 1. Explain how Ginny sets about to ensure that Chester does not lose touch with his heritage?
    2. Identify two contradictory images that Ginny had had learnt about Nigeria?
    3. Explain the inversion of the roles in the Arlington marriage?
    4 explain how Chester as a little boy shows wisdom when he becomes aware of his different skin colour and his sense od unbelonging?
    5 why us Julia very upset?
    6 what incident leads to Chester askng about his mother?
    7 explain why the atmosphere in the family after the children foud out that they are adopted, was tenser than before?
    8 in what way can silence be loud?
    9 why did Chester feel that “he had to be good”?
    10 why is Arthur compared to the “rock of gibraltar”?
    11 comment on the deeper meaning of the title?

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      1. She decides to write a book about Nigeria for Paul.
      2. Ginny thought Nigeria was a place of constant war, violence and poverty but discovers it has a rich history and its own way of doing things.
      3. I don’t think there is an inversion. It is a traditional marriage.
      4. You may be working off an extract but perhaps his engagement with Ray helps Chester to develop.
      5. I’m not sure. Are you working of an extract of the story.
      6. Ginny tells Chester that ‘his people’ are from the east (Africa).
      7. Perhaps because Ginny fears that Chester’s birth mother will come back for him. You’ll need to double check this.
      8. You may be looking for an exact quote from the story. I’m not sure but sometimes a person’s silence can speak a thousand words.
      9. I’m not sure. What section of the story is that line?
      10. Because Arthur is dependable and solid.
      11. The Arlingtons and Chester have both set up new tribes. Tribes that are unique to them and not part of Chester’s heritage.

  • Why do Ginny and Arthur christen the girl Julia?

  • Why do miss slattery and the head master give each other a knowing look?

  • explain the difference between the literal and figurative meaning in the following words of the principal:

    “You little devil, you started the uproar, and now look at you , laughing away with your sister”.

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      The literal suggests something serious while the figurative suggests something light-hearted has happened.

  • Can you discuss this Chester character and how did he develop the course of the work

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Chester went from being unsure about himself because he was the only black member of the Arlington family. To having full confidence in who he was after he discovered he was adopted. His development happens by way of Chester questioning who he was and only being satisfied when he was comfortable in his skin.

  • Plz help explain how chester’s city is always written as ‘city’

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      It may be a case that Ginny does not know what City Chester is from. She only knows the country.

  • Thank you Dermot

  • Why is Julia being referred to as a “miracle”?

  • explain how chester come to be adopted by the arlingtons [3 marks ] please help me

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Chester’s mother read about how the Arlington’s had found Julia and had looked after her. She thought that they would make good parents for Chester. Chester’s father also didn’t want him.

  • Why did she try to teach Chester about Africa

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Ginny thought it was important that Chester knew where he came from. To help him with his identity.

  • hi
    extract B page 176 to 177 “this particular day …end of the world, after all”

    is Arthur’s reaction to Chester’s behavior justified? discuss

    please help

  • Why Catherine Mba decided to give her son up for adoption

  • how Rev Arthur Allington and his wife Ginny came to be foster parents

    • Dermot (Post Author)

      Julia is brought to the Arlington home by Julian, who has found her. Chester’s mother wants the Arlingtons to adopt him because she thinks that Chester would do better with them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *