My Mother, My Friend
In Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart Ekwefi and Ezinma have a unique, two-dimensional relationship as mother/daughter and as mother/friend. When Ezinma comes down with a high fever, Ekwefi is immediately at her only daughter's side to aid her. "Ezinma was an only child and the center of her mother's world" (76). Since Ezinma is the only child in her family, she does not have to compete with siblings. She receives undivided attention and love. Ekwefi dearly loves her only daughter, Ezinma, and they have a special mother/daughter relationship. Ekwefi is Ezinma's play buddy. At times, Ekwefi spoils Ezinma and lets her eat such delicacies as eggs. Ekwefi lets Ezinma address her in a way that only a friend would address Ekwefi, let alone her own daughter. "Ezinma did not call her mother Nne like all children. She called her by her name, Ekwefi, as her father and other grownup people did.
The relationship between them was not only that of mother and child. There was something in it like the companionship of equals" (76-77). Ezinma not calling her mother "Nne" shows us that Ezinma and Ekwefi's relationship is different than other child/mother relationships in their village. Ekwefi and Ezinma are closer. Their relationship goes beyond the natural family boundary that will always exist between them. They are more than just mother and daughter. They are great friends. When Ezinma and Ekwefi spend time together, their time is spent as mother and daughter, but also as friends. Ekwefi and Ezinma exhibit the ultimate example of a unique, two-dimensional relationship.