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No Longer At Ease By Chinua Achebe

1256 words - 5 pages

Well-acclaimed author, Chinua Achebe from Wes Africa, is recognized worldwide for his exquisite and intelligent usage of literary devices to bring to the limelight pertinent issues facing the African continent, more specifically Nigeria. He introduces the world to his main character Obi Okonkwo whom; through his eyes, a glimpse is given into the world of a Nigerian .In Things Fall Apart, his first of three novels, Okonkwo, upon his arrival from England is completely detached from his African heritage. From the novel, it is noticed that Obi Okonkwo slowly becomes a part of a dominant class whose corruption he finds repugnant. In an effort to choose between the acceptance of traditional values and the pleasures of a fast changing world, Obi finds himself in a tight fix .He is faced with growing pressures from the expectations of his family, his community, and the larger society around him. With unprecedented lucidity and a growing passion, Chinua Achebe’s No Longer at Ease remains till date a brilliant account of the challenges facing Nigeria today. This paper seeks to examine the representation of the colonial experiences of Obi Okonkwo in the fiction of Chinua Achebe.
With an impressive command over the English language, Achebe employs a pleasant style to his narrative through his use of imagery throughout the novel. Education for years now has been the prime key to success for many around the world and this was no different for Umuofia native, Obi Okonkwo. The pleasures associated with gaining an international education proved to be enticing for many Africans. Elders of Umuofia moved heaven and earth to be able to put Okonkwo through school. It seemed, however, that, his education in England was meant to secure him a good position back in his homeland, Nigeria. Obi Okonkwo who held a degree in English was revered by many of his tribesmen. He was also able to hold his own during conversations, of which an example was seen during his interview with the company to which he was trying to secure a job. Western education can have its many perks as well as its quirks. Okonkwo’s was not an exception. Although he had a fair command over the English language, he seemed to have picked up some bad habits which, unfortunately, he displayed upon arrival to Nigeria. This was demonstrated when Obi Okonkwo, for whom a party was thrown in his honor arrived to the occasion casually dressed. This was not once but on two or more occasions. I t seemed that Okonkwo had thrown culture out the window and embraced the culture of a foreign land. In Africa, it is popular to see the guest of honor clad in beautiful clothing despite the weather at that particular moment. I t seemed that his short lived experience of the chilly weather in England, made being back home a bit difficult for him as it was complete transition from a chilly weather to warm one.
In the light of his stay abroad, Okonkwo did not view the world as he had done before his foreign education. He was...

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