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No Longer At Ease Essay

1438 words - 6 pages

No Longer at Ease is an interesting book. While it has its negatives, the way this book was written and the deeper meaning to be found once you look closer into the book outweigh said negatives. In the book No Longer at Ease by Chinua Achebe, morals are tested and eventually lost. The author places the main character, Obi Okonkwo, into many financial struggles and tests his idea of being an incorruptible person. Eventually Obi falls to the corruption of bribery and is arrested. The author makes a lot of effort in placing Obi in financial situations where he just cannot keep up with all of the expenses and at times makes bad financial decisions. Obi’s constant struggle with his fiancée, ...view middle of the document...

Another example of Obi getting greedy, although not as obvious, is when he cheated on Clara. In Chapter twelve, Obi and Christopher play tennis with two Roman Catholic missionaries and after the day, Obi tries to kiss one of the girls. Although he is unsuccessful, it shows that Clara is not enough for a colonized African. Christopher is also very greedy as he cheats on his girlfriend who he wants to marry. He usually has three girls he escorted at any time. Christopher was also an educated African. While the English were trying to help the Africans and believed their colonization was a righteous thing to do, it ended up backfiring and the Africans who got educated in England eventually became greedy and corrupt.
Continuing with the theme of colonization, the Africans are getting used to the efforts of the English. Clara likes movies, and Obi likes T.S. Eliot. Both of these things are from England and shows that they have started to abandon their home country. With the money from having an English Post, and having of not having money in Africa, greed kicks in easily for Obi after his will is broken.
In many ways some may say that Obi is faced with a crisis in the book. I think, however, that he is just irresponsible with the way he handles his money. I also believe that even though the bribery might not have been inevitable, Obi getting into a serious financial downfall was unstoppable. In England, I do not believe they taught the Africans to handle their money so someone who came up with little or no money at all will inevitably spend it irresponsibly. While at times Obi was not at fault at what happened, many times it was his fault. For instance, when Obi got angry at the Umuofian Progressive Union for bringing up Clara when he asked for a four month extension on his loan payments. This caused Obi to have to immediately start paying his loan payments and put an unneeded financial burden on him. Obi’s pride caused him to get into the financial struggle in ways and so it was inevitable. Another time Obi’s pride got in the way is when Clara offered him fifty pounds and he denies it even though it would have helped tremendously. Although the money being stolen was not his fault, he could have handled the situation better.
I feel sympathy for Obi for several reasons, although I feel that he could have handled some things much better. One reason I feel sympathy for Obi is the constant beating down of his will throughout the whole book. He was constantly fighting with his fiancée, Clara. She was an osu, and therefore the whole book she was trying to get out of marrying him to avoid him the family problems that would come of it. He was very persistent with it and it did eventually cause family turmoil. Obi’s mother threatened to commit suicide if he married Clara before he died. Clara and Obi fought over very basic matters as well. When Clara would want to go the movies, Obi would not want to. Similarly, when Obi would read his poetry to...

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