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No Longer At Ease By Chinua Achebe

1996 words - 8 pages

Chinua Achebe is one of the established author in Nigeria and all over the world at large. In this book, Achebe shows us how corruption has shaped the lives and behaviour of the Nigerian society from colonial era to present independence.
“No Longer at Ease” is a book that talks about corruption and the way it affects people. It even goes as far to talk about the traditional life, cultural behaviour and the activities of the Nigerian society. “Corruption”, is the swindling behaviour of virtuous people in the society and country at large.
The protagonist, Obi Okonkwo is a very intelligent and well brought up young man. He is from a Christian background. Due to his outstanding performance in school, he was offered a scholarship to study in England by the Umuofia Progressive Union of his state in Nigeria. Although Obi got the scholarship, he had to pay back the money on his completion of school and his return back from England. During his four years in England, he ended up dating a lady called Clara who was a nurse and also a Nigerian. Obi is someone who detests corruption and does not want to have anything to do with it. He works on the Scholarship Board of the Civil Service.
In my argument, I want to talk about how corruption is generally accepted by the Nigerian society and how it transformed Obi to be a part of such practice. For instance, when Obi was travelling back to his village from England for the first time, they were stopped by two policemen. Suddenly, the driver’s mate immediately got down and approached them with money to buy them off. There and then, Obi turned to look at them and the policeman felt so uncomfortable that he did not want to risk his life and so he refused to take the money from the mate. Due to this action, instead of the normal two shillings they ended up paying 10 shillings to the policemen. This made the driver so mad at Obi that he did not even utter a word to him on their way to Umuofia. The women in the car also diverted their conversation from talking about women to talking about men. They made a mockery of Obi that he began feeling bad and guilty, making him regret interfering in the matter. This shows that the Nigerian society do not care about corruption and bribery. They do not have any problem with it and see nothing wrong with it. Even those in high authorities who are suppose to make sure things like this do not happen are also much part of it. Because of this, the society do not see why they should not also involve themselves in that kind of practice since even the government are part of such act, so therefore the people tend to see it as something normal.
Another evidence to show that the people of Nigeria leave in corruption is when Obi went for his first interview at the Public Service Commission. Obi had already attained favour in the eyes of the board for his impressive performance before he got so upset due to a question a member of the board asked him about bribery....

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