The Predicaments of Post-Colonialism. an Analytical Study of Chinua Achebe’s No Longer at Ease

Topics: Things Fall Apart, Education, Chinua Achebe Pages: 5 (1619 words) Published: November 23, 2012
No Longer At Ease Extract
In fact, some weeks ago when the trial first began, Mr.| | Green, his boss, who was one of the Crown witnesses, had also said| | something about a young man of great promise. And Obi had| | remained completely unmoved. Mercifully he had recently lost his| | mother, and Clara had gone out of his life. The two events| 5| events following closely on each other had dulled his sensibility and left| | him a different man, able to look words like ‘education and| | ‘promise squarely in the face. But now when the supreme moment| | came he was betrayed by treacherous tears.| |

Mr. Green had been playing tennis since five o’clock. It was most| 10| unusual. As a rule his work took up so much of his time that he| | rarely played. His normal exercise was a short walk in the| | evenings. But today he had played with a friend who worked for| | the British council. After the game they retried to the club bar| | Mr. Green had a light yellow sweater over his white shirt, and a| 15| white towel hung from his neck. There were many other| |

Europeans in the bar, some half-sitting on the high stools and| | some standing in groups of twos and threes drinking cold beer,| | orange squash or gin-and-tonic. | |
‘I cannot understand why he did it’, said the British council| 20| man thoughtfully. He was drawing lines of water with his finger on| | the back of his mist-covered glass of ice-cold beer.| |

‘I can,’ said Mr. Green simply. ‘What I can’t understand is| | is why people like you refuse to face facts.’ Mr. Green was famous for| | speaking his mind. He wiped his red face with the white towel on| 25| his neck. ‘The African is corrupt through and through.’ The| | British council man looked about his furtively, more from| | instinct than necessity, for although the club was now open to| | them technically, few Africans went to it. On this particular| | occasion there were none, except of course the stewards who served| 30| unobtrusively. It was quite possible to go in, drink, sign a cheque,| | talk to friends and leave again without noticing these stewards in| | their white uniforms. If everything went right you did not see| | them.| |

‘They are all corrupt,’ repeated Mr. Green. ‘I’m all for| 35| equality and all that. I for once would hate to live in South Africa.| | But equality won’t alter facts.’| |
‘What facts?’ asked the British Council man, who was| | relatively new to the country. There was a lull in the general con-| | versation as many people were now listening to Mr. Green without appearing to do so.| 40| The predicaments of post-colonialism. An analytical study of Chinua Achebe’s No Longer At Ease

No Longer At Ease is an African, post-colonial novel published in 1960. It is the story of an Ibo man, Obi, who is privileged enough to leave his village for a British education and a job in the civil service. However, Obi struggles to find bearing in the chasm between a dying colonialism and stillborn independence. With the country on the threshold of independence, the novel speaks strongly of themes such as education, tradition, progression and corruption. The chosen extract is found in the opening chapter of the novel, and details the trial in which Obi is charged for corruption. It is henceforth the intent of this essay to examine how the aforementioned themes are established through the symbolism of key characters, character foils and the frame story technique adopted. This topic was selected as the novel is set in the time period in which it was written, thus it is poignant to examine the perils of cultural assimilation and modernization within the novel as a microcosm of the struggles faced by postcolonial societies. The extract hence provides a good platform to discuss multiple areas and themes of the novel relevant to the question at hand. The interplay of the opening scene and...
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