No Longer At Ease, By Chinua Achebe

Topics: Chinua Achebe, Chinua Achebe, Igbo people, Igbo people, Things Fall Apart, Things Fall Apart / Pages: 5 (1213 words) / Published: Sep 22nd, 2016
Extract 5 Chapter 6-How does Achebe convey loss of cultural identity as a result of colonialism here.

No Longer at ease is a novel written in the 1960s by Chinua Achebe originating in Nigeria and it tells a story of an intelligent, idealistic man called Obi Okonkwo. Throughout the novel, we discover many of his struggles with his split cultural heritage and beliefs as a result of colonialism in Nigeria. Because of this, he faces many challenges in his life making him segregated from the rest of the society. Achebe conveys the loss of cultural identity as a result of colonialism by the authority of his parents, the register of the folk tales, the structure and theme of food.

Firstly, Obi’s parents are catechist which are people who teach
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Folks tale are a major part of the Ibo culture and have been passed down from generations to generations. Often, these folktales include animals and exhibit elements of truth that translate into realism. Because Obi is Christian and it is forbidden to learn these cultural folk tales, he doesn't know any tales making him an outsider in his class. This is shown in the line “derisive laughter” where derisive means characterised by or expressing contemptuous or mocking and Achebe is trying to prove there are two groups, his classmates and then himself. Moreover, it is not only a laughter but derisive which highlights how much his classmates are picking on him because he is different, also, it is like a communal laughter that Obi unfortunately, can never experience again, showing the segregation between Christians and non-Christians. Nevertheless, Obi is humiliated, Achebe conveys this by using powerful verbs like in the line “tears filled his eye and rolled down his cheeks as he went back to his place”, we feel sentimental as the fact that “tears rolled down his cheeks”, shows he is absolutely humiliated and it is not just a mild cry, furthermore considering he is a very young child increasing the poignancy towards Obi. Achebe conveys the loss of cultural identity as a result of colonialism by showing the traumatic effects of being split or …show more content…
For example, the line “We don’t eat heathen food” (shown previously on how it influences children), it suggests the Christian value lowly of the non-Christian who are called “people of nothing”. It also demonstrates how colonialism has resulted in a community in a village has separated into factions and have turned against each other. The word “heathens” and this has extremely negative connotations.Heathen means an individual of a person that do not acknowledge the God of the Bible and it is used to describe sinful or irreligious activity in general. Heathen has connotations of barbarism or uncivilised, two words that describe the effect of colonialism. In the certain situation, Achebe uses food as an example because food brings people together (extremely important in the Ibo culture), but in this case that value of culture is disrespected and instead developed into people responding discourteously (the damage of colonialism). You can see the restriction of Christianity in the line “children were free to eat where they liked” and this compares how much freedom the children the village have to how much freedom Obi has. Additionally, the two foods mentioned in the extract are yam and palm kernels (typical Nigerian cultural fruits and vegetables) a symbolism of the great unique culture among the Ibo people. The effect of this adds a stronger feeling towards the audience opinion about

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