Proverbs- If allusions to English literature are what are constantly driving us toward England, it is the constant allusion to proverbs that drives us back to Africa. Achebe peppers his novel with proverb after proverb, making the novel specifically and strategically African. Achebe, like Obi, is using the tools of colonialism for his own purposes; he is making the European form of the novel his own. Language-The issue of language is omnipresent in the novel and is simply one of the many issues that arise out of a colonial society. Obi struggles between two tongues (Ibo and English) just as he does between two cultures. He was born into one language, and he obtained "knowledge" in the form of the other causing one of the basic problems throughout No Longer At Ease. Symbols
Mr. Green-Mr. Green is symbolic of the European presence in Nigeria, as he is the epitome of the "paternal colonizer," who has brought some good but mostly arrogance. He is very much the kind of Englishman who believes in the good of empires and thinks he can, as Obi points out, tell people how to live their lives. The Umuofian Progressive Union-If Mr. Green stands for Europe in Obi's struggle between tradition and European ways, then the UPU stands for the stubborn traditional ways of the past. Tone -In the third paragraph of No Longer At Ease, the judge assigned to Obi Okonkwo's case regards Obi the way a "collector fixes his insect with formalin" (1.3). The omniscient narrator in No Longer At Ease is no more sympathetic to Obi than this judge. The tone is coldly analytical, almost scientific in its precision, demonstrating in step-by-step fashion just how Obi deserted his lofty principles and started to accept bribes. Third person-This book is told in the third person, looking in from the outside on Obi's life, habits, and thoughts. We are not privy to other people's ideas or thoughts, unless they express them to Obi. This narrative technique allows us to inspect Obi's life and thoughts...
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