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How has colonization affected the people/affairs of Nigeria, as portrayed in...

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oumaimah | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted February 5, 2008 at 12:57 AM via web

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How has colonization affected the people/affairs of Nigeria, as portrayed in "Anthills of the Savannah"?

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 13, 2008 at 8:44 AM (Answer #1)

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"Anthills" is an excellent portrayal of how African colonialism - and particularly the way colonization occurred and then ended - decimated the culture and economy of the natives.  In Nigeria, local traditions were pushed aside in favor of Western capitalism, education, religion, and social hierarchy.  The people lost touch with their own way of life, being forced to adhere to a new culture if they wished to survive.  When the colonizing countries withdrew, many sought to reclaim the old ways, but found that too much time had gone by.  This resulted in a lack of successful economic patterns, discrimination of the people by the people, and general chaos.  We see this in "Anthills" with the leadership of Sam and his advisors.  They have failed to connect to the people and are holding so tightly to their Western educated ideals about power and government that they can not gain footing amongst the traditionalist.  Beatrice, at the end of the novel, gives the new child a symbolic name meaning "may the path never close."  She is indicating her understanding that her country is still in turmoil, and offering hope that there will be success further down the road. 

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