Achebe's fourth novel contains a range of male and female characters who give a sense of the complex urban political life and the seemingly more anchored, but threatened life of the rural villages.
Odili, nicknamed "diligent" by his schoolmates, is the chief male character and the narrator. He is naive, sexist, snobbish, self-centered, and self-congratulatory, providing wonderful opportunities for demonstrating the author's humor and ironic wit. Still, he grows with the book into more of a man than even he perhaps knows.
At the outset, he puts his foot in his mouth on...
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