Chinua Achebe World Literature Analysis
Achebe establishes a human context for understanding modern Nigerian history. Things Fall Apart describes the devastating first contacts between European and Igbo cultures at the beginning of the twentieth century and bends over backwards to demonstrate good and bad on both sides. The subsequent institutionalization of European religious and political structures is examined in Arrow of God; the uneasy years immediately preceding independence are explored in No Longer at Ease; the excitement and disappointment of Nigeria’s First Republic are the subjects of A Man of the People; the suffering produced by the Nigerian civil war is the theme of Girls at War, and Other Stories and Beware, Soul Brother, and Other Poems; and the corrupt authoritarianism that has characterized Nigeria’s Second Republic is the focus of Beware, Soul Brother, and Other Poems and Anthills of the Savannah. Indeed, the title of his commentary, The Trouble with Nigeria, identifies a concern central to his entire canon.
As a corrective to European literature’s stereotypical portraits of Africans as unvaryingly backwards, Achebe demonstrates the value and viability of traditional Igbo culture, describes Nigerians as complex human beings with a strong sense of community and tolerance, and establishes the independence of African literature. In “The Role of a Writer in a New Nation,” he identifies his...
(The entire section is 2716 words.)
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