What are the themes in "Anthills of the Savannah" by Achebe?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Achebe's work deals very directly with the issues of post-colonial Africa. Countries that had their own cultures and systems of government found themselves occupied, with new cultures and languages forced upon them. Then, European countries withdrew, leaving chaos in their wake. Imagine walking up with amnesia. You have no idea of your past life and so begin a new one. Many years later, you get your memory back. Do you go back to your past life or stay in your new one? Imagine the amount of conflict you might have about your own identity. It is a simplistic comparison, but it is a snapshot of what Achebe is trying to show in Anthills. A country is left with no stability and a mixed sense of culture.

In addition to showcasing these truths, Achebe also highlights social inequality. Achebe attacks capitalism and materialism, focusing on the problem of haves and have-nots in society. Consider this quote from the book:

Charity … is the opium of the privileged; from the good citizen who...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 633 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team