why is beatrice portrayed as being a priestess?

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sagetrieb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Beatrice is an unusual woman. She is educated, strong, yet very intuitive as well. Although she has a career ahead of her, more than a career she desires peace, which gives a certain spiritual quality to her. In addition, she is very intuitive, which adds to this. Through Beatrice, Achebe links the Africa of the future with the myths of traditional Africa, always valorizing the latter of the former. He does this through Beatrice by showing her to be an embodiment of “Idemili, a goddess sent to Man to oversee morality.” Significantly, her name also alludes to Dante’s muse, which connects her to the tradition of the West as well. It is to preserve and celebrate traditional African values and dignify women within them, as well as merge these with a modern woman, that Achebe makes Beatrice a sort of priestess.

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Anthills of the Savannah

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