No Longer At Ease Analysis

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In the 1950s African nations commenced fighting for independence. During this period, Chinua Achebe wrote his novel, No Longer at Ease published during Nigeria’s independence. The story occurs in Lagos and Umuofia and the main character, Obi, got money from the Umuofians to study in England. Nonetheless, when he returned to Nigeria, he is trapped between his tradition and western culture. In the book, Achebe emphasizes a theme of colonial mindset through the refutation of Nigerian culture, through English and through the divinization of Europeans. Achebe highlights the presence of a colonial mindset by showing how colonialism affected Nigerian customs. For instance, Joseph told Obi, “no decent restaurant served Nigerian food”…show more content…
Actually, it is mentioned, “to throw a white man was like unmasking an ancestral spirit” (Achebe 58). The comparison between Europeans and ancestral spirits shows that Umuofians gave a particular deference to Europeans. Therefore displaying disrespect to whites was a taboo; this deference triggered a submissiveness to colonial rules which caused a complex of inferiority. Furthermore, one soldier told the Umuofians, “If you see a white man, take off your hat for him. The only thing he cannot do is mould a human being” (Achebe 13). The hyperbole in the second sentence divulges that Nigerians believed that Europeans were close to Gods. Therefore, Europeans were considered as divinities. Moreover, the phrase “take off your hat for him” reinforces the deification as initially, it was used for people going to church who had to remove their hats to worship God. Therefore, in this context, it shows a veneration of the white. This veneration connects to the Empire Days when Nigerians use to sing the English kings and queens’ praises. To summarize, the divinization of Europeans provoked an obedience to colonial rules and a complex of

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