No Longer at Ease
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The second book in Achebe’s “African trilogy”: A classic story of personal and moral struggle as well as turbulent social conflict.
When Obi Okonkwo—grandson of Okonkwo, the main character in Things Fall Apart—returns to Nigeria from England in the 1950s, his foreign education separates him from his African roots. He’s becoming a part of a ruling elite whose corruption he finds repugnant. Forced to choose between traditional values and the demands of a changing world, he finds himself trapped between the expectations of his family, his village, and the larger society around him. With unequaled clarity and poignancy, Chinua Achebe’s No Longer at Ease remains a brilliant statement of the challenges facing Nigeria today.
so. “We are not heathens,” he had said. “Stories like that are not for the people of the Church.” And Hannah had stopped telling her children folk stories. She was loyal to her husband and to her new faith. Her mother had joined the Church with her children after her husband’s death. Hannah had already grown up when they ceased to be “people of nothing” and joined the “people of the Church.” Such was the confidence of the early Christians that they called the others “the people of nothing” or
from cold, for while the lizard’s scales kept him dry the rat’s hairy body remained wet. The President, in due course, looked at his pocket watch and announced that it was time to declare the meeting open. Everybody stood up and he said a short prayer. Then he presented three kola nuts to the meeting. The oldest man present broke one of them, saying another kind of prayer while he did it. “He that brings kola nuts brings life,” he said. “We do not seek to hurt any man, but if any man seeks to
right to ask a man with elephantiasis of the scrotum to take on smallpox as well, when thousands of other people have not had even their share of small diseases. No doubt it is not right. But it happens. “Na so dis world be,” they say. Having negotiated a loan of fifty pounds from the bank and gone straight to hand it over to the insurance company, Obi returned to his office to find his electricity bill for November. When he opened it he came very close to crying. Five pounds seven and three.
might put up another fight to justify himself. His mind was troubled not only by what had happened but also by the discovery that there was nothing in him with which to challenge it honestly. All day he had striven to rouse his anger and his conviction, but he was honest enough with himself to realize that the response he got, no matter how violent it sometimes appeared, was not genuine. It came from the periphery, and not the center, like the jerk in the leg of a dead frog when a current is
way. The driver and passengers of the good lorry rushed to see what had happened to him. He himself did not know yet whether anything had happened to him. They helped him push his car out, much to the joy of the women passengers who were already crying and holding their breasts. It was only after Obi had been pushed back to the road that he began to tremble. “You very lucky-o,” said the driver and his passengers, some in English and others in Yoruba. “Dese reckless drivers,” he said shaking his