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Man Of The People Essay

937 words - 4 pages

Being set in the 60s, Chinua Achebe's book A Man of The People, introduces the reader to the social and political upheaval that was prevalent in the newly liberated African countries. Achebe skillfully weaves underlying themes like nationalism, empirism, corruption and the effects of western influence into the story. The quality of Achebe's writing is also seen in the way he presents one or a combination of these themes in his characters. Chinua Achebe's book is of great historical significance as it portrays the growing pains of each newly liberated country. It is also important as it aptly describes the situation in Nigeria prior to the national coup of 1966.To further appreciate his book, ...view middle of the document...

He is a man of the people as he is a local member of their community, he has been educated in Africa and more than that, he was out to help the members of his community by providing them with water pipes. Although Nanga was fleecing them, the people were willing to bear it quietly rather than take action against him as he was from their community. Nanga's character is a nationalist and brings out the nationalism in the people.Nationalism is also portrayed in Odili and Max. Both of them were members of the educated elite who wanted to channel their education towards making a difference in the social and political states before it got too late. They wanted to use their political party to represent the upper echelon of society and the poor man fairly. However the illiterate people had no regard for the educated. The main cause for the disregard of the educated people was the fact that their education had been European education. It went against the grain of nationalism. This was another reason for the peoples' support of Nanga as opposed to Odili in the elections. Nationalism was in truth one of the driving factors to the liberation of Nigeria.Western influence and modernization are two underlying themes in Achebe's book that do warrant a mention. Odili is a good example of western influence. He has had western exposure through his education and has high aspirations of going abroad for his higher studies. Western influence is responsible for modernization and is seen among the people who want proper toilets and water...

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