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Analysis

Literary Devices in No Longer At Ease

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

The written word symbolizes the power of Europeans, which Achebe tells us outright. We see that Isaac Okonkwo embraces it early on:Mr. Okonkwo believed utterly and completely in the things of the w...

Setting

No Longer At Ease is set in the 1950s, before Nigeria achieved independence from Great Britain. Though the British had been trading in Nigeria and had sent numerous missionaries to convert the regi...

Narrator Point of View

This book is told in the third person, looking in from the outside on Obi's life, habits, and thoughts. We are not privy to other people's ideas or thoughts, unless they express them to Obi. This n...

Genre

No Longer At Ease is a classic tragedy. A classic tragedy is the story of a man or woman who tries to change the world. In the end, their pride is the fatal flaw and they end up destroying themselv...

Tone

In the third paragraph of No Longer At Ease, the judge assigned to Obi Okonkwo's case regards Obi the way a "collector fixes his insect with formalin" (1.3). The omniscient narrator in No Longer At...

Writing Style

Achebe's writing style lacks frills, flowery-speech, and excessive metaphors or symbols. For example, in following passage, Achebe is straight-forward in his description of Obi's thought patterns:...

What's Up With the Title?

In one sense, the title suggests something pretty obvious – someone once felt comfortable and is now feeling uneasy. And actually, once you get into the novel, you find out that this quick as...

What's Up with the Epigraph?

We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,With an alien people clutching their gods.I should be glad of another death.– T.S. Eliot, "The Jo...

What's Up with the Ending?

Because the beginning of No Longer At Ease has already provided us with the knowledge that Obi Okonkwo is guilty of corruption and accepting bribes, the actual ending of the novel is ironic. Achebe...

Tough-o-Meter

Although this book is easy to read, you might get kind of confused about some of the culture and history. Here are a couple of things to know that might help you: Bride-price: Bride-price is a marr...

Plot Analysis

The courtroom, the tennis club, meeting of the Umuofia Progressive UnionNo Longer At Ease opens with Obi Okonkwo's corruption trial. Obi is presumed to be guilty by all sides, though the narrator d...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Tragedy

Obi and Clara fall in love and Obi obtains a lucrative position with the Scholarship Board. Obi dreams of marrying Clara. He's got a good job with the civil service and now he wants to settle down...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Obi is on trial for corruption. The judge asks how such a young, educated man, with so much promise could possibly have fallen to such lows. Though he had tried to steel himself for this moment, Ob...

Trivia

Achebe is the most widely read author from the African continent. His books have been translated into 40 languages. (Source)The kola nut is a symbol of Igbo hospitality. It is offered to visitors a...

Steaminess Rating

Prostitution, sleeping with a forbidden love, abortion…there is sex in No Longer At Ease, but it occurs off-stage. Nevertheless, we do see Clara and Obi talking (or fighting) in bed. We also...

Allusions

Matthew 4:16, King James Version (1.41)Proverbs 9:10, King James Version (1.48)T.S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (2.25)Isaiah 7:3 (3.39)Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "The Rime of the Anc...
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