No Longer At Ease
How we cite our quotes:
And he told her of Mr. Mark's visit to his office and gave her a detailed account of all that transpired between Miss Mark and himself before her arrival.
When he finished, Clara said nothing for a little while.
"Are you satisfied?" asked Obi.
"I think you were too severe on the man," she said.
"You think I should have encouraged him to talk about bribing me?"
"After all, offering money is not as bad as offering one's body. And yet you gave her a drink and a lift back to town." She laughed. "Na so this world be."
Obi wondered. (9.104-110)
Although Clara believes that prostitution is worse than bribery, Obi sees bribery as corruption and prostitution as a form of victimization. Hence, he finds Elsie's offer of prostitution sad, and believes that if he had acquiesced, he would have participated in her victimization. He sees bribery as a corrupt deal between two equally responsible partners.
[Mr Green] turned to Obi and said: "you know, Okonkwo, I have lived in your country for fifteen years and yet I cannot begin to understand the mentality of the so-called educated Nigerian. Like this young man at the University College, for instance, who expects the Government not only to pay his fees and fantastic allowances and find him an easy, comfortable job at the end of his course, but also to pay his intended. It's absolutely incredible. I think Government is making a terrible mistake in making it so easy for people like that to have so-called University education. Education for what? To get as much as they can for themselves and their family. Not the last bit interested in the millions of their countrymen who die every day from hunger and disease." (12.6)
According to Mr. Green, the educated Nigerian has no principles. Or rather, there is just one principle: get as much wealth as possible. This principle seems to be upheld regardless of the cost to impoverished Nigerians who must pay for their corrupt leaders and businessmen.
"You are the biggest ass in Nigeria," said Christopher, and they began a long argument on the nature of bribery.
"If a girl offers to sleep with you, that is not bribery," said Christopher.
"Don't be silly," replied Obi. "You mean you honestly cannot see anything wrong in taking advantage of a young girl straight from school who wants to go to a university?"
"You are being sentimental. A girl who comes the way she did is not an innocent little girl. It's like the story of a girl who was given a form to fill in. She put down her name and her age. But when she came to sex she wrote: 'Twice a week.'" (12.40-43)
Though Obi believes he would be victimizing a young girl by sleeping with her after she asked for his help in getting a scholarship, Christopher sees the young girl as taking charge of her own destiny.