Study Guide

No Longer At Ease Lies and Deceit

By Chinua Achebe

Lies and Deceit

According to No Longer At Ease, corruption is an integral part of the Nigerian civil and business system. In order to get a job or a scholarship, bribery seems to be a necessary step. Obi, a young man educated in Great Britain, believes strongly that education is the key to ending corruption. Ultimately, though, he too succumbs to temptation when he discovers that his salary is insufficient to meet all his financial obligations.

Questions About Lies and Deceit

  1. What lies does Obi tell himself? What lies does he tell his family, his friends? What lies does he tell Clara?
  2. Why does Obi find himself lying so much? Does he deceive anybody? Does he deceive himself? Why or why not?
  3. What other characters in the book are deceptive?
  4. Do you agree with Obi's belief that education is the best way to fight corruption?

Chew on This

Although Obi falls victim to corruption and bribery, it is not because he is inherently corruptible; rather, he is vulnerable because he spent so much time lying to the people he loves.

Even though Obi is correct that education may be a corrective force for corruption, he fails to account for how hubris and self-righteousness can lead to one's downfall.