Achebe has been called father of modern African writing. According to Robert Gibson, the Nigerian author is now revered as master by the younger generation of African writers and it is to him they regularly turn for counsel and inspiration. Chinua Achebe is the leading, and certainly the best known, writer of fiction in Black Africa. His novels are read all over the English speaking world and are studied in universities and for school examinations in Africa, Britain, North America, and even in Australia is influence on the development of African literature in English has been considerable.
With the butchery of the Ibos in Northern Nigerian in 1966 and commencement of the Nigerian troubles, he resigned from distribution Corporation and moved back eastern Nigeria. There, when the region declared itself independent under the name of Biafra, he threw in his lot with his fellow – Ibos during the civil war. Even during the war he concentrated on rebuilding the University of Nigeria, Nssuka, where he now teaches.
He also taught for two years in The United States, at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and the University of Connecticut.
It is clear to those who know him that the Biafran conflict and his experiences then have had a profound effect on Achebe, and it seems reasonable to guess that ultimately these will show in the fifth novel. Some of the stories in Girls at War (1971), a collection of short stories which includes some earlier work, and some of the poems in Beware Soul Brother (1972) concern the war, as do several of the essays in his most recent collection Morning Yet On Certain Day (1975), Even if another novel does not deal directly with that tragic conflict, if would be impossible for a writer of Achebes sensitive to avoid showing how such an experience has changed his attitude to life.
As will be apparent to anyone who reads his novels, Achebe sets great importance on family life and relationships. It is clear that he had a particularly happy and warm upbringing and he is most concerned to create the same atmosphere for his own children. It is not surprising, therefore, that one of his works (albeit, not very well known critics) has been Chike and The River (Cambridge university Press, 1966), an adventure story for children.
As well as prizes for his books, Achebe has received many honors and they have often brought with them the possibility for traveling widely all over the world. He gained a Rockefeller grant in 1960, and a UNESCO travel award in 1963. In 1974 he was awarded a fellowship of the Modern Languages Association of America and Honorary doctorates in both the Universities of Stirling and Southampton; and in 1975 he was made second recipient of the Scottish Arts Councils Neil Gunn Fellowship, following one Nobel Prize winner , Heinrich Boll (1973), and predicting another, Saul Bellow (1977). That is the company he keeps that of the most sophisticated writers in the world – this son of a small Nigerian village, grandson of a simple Ibo tribesman.
Arrow of God is the third book written by Achebe was published in 1964. Like its procedures, it explores the intersections of Igbo tradition and European Christianity. Set in the village of Umuaro at the start of the end of the twentieth century, the novel tells the story of Ezeulu, the chief priest of Ulu. Shocked by the power of British intervention in the area, he orders Things Fall Apart and obi in No Longer at Ease; Ezeulu is consumed by the resulting tragedy.
The idea for the novel came in 1959, when Achebe heard the story of a chief priest being captive by a district officer. He drew further inspiration a year later when he viewed a collection of Igbo objects excavated from area by archaeologist Thurstan Shaw. Achebe was startled by the cultural sophistication of artifacts. When an integrate bare him a sequence of papers from colonial officers (not unlike the fictional Pacification of the prehistoric Tribes of the Lower Niger referenced at the end of Things Fall Apart), Achebe merged these strands of history and began work on roundly on Arrow of God in earnest. Like Achebe preceding works, Arrow of God was roundly praised by critics. A revised edition was published in the year 1974 to correct it what Achebe called certain structural weakness.
In a communication to Achebe, the US writer john Updike uttered his surprised respect for the sudden collapse of Arrow of Gods protagonist. He eulogize the authors brave and courage to write an ending few Western novelists would contrive. Achebe responded by signifying that the idiosyncratic hero was rare in African literature given its ancestry in communal living and the point to which characters are subject to non – human forces in the universe.
A Man of the people was established in1966. A fracture spoof set in an unnamed African state which has just attained sovereignty, the novel follows a teacher named Odili Samalu from the village of Anata who opposes a dishonest Minister of Culture named Nanga for his Parliament place. Soon afterward, Nigerian Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeofwu seized control of the northern region of the country as part of a larger coup attempt. Commanders in other areas failed, and the plot was answered by military crackdown. A massacre of three thousands afterwards and stories of other attacks on Igbo Nigerians began filter into Lagos.
The ending of this novel had brought Achebe to the attention of military personnel, who suspected him of having foreknowledge of the coup. When he conventional word of the pursuit, he sent his wife and children on a filthy boat from side to side a series of hidden creeks to the Igbo stranglehold of Port Harcourt. They reach your destination safely, but reply them soon afterwards in Ogidi. These cities were secure from military raid because they were in the southeast, division of the region which would afterward secede.
British officials recognized that administering the Igbo people would be even more difficult than conquering them. The greatest challenge was how to rule the hundreds of Igbo towns and villages that recognized no centralized governments. In the Muslim parts of Northern Nigeria, by contrast, the British maintained much of the structure of the pre existing Sokoto Caliphate; they simply reinforced the power and authority of the rule classes of emirs, and then governed through them. But British officials could not comprehend the democratic genius of Igbo political organization, and felt more comfortable with the hierarchies of kingdoms and empires.
Shortly after the British conquest of Igbo land, officials moved to set up a system of African courts. Their aim was to replace indigenous institutions with a new structure of appointed officials called knowledge warrant chiefs so – called because their sole legitimacy derived from a colonial legal document, the warrant. These warrant chiefs and the British resident commissioners made bylaws and regulated local affairs. They controlled the local police and punished anyone who resisted colonial rule. These men were the tools with which the colonial government hopped to centralize the autonomous political institutions of the Igbo.
The system of warrant chiefs and native courts introduced dramatic changes into Igbo society. The laws that set them up brushed aside traditional judicial institutions. Cases that should have been decided by lineage and village elders – for example, Okonkwos punishment for manslaughter in Achebes novel would now be tried by strangers the district officers who controlled these native courts might have been trained in English law, but they had little or no knowledge of native laws and customs. As a result, many of their decisions contradicted Igbo ideas of justice.
Igbo people protested against the warrant chief and native court systems, but their protests result only punitive expeditions. The crisis came to a head in the late 1920s, when the British extended the principle of direct taxation into the untaxed provinces of southern Nigeria. This policy sparked anti – tax riots in 1927 – 28, and the famous Aba womens riots of 1929. These widespread protests ultimately compelled the colonial administration to reorganize the native authority government in the 1930s and 1940s leading to an improved system of native administration. British officials finally recognized that the poorly trained, and mostly illiterate, warrant chiefs, together with their small army of courts clerks and messengers, could not be relied upon to collect taxes and discharge a host of administrative system remained operative unit 1952, when it gave way to a regional government system that paved the way for constitutional reform and prepared Nigerians for political independence. In October 1960, the Igbo people joined other Nigerians in celebrating national independence.
Achebes novels approach a variety of themes. In his early writing, a representation of the Igbo civilization itself is supreme. Critic Nahem Yousaf tourist attractions the significance of these depiction approximately the tragic stories of Oknokwo and Ezeulu, Achebe sets about textualising Igbo cultural identify. convinced rudiments of Achebes