Things Fall Apart and No Longer at Ease
in Chinua Achebe
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Things Fall Apart and No Longer at Ease were conceived by Achebe as a saga spanning three generations of an Igbo family and their struggles to survive successive waves of Nigerian nation building. Reading them as interlocking parts of a single narrative reveals much that is otherwise missed about the novels and the way they comment on the damaging effects of colonialism. If pre-colonial culture in Igboland is seen as having its problems – domestic violence and infanticide being notable among them – Achebe's portrait of a modernity dominated by corruption, in which young women must prostitute themselves for advancement or undergo botched, backstreet abortions as the heroine of his second novel does, works to suggest that these have not disappeared, but merely taken new forms. Far from being expressions of nationalist commitment, as critics have often claimed, these novels offer a deeply troubled assessment of Nigeria's past and prospects.


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