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Jago Morrison

Victoria, Queen of England’, he describes the experience of being raised in the orbit of the Church Missionary Society, who regarded the society around them as primitive and worthless. As a boy, he grew up in a condi- Morrison_Achebe.indd 57 26/05/2014 12:03 58  Chinua Achebe tion of estrangement from traditional culture, reading works of European literature and regarding Western inventions, such as the motor car, as the height of sophistication. Later, when he came to re-evaluate that legacy, he describes the writing of his first novel Things Fall Apart as ‘an act of

in Chinua Achebe
Abstract only
Jago Morrison

, is that Igbo gender relations in the 1920s may have been far less simple, and far less one-sided, than Arrow of God seems to suggest. In this respect, Ifi Amadiume’s 1987 study Male ­Daughters, Female Husbands: Gender and Sex in an African Society is particularly interesting, in that it focuses on a community with which the Achebe family was directly associated, that of Nnobi, where Achebe himself was born in 1930, and where his father worked for the Church Missionary Society at St Simon’s church. By that time, as we will see, resentment against the colonial

in Chinua Achebe
Contexts and intertexts
Jago Morrison

a servant for the principal of St Monica’s Girls School in Ogidi in exchange for an education. His father was a stalwart of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) based regionally at Onitsha, and travelled as a preacher between the surrounding towns and villages. The churches within whose ambit the Achebe family existed were staffed and congregated by local Igbo: white people, and people from outside the locality, were a comparatively rare sight. As Achebe makes clear in The Education of a British-Protected Child, then, the church and the Igbo community which

in Chinua Achebe
Jago Morrison

correspondence between himself and the protagonist. When Odili attends a literary exhibition, for example, Achebe has him confide an ambition ‘to write a novel about the coming of the first white men to my district’ (MP, 58). While the author’s own father was a catechist for the Church Missionary Society, striving to convert the Igbo heathen to the white man’s religion, Odili’s father is a former District Interpreter, one of the more privileged native positions established by the British in their efforts to govern their restive colonial subjects. In an early scene recalling

in Chinua Achebe