Judging judgment in Chinua Achebe's No Longer at Ease

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Achebe’s first novel, Things Fall Apart, had been published in 1958 by Heinemann to critical acclaim. Achebe’s success with Heinemann led to him taking the helm of Heinemann’s groundbreaking African Writers Series in 1962. As series editor, Achebe did much to shape the image of African writing in the Anglophone world, to which his own fiction made a significant contribution. No Longer at Ease appeared in 1960 as a sequel to Things Fall Apart , and a brief outline of the novel’s story is necessary before we can begin to examine Achebe’s engagement with questions of judgment. Obi Okonkwo is the son of a Nigerian catechist in the Anglican Church and the grandson of Okonkwo, the central figure of Things Fall Apart . Whilst grandfather Okonkwo had resisted the incursion of Christianity and colonialism in Umuofi a, the village of which he was an elder, Obi is the product of that incursion – missionary school educated and the beneficiary of a local scholarship which enables him to study abroad in Great Britain. Obi’s scholarship is paid for by the Umuofi a Progressive Union (UPU), a collective of Umuofi ans who have moved out into the burgeoning urban centres of Nigeria. They realise that to have an Umuofi an voice in Nigerian politics and administration they must ensure that the brightest of the next generation receives a British education, thereby gaining access to the colonial civil service. That brightest is Obi, the first recipient of the UPU’s educational scholarship.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReading The Legal Case
Subtitle of host publicationCross-Currents Between Law and The Humanities
EditorsMarco Wan
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780203121696
ISBN (Print)9780415737289, 9780415673549
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2012

Cite this