Critical Overview of Chinua Achebe's Novels Defining Women’s Roles in Nigerian Society

"Real tragedy is never resolved. It goes on hopelessly for ever."
Chinua Achebe (1930 - )
While making general estimates of Achebe’s women as seen in his novels in the historical perspectives, it is better to  cover the journey of Nigerian literature particularly novel up to Achebe.  In Achebe here is a glimpse of   present  Nigeria which was once a home to ethnically based kingdoms and tribal communities before it became a European colony. It can also be traced the facts in Achebe’s novels how in spite of European contact these kingdoms and communities maintained their autonomy and how the colonial era began, and how Nigeria became independent of British rule in 1960 and how After independence Nigeria experienced frequent coups and long periods of autocratic military and how finally a democratic civilian government was established. It will also examine how in this long run of Nigerian history, Achebe as a Nigerian writer flourished and how Achebe has drawn women as a cultural agent in these social evolution.

A literature review of Achebe’s text, Things Fall Apart  aims to explain the benefits of defining women’s roles in traditional Igbo society in pre-colonial era of Nigeria. It presents the conflicts inherent in masculine and feminine aspects of the novel. Things Fall Apart teaches tribal women’s role in social changes from my proposed experiments. In exploring the development of Okonkwo’s relationship with his sons and daughters and wives, Things Fall Apart is an interesting study if the novel develops themes of the awakening of self-awareness, and of the need to accept persons with very different perceptions and opinions about life. Again, it can be studied if the events in the book are realistic and believable, and the characters' actions and thoughts draw the reader directly into the plot, making the conflict come alive as a universal issue facing all tribal women.

The literary techniques and characterizations used in Achebe’s No Longer at Ease is aimed in explaining the results of independence of a new nation, Nigeria. The character of Clara  will allow each critical argument’s unique response to determine, to assess the value of womanhood and how social taboo is still bifurcating relations. To my research the character of Clara is invaluable for evaluating the model structure of Achebe’s foster new woman. It is also to be measured if Clara represents the common women; the immediate society she lives in is Nigeria in general, every day how she struggles with her taboo of osu to survive physically and psychologically. The society supplies her with the key necessities: an identity and a job. Her choices are few, but the one great choice is her: to live as a taboo or to revolt. Her choice to survive within the social parameter impacts the greater society: woman can go on despite whatever cruelties society imposes.

 Arrow of God can be studied as an adventure tale that indirectly leads us to confront the destruction of a heritage, the sources of human suffering, and the dangers of colonialism. These issues surface naturally through the interaction of the characters. Although the story is simply written, the vocabulary is challenging, and Achebe presents his book from varying perspectives. We have very little scope of studying women aspects here. However, the nature myth, fertility rites and spiritual ethos are built in matriarchal ideology. From eco-critical perspective we can define this Igbo world.

  A Man of the People   abounds with drama, conflict, and charismatic characters and topics, many and varied. These include such enduring human concerns as the fear of death, the need for true friendship, the importance of achieving great deeds and displaying virtuous traits (such as courage, loyalty, and leadership) and—perhaps most vital of all—the glory and wisdom to be found in the birth of a nation. On a basic narrative level, the novel reveals many ways in which we determine the fate of a newly built nation. Even though corruptions and voluptuousness are rampant in such a society where women are mere puppet in the hands of power politics, in few occasion women are found colossal structure of the society. It will study that mere ignorance of this fact will bring a collapse of a nation. 

  Anthills of the Savannah  is rich in significant human themes, including power, the problems of nation with divorced vision, culture and conflict, conformity and rebellion, loyalty and betrayal. It can be studied how these ideas are developed in a tense, suspenseful narrative, focused on the heroine, Beatrice, who finds herself a sophisticated mother figure in the alien world of a community of crooked power politicians. Here we will locate Beatrice, a new woman of Achebe, who is placed amongst a set of mysterious world of political charlatans, people who prey on the credulity of others and who make their careers out of deliberate but ingenious fraud.

  Ardhendu De

 Primary Sources:

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. Penguin Modern Classics. London, 2010. Print.
Achebe, Chinua. No Longer at Ease. Penguin Classics. London, 2010. Print.
Achebe, Chinua. Arrow of God. Penguin Modern Classics. London, 2010. Print.
Achebe, Chinua. A Man of the People. Anchor Books House, New York, 1967, 1989. Print.
Achebe, Chinua. Anthills of the Savannah. Penguin Modern Classics. London, 2001. Print.