At first glance I must have really misread "The Madman" at first and I had seriously mistaken this as crazy, chaotic and hard to follow. Like many others I was very confused and had made the assumption that the two main characters were one in the same. I had to look back at the dialect between the madman and the main character Nwibe. It was when the madman started thinking to himself that Nwibe was the same man who had beat him up , the same man that whipped him out of his hut and that Nwibe was the same man who told his children to throw stones at him.
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Biography[ edit ] Chinua Achebe was born on 16 November The Achebe family had five other surviving children, named in a similar fusion of traditional words relating to their new religion: Frank Okwuofu, John Chukwuemeka Ifeanyichukwu, Zinobia Uzoma, Augustine Ndubisi, and Grace Nwanneka.
Storytelling was a mainstay of the Igbo tradition and an integral part of the community. A controversy erupted at one such session, when apostates from the new church challenged the catechist about the tenets of Christianity. Achebe later included a scene from this incident in Things Fall Apart. One of his classmates announced to the professor that the only enjoyable moment in the book is when Johnson is shot.
In Achebe wrote a piece for the University Herald entitled "Polar Undergraduate", his debut as an author. It used irony and humour to celebrate the intellectual vigour of his classmates. Rattled by not receiving the highest level, he was uncertain how to proceed after graduation. He returned to his hometown of Ogidi to sort through his options.
He taught in Oba for four months, but when an opportunity arose in to work for the Nigerian Broadcasting Service NBS , he left the school and moved to Lagos. This helped him master the subtle nuances between written and spoken language, a skill that helped him later to write realistic dialogue. A huge conurbation , the city teemed with recent migrants from the rural villages.
Achebe revelled in the social and political activity around him and later drew upon his experiences when describing the city in his novel No Longer at Ease. His first trip outside Nigeria was an opportunity to advance his technical production skills, and to solicit feedback on his novel which was later split into two books. In London, he met a novelist named Gilbert Phelps , to whom he offered the manuscript.
Phelps responded with great enthusiasm, asking Achebe if he could show it to his editor and publishers. Achebe declined, insisting that it needed more work. He cut away the second and third sections of the book, leaving only the story of a yam farmer named Okonkwo who lives during the colonization of Nigeria.
He added sections, improved various chapters, and restructured the prose. By , he had sculpted it to his liking, and took advantage of an advertisement offering a typing service. After he waited several months without receiving any communication from the typing service, Achebe began to worry. She did, and angrily demanded to know why the manuscript was lying ignored in the corner of the office.
The company quickly sent a typed copy to Achebe. Had the novel been lost, he later said, "I would have been so discouraged that I would probably have given up altogether. It was sent to several publishing houses; some rejected it immediately, claiming that fiction from African writers had no market potential. According to Alan Hill, employed by the publisher at the time, the company did not "touch a word of it" in preparation for release. Three days after publication, The Times Literary Supplement wrote that the book "genuinely succeeds in presenting tribal life from the inside".
The Observer called it "an excellent novel", and the literary magazine Time and Tide said that "Mr. When Hill tried to promote the book in West Africa, he was met with scepticism and ridicule. The faculty at the University of Ibadan was amused at the thought of a worthwhile novel being written by an alumnus.
Things Fall Apart went on to become one of the most important books in African literature. This list endeavors to reflect world literature, with books from all countries, cultures, and time periods. He moved to Enugu and began to work on his administrative duties. They first conversed when she brought to his attention a pay discrepancy; a friend of hers found that, although they had been hired simultaneously, Christie had been rated lower and offered a lower wage.
Sent to the hospital for an appendectomy soon after, she was pleasantly surprised when Achebe visited her with gifts and magazines. However, as their relationship matured, husband and wife made efforts to adapt to one another. They had a son, Ikechukwu, on 3 December , and another boy named Chidi , on 24 May Obi is trapped between the expectations of his family, its clan, his home village, and larger society. He is crushed by these forces like his grandfather before him and finds himself imprisoned for bribery.
Having shown his acumen for portraying traditional Igbo culture , Achebe demonstrated in his second novel an ability to depict modern Nigerian life. One month after Nigeria achieved its independence, he travelled to Kenya , where he was required to complete an immigration form by checking a box indicating his ethnicity: European , Asiatic , Arab , or Other.
Shocked and dismayed at being forced into an "Other" identity, he found the situation "almost funny" and took an extra form as a souvenir.
Radio programs were broadcast in Swahili, and its use was widespread in the countries he visited. Nevertheless, he also found an "apathy" among the people toward literature written in Swahili.
Interrogated by the ticket taker as to why he was sitting in the front, he replied, "if you must know I come from Nigeria , and there we sit where we like in the bus. He travelled to the United States and Brazil. Achebe worried that the vibrant literature of the nation would be lost if left untranslated into a more widely spoken language. One of his first duties was to help create the Voice of Nigeria network. Achebe became saddened by the evidence of corruption and silencing of political opposition.
He met with important literary figures from around the continent and the world, including Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor , Nigerian playwright and poet Wole Soyinka , and US poet-author Langston Hughes. Among the topics of discussion was an attempt to determine whether the term African literature ought to include work from the diaspora , or solely that writing composed by people living within the continent itself.
Achebe indicated that it was not "a very significant question",  and that scholars would do well to wait until a body of work were large enough to judge.
Writing about the conference in several journals, Achebe hailed it as a milestone for the literature of Africa, and highlighted the importance of community among isolated voices on the continent and beyond. Impressed, he sent it to Alan Hill at Heinemann, which published it two years later to coincide with its paperback line of books from African writers. Hill indicated this was to remedy a situation where British publishers "regarded West Africa only as a place where you sold books.
Bristling against the commentary flooding his home country, Achebe published an essay entitled "Where Angels Fear to Tread" in the December issue of Nigeria Magazine. In it, he distinguished between the hostile critic entirely negative , the amazed critic entirely positive , and the conscious critic who seeks a balance. Like its predecessors, it explores the intersections of Igbo tradition and European Christianity.
Set in the village of Umuaro at the start of the twentieth century, the novel tells the story of Ezeulu, a Chief Priest of Ulu. Ezeulu is consumed by the resulting tragedy. When an acquaintance showed him a series of papers from colonial officers not unlike the fictional Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger referenced at the end of Things Fall Apart , Achebe combined these strands of history and began work on Arrow of God in earnest. A bleak satire set in an unnamed African state which has just attained independence, the novel follows a teacher named Odili Samalu from the village of Anata who opposes a corrupt Minister of Culture named Nanga for his Parliament seat.
Everything in this book has happened except a military coup! Commanders in other areas failed, and the plot was answered by a military crackdown. A massacre of three thousand people from the eastern region living in the north occurred soon afterwards, and stories of other attacks on Igbo Nigerians began to filter into Lagos. When he received word of the pursuit, he sent his wife who was pregnant and children on a squalid boat through a series of unseen creeks to the Eastern stronghold of Port Harcourt.
Chinua rejoined them soon afterwards in Ogidi. These cities were safe from military incursion because they were in the southeast, part of the region which would later secede. The Achebe family narrowly escaped disaster several times during the war. As the turmoil closed in, he continued to write, but most of his creative work during the war took the form of poetry. The shorter format was a consequence of living in a war zone. All this is creating in the context of our struggle.
One of his most famous, "Refugee Mother and Child", spoke to the suffering and loss that surrounded him. Dedicated to the promise of Biafra, he accepted a request to serve as foreign ambassador, refusing an invitation from the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University in the US.
Achebe traveled to many cities in Europe, including London, where he continued his work with the African Writers Series project at Heinemann. Achebe and John Pepper Clark had a tense confrontation in London over their respective support for opposing sides of the conflict. Achebe demanded that the publisher withdraw the dedication of A Man of the People he had given to Clark. Years later, their friendship healed and the dedication was restored.
Speaking in , Achebe said: "I find the Nigerian situation untenable. The writer in Nigeria, he said, "found that the independence his country was supposed to have won was totally without content The old white master was still in power.
He had got himself a bunch of black stooges to do his dirty work for a commission. In September , the city of Aba fell to the Nigerian military and Achebe once again moved his family, this time to Umuahia , where the Biafran government had also relocated. He was chosen to chair the newly formed National Guidance Committee, charged with the task of drafting principles and ideas for the post-war era.
They visited thirty college campuses and conducted countless interviews. At the end of the tour, he said that "world policy is absolutely ruthless and unfeeling".
On 12 January, the military surrendered to Nigeria, and Achebe returned with his family to Ogidi, where their home had been destroyed. He took a job at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka and immersed himself once again in academia.
He was unable to accept invitations to other countries, however, because the Nigerian government revoked his passport due to his support for Biafra. Their youngest daughter was displeased with her nursery school, and the family soon learned that her frustration involved language. Achebe helped her face the "alien experience" as he called it by telling her stories during the car trips to and from school.
Many English professors in attendance were upset by his remarks; one elderly professor reportedly approached him, said: "How dare you! Another suggested that Achebe had "no sense of humour",  but several days later Achebe was approached by a third professor, who told him: "I now realize that I had never really read Heart of Darkness although I have taught it for years.
Editor Robert Kimbrough called it one of "the three most important events in Heart of Darkness criticism since the second edition of his book And read it beside African works.
He could pull his reader into the fray. And if it were not for what he said about me and my people, I would probably be thinking only of that seduction.
He also showed that he would not restrict his criticism to European targets.
The Madman by Chinua Achebe
Chinua Achebe was raised in Ogidi, Nigeria. What did Chinua Achebe write? In Achebe published a sequel called No Longer at Ease. He discussed in frank terms the destructive and often violent effect that external impositions have on indigenous people, challenging the prevailing narrative of his time that Westernization was a positive, necessary process.
Biography[ edit ] Chinua Achebe was born on 16 November The Achebe family had five other surviving children, named in a similar fusion of traditional words relating to their new religion: Frank Okwuofu, John Chukwuemeka Ifeanyichukwu, Zinobia Uzoma, Augustine Ndubisi, and Grace Nwanneka. Storytelling was a mainstay of the Igbo tradition and an integral part of the community. A controversy erupted at one such session, when apostates from the new church challenged the catechist about the tenets of Christianity. Achebe later included a scene from this incident in Things Fall Apart. One of his classmates announced to the professor that the only enjoyable moment in the book is when Johnson is shot. In Achebe wrote a piece for the University Herald entitled "Polar Undergraduate", his debut as an author.
Taken from his Girls at War and Other Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and from the beginning of the story the reader realises that Achebe may be exploring the theme of struggle. Though the madman can go to the local market he prefers to travel to Eke because he knows that it is a bigger market. Despite it being a struggle and a two day journey to Eke the madman is dedicated when it comes to traveling to the market. He overcomes the obstacles of the lorry drivers on the road who frown upon him walking in the middle of the road. Also the young children who shout at the madman as he makes his way to the market.