Achebe’s Novels as a Historical Documentation of Nigeria
AbstractThe contact between Africa and colonialism has provoked the kind of interest which has dominated the thematic trends of African scholars. African literature has been at the forefront of this engagement and intervention. Today, there is hardly any novel written in the Africa that does not discuss this contact. As a matter of fact, the act of writing novel in English language in Africa began as a reaction and protest against what had been and continues to be done to Africans for many centuries. It is with this background that the paper looks at the Nigerian state from its early beginnings to the present state of chaos, anarchy and great backwardness and concludes that Chinua Achebe has aptly used his novels to reflect these historical movements. This paper shows clearly that imperialism is the basis of the crises and contradictions that have befallen the Nigerian state using the novels of Chinua Achebe. Almost all his novels capture a series of critical periods in Nigerian history since the advent of
colonialism to the current period of great imbalances in Nigeria’s political, social and economic system. This paper contends that writers like Chinua Achebe are simply using their fiction to document the historical stages of Nigerian state. The paper examines in great details how his novels
have reflected and predicted the contradictions that have become the hallmark and identity of Nigerian state.