Colonising the Mind in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, Arrow of God, and No Longer at Ease
The process of colonisation attributes pre-determined roles for both the coloniser and the colonised, which aims at establishing a power relationship between the two. A supposed superiority of the coloniser over his subjects stands out as the main characteristic of the discourse. Through the manipulations of the coloniser, an inferiority complex is etched in the minds of the indigenous peoples. Chinua Achebe deconstructs the false image of his people by a journey to different phases of the colonial rule in Nigeria and shows his readers the process in which the degrading image of the African is created. Starting from the pre-colonial Igbo village, he covers the whole colonial history of Nigeria through three different generations. Each generation is marked by a point of subjugation in which the protagonist and the societies they represent succumb to their colonisers. By placing an emphasis on the reasons that pave the way to their surrender rather than the act of surrender itself, Achebe prompts his Nigerian audience to make peace with their past in order to be able to move forward with a restored self-confidence in the eve of their national independence. Only when their tarnished image is cleaned by making their side of the story be heard by the world, true decolonisation can be achieved. Accordingly, the major aim of this thesis is to analyse Things Fall Apart (1958), Arrow of God (1964), and No Longer at Ease (1960) as Achebe’s giving voice to three generations of Nigerians, who lived under colonial rule, and returning their dignity, which has been stripped from them during the colonial discourse.