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Imagined StatesLaw and Literature in Nigeria, 1900-66$
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Katherine Isobel Baxter

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474420839

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474420839.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

‘Beast of No Nation’: Bribery, Corruption and Late Colonial Administration in

‘Beast of No Nation’: Bribery, Corruption and Late Colonial Administration in

No Longer at Ease

(p.85) 4 ‘Beast of No Nation’: Bribery, Corruption and Late Colonial Administration in
Imagined States

Katherine Isobel Baxter

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter Four explores the competing demands made upon young Nigerian civil servants in the colonial administration, through an examination of Chinua Achebe’s novel No Longer at Ease. The chapter contextualizes the social and sexual pressures under which the novel’s protagonist, Obi, buckles through discussion of contemporary popular culture and the experiences of real-life Nigerian colonial administrators. The novel is also discussed in relation to the British colonial texts to which it responds, notably Joyce Cary’s Mr Johnson and Graham Greene’s The Heart of the Matter. Achebe’s own reflections on the social uses of fiction are also considered. The chapter argues that as readers we are invited by Achebe into judgement of Obi, and in doing so we are brought into larger debates about the nation state and the law.

Keywords:   Chinua Achebe, No Longer at Ease, Graham Greene, Heart of the Matter, Nigeria, Colonialism, Law, Corruption

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