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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: 28 September 2021

Violence and the Law in A Man of the People

Violence and the Law in A Man of the People

(p.157) 7 Violence and the Law in A Man of the People
Imagined States

Katherine Isobel Baxter

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter Seven focuses on Chinua Achebe’s novel A Man of the People. In particular the chapter examines Achebe’s presentation of political disorder through scenes in which the law is suspended or displaced. The chapter argues that through these scenes Achebe points up the incoherence of the inheritance of colonialism, not least indirect rule, and the inevitability of the imposition of new states of exception as a response to this incoherence. Achebe directs our attention to the various ways in which the law and legal processes are sidestepped, dissipated and conflated in an era of political corruption through scenes of violence that stand in for, but are markedly not, the legal process of the trial. The chapter’s discussion is informed by reference to contemporary political and economic contexts.

Keywords:   Chinua Achebe, A Man of the People, Law, Nigeria, Postcolonial, Violence, Politics, Economics

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