Book Review

Chinua Achebe’s No Longer At Ease

General Guidelines For Writing Book Reviews:

A book review is not the same thing as a book report, which simply summarizes the content of a book. When writing a book review, you not only report on the content of the book but also assess its strengths and weaknesses. In writing a review you do not just relate whether or not you liked the book; you also tell your readers why you liked or disliked it.

In other words, you will be graded primarily on the analytical aspect of your paper – you ability to identify author’s message and to argue why or who not you agree/disagree with it. To do so you will have to draw on the ideas and concepts you have studied in this class from the start of the semester.


Your task is to identify the main theme(s) of the book AS THEY RELATE TO THE THEMES OF THE COURSE, analyze whether or not the author did a good job of convincing you of his point of view, and to defend your answer.

As you formulate your thesis, be sure to put your discussion in historical context. In other words, explain how the issues discussed by Achebe connect to the experiences of other cultures and societies we have discussed – PROVIDE SPECIFIC EXAMPLES. What does the book tell us about the transition of traditional societies to modernity?


Specific Guidelines

For this assignment, read Chinua Achebe’s famous novel, No Longer At Ease. Write a paper of about 4-5 pages, typed, double-spaced (approximately 1100-1400 words).

The length limits are not rigid, but if you find yourself writing much less or much more than the suggested amount, it may indicate a problem in understanding or fulfilling the assignment.

Your paper is due in lecture on December 2nd (hard copy AND Canvas).

You are not required to do research for this paper in addition to No Longer At Ease. If you do choose to use other sources, you must cite them if you quote them or paraphrase them.

If you quote or paraphrase from No Longer At Ease itself, you must provide the page number in parentheses after the quote. For example: “My Mom said that this is the awesomest paper ever written.” (p.3)

Regrettably, I need to remind everyone that plagiarism is absolutely unacceptable. The work you submit must be your own. DO NOT CHEAT.

When writing your review it may be helpful for you to think about the following questions:

How would you define a ‘traditional’ society? How is it different from a ‘moderm” society?

How typical do you think the situation in Obi’s Nigeria is, compared to the other traditional societies that came into contact with the West?

Would it be fair to say that Obi is faced with an identity crisis? How does his personal journey relate to the situation in Nigeria?

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