Igbo Cultural Identity

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The theme of No Longer at Ease (1960) epitomizes issues of cultural identity caused by colonial power in Nigeria The native Igbo people in Lagos are captivated by Englishness in daily routine making them aware of their social status and the challenge to preserve the culture. Stuart Hall points out about the cultural identity that ‘Essentialist conceptualizations of identity claim there is an authentic cultural identity, a “true self”, which “people with a shared history and ancestry hold in common” (Hall 1996:111). The unequal relationship with colonial power stamps the questions on the cultural identity of the Igbo people. Achebe remarks the problematic situation, ‘Titles are no longer great, neither are barns or large numbers of wives and children. Greatness is now in the things of the white man. And so we too have changed our tune.’(NLE: 42) The remark of an Igbo is the awareness of the influence of colonial power. There are the two worlds: the native world of the Igbo people and ‘the white man’. The native Igbo people …show more content…

There is an ignorance of the Nigerian Igbo people emphasizing the native ambivalence and invading the colonial administration. The identity of the Igbo is always at the grim fear about the colonial power. Achebe mentions it that ‘It was said that if you touched a soldier, Government would deal with you.’(NLE: 10) The colonial power operates the Nigerian community with the practice of the colonial administration. . Lloyd W. Brown in his study of post-colonial fiction including Achebe’s No Longer at Ease points out that ‘Their indifference to Government and the regulation of the state is due to the fact that—since it was created by the foreign colonizer—they have ‘been accustomed to think of a central authority in terms of powerful, alien exploiters” (Brown

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