The Headstrong Historian Analysis

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Fiction is known to be for entertainment. In fact, a story is defined as an account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment. Although fiction is said to be for amusement, is it possible that these stories have value to historians? The Headstrong Historian by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a historical fiction story that is historically accurate, and does an outstanding job of portraying the vital truth of Colonial Nigeria. Fiction holds great value in the study of Colonial Nigeria, because not only is it accurate in portraying historical events, it provokes an emotional response in relation to these events and the vital truth of Colonial Nigeria. Through the way that The Headstrong Historian portrays the topic of assimilation and the creation of the “Nigerian middle-class”, we are shown the historical accuracy of The Headstrong Historian. The British assimilated many Nigerians through education. Because of the many benefits to be gained from a European education, by the late 19th century, more and more Nigerians were taking…show more content…
She shows the vital truth in her portrayal of Heathenism in The Headstrong Historian. “Father Shanahan told her that Anikwenwa would have an English name, because it was not possible to be baptized with a heathen name.” (Adichie 5) In thinking of native Africans as heathens, Father Shanahan represents the lack of regard/empathy that most Europeans had towards native Africans. The Headstrong Historian also demonstrates the vital truth in Ayaju’s story of the village of Agueke. The British attempted to shape the way the people of Agueke did trade. When the people refused, the British destroyed the village. (Adichie 3) Because of the little regard for African people, the British destroyed an entire village because the people wouldn’t abandon their “primitive ways”, for their own ways. Adichie shows lack of empathy in The Headstrong

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