Achebe the Orator: The Art of Persuasion in Chinua Achebe's Novels

Overview

Taken together, Chinua Achebe's five novels—Things Fall Apart (1958), No Longer at Ease (1960), A Man of the People (1966), Arrow of God (1967), and Anthills of the Savannah (1988)—encompass the entire social, historical, and political experiences of Nigeria, from precolonial times to the close of the 20th century. Central to these experiences is the clash of Igbo culture with the ways of the West. The novels show a society that has been fragmented and a people who are striving to reconstruct a world that they ...

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Overview

Taken together, Chinua Achebe's five novels—Things Fall Apart (1958), No Longer at Ease (1960), A Man of the People (1966), Arrow of God (1967), and Anthills of the Savannah (1988)—encompass the entire social, historical, and political experiences of Nigeria, from precolonial times to the close of the 20th century. Central to these experiences is the clash of Igbo culture with the ways of the West. The novels show a society that has been fragmented and a people who are striving to reconstruct a world that they lost during their encounter with colonialism. Achebe has stated that his main purpose for writing is to reveal the truth about his people and their culture. This book examines his use of rhetoric to accomplish that objective.

Achebe's writings are fraught with rhetorical devices, and he has harnessed the power of oratory to show how his society has responded to the African colonial encounter and its aftermath. He uses oratory and rhetoric to both educate and persuade his readers and to delineate his characters. Because of the central role of language in his novels, his writings illustrate the nature of discourse among the Igbo as well as the larger Nigerian community. This volume presents a broad overview of rhetoric throughout Achebe's works and demonstrates how he uses the novel genre for persuasive purposes.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
As an Ogidi woman from the same traditional Igbo village as Achebe, Okechukwu (English, Montgomery College, Rockville, Maryland) has special insights into the world portrayed in Achebe's novels. Okechukwu's oratorical analysis of Achebe's writings fills a gap in the criticism of his works. She considers the use of oratory in his novels for delineating homogeneity, transition, and flux of Igbo/African society in its encounters with the West. Specific aspects are examined within five novels: audience and oratory in ; oratory and social responsibility in ; locale and argumentation in ; the rhetoric of governance in ; and the rhetoric of military intervention in politics in . Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

CHINWE CHRISTIANA OKECHUKWU is a Professor in the Department of Reading and English as a Second Language, Foreign Languages, and Philosophy at the Rockville campus of Montgomery College.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Chinua Achebe and the African Novel

Audience and Oratory: Things Fall Apart

Oratory and Social Responsibility: Arrow of God

Locale and Argumentation: No Longer at Ease

The Rhetoric of Governance: A Man of the People

The Rhetoric of Military Intervention in Politics: Anthills of the Savannah

Conclusion

Bibliography

Appendix I: Historical Trajectory

Appendix II: Pertinent Rhetorical Theories

Index

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