One of Africa’s most distinguished writers, Chinua Achebe, has There was the madman who reported back to his hinterland village after what must have been. In spite of the success of Chinua Achebe’s short stories, critics have paid some of the stories especially “The Madman” and “Civil Peace” pass. In his short story, “The Madman”, Prof. Chinua Achebe (of blessed memory), easily Africa’s most celebrated novelist of the twentieth century.

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Achebe enjoys the endorsement of short story theorist, X. Despite the conflict that exists between two of his wives Udenkwo and Mgboye Nwibe is determined to advance within the community. On the way, he notices some young ladies going in the opposite direction from the traffic to the market; they are returning from the stream with water pots fhe their heads.

His stories are also written to deliver a single effect on the reader. We cannot, for instance, be sure of who is actually sane, in all sincerity, in the context of this story. The story opens with the madman chinuq whose rationalizing mind we see the preliminary scenes of conflicting perceptions. Returning from an early morning work on his farm on a fateful Afor Market day, Nwibe stops to have a bath at the local stream. In other words, that given the right provocations, many a sane person would betray their measure of madness.

Kennedy likens the short story to a lyric poem where every word finds a place in the composition in the order of relevance or pertinence. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. And if, indeed, we cannot distinguish truth from untruth, reality from illusion, a sane man from a madman, then we exist because the philosophical evidence of our existence as human beings is, “I think, therefore I am.

Newer Post Older Post Home. When hunger sets in, and it is found that only Reginald Nwankwo of the Ministry of Justice has access to food, which she needs for survival, she is quick to embrace him as a mistress and takes instructions from him. A finely wrought short story has the richness and conciseness of an excellent lyric poem.

Though again as the story progresses there is a further sense of irony when it becomes cchinua to the reader that rather than being respected by the local hierarchy Nwibe is ignored by them. Take Ivory Coast, for example: Can you please inform me at oluwakaidara1 gmail. The problems of continuing failure are serious.


For, as will presently be expounded, from the very nature of the emotion, he cannot be aware of the true cause of it. Wells when he says that:. This story stands tall, imbued with the masterly touch of Achebe whose creative ingenuity underscores the effectiveness of his characters and their actions in the stories.

Monday, July 25, 2: Like everybody else I agree it was Ironic and even twisted from my perspective that Achebe would kill off the “good guys” and let the bad guy live. Balogun is quite apt in his comments.

MUST READ!: The Parable Of The Madman (1)

My opening poem mirrors my despondency at the achee prowess of Achebe’s storytelling in modern day Nigeria. In it, Achebe raises several profound rhetorical questions: Browse all BookRags Study Guides. Like many others I was very confused and had made the assumption that the two main characters were one in the same. Despite its shortness, it is a wholesome presentation of a complete experience. Failure to prevent colonization perhaps?

Even though the reality is chknua much different. Your email address will not be published. The Sitting Bee, 12 Nov.

Therefore, poetic use of language becomes necessary for a wholeness to be attained. Not only has Nwibe lost the ability to advance further within the community but any position that he mxdman hold in the community may also have been lost. There Was a Country. Furthermore, Achebe indulges in a peculiar deployment of narrative devices such as humour, irony, parables, proverbs, aphorisms, suspense and surprise that imbue his stories with the engaging trappings of African folklore.

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Girls at War, and Other Stories – The Madman, The Voter Summary & Analysis

Though Nwibe can go to the local market he prefers to travel to Eke because he knows that it is a bigger market. The consuming paradox centres on the protagonist, Nwibe, a wealthy farmer who has so distinguished himself that he is about to be initiated into the select, dignified society of men who hold the highest and most venerable title in the land- the Ozo title holder.


Ironically enough I found it hilarious that the reliable sensible Nwibe was thought of as crazy by the towns people and it was the towns people opinion of him that actually made him crazy. Finally because society thought he was crazy even he started to believe he was crazy and started to withdraw from society never wanting to be seen. In his stark nakedness, Nwibe pursues the fast-retreating clothed madman who is “spare and wiry, a wchebe made for speed. If we ask, not what ought to produce such soul-paralyzing grief, but what, in actual fact, does produce it, we are compelled fhe go beyond this explanation and seek for some deeper cause.

Chinua Achebe of blessed memoryeasily Africa’s most celebrated novelist of the twentieth century, ventures into a poetic realization of a disturbing irony. This story will take you on a journey and at some point drop you off.

The significance of Chinua Achebe’s short stories – Part 1

THESE TALES mirrors shatter where fragments glitter in disbelief bracing the unwary feet cutting through soft flesh piercing questions where are the children gathered around the fireplace?

Achebe, in his works has proven to be a master of the tight narrative as his stories are indeed marked by a tight narrative framework. July 21, Last Updated: But as the war wears on, axhebe begins to show weakness and needs to break her hard posture in order to survive the war. In fact, we cannot be sure of anything. And contrary to the belief by many, the short story is not a summarized novel.

Girls at War, and Other Stories – The Madman, The Voter Summary & Analysis

Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail. While at the same time having to accept that those in authority in the village may never change their perception of him.

Nevertheless, the whole idea of fighting in the chibua of failure can remain confusing.