The novel A Man of the People was first published in 1966 by Chinua Achebe, who depicted a wide range of problems concerning the corrupted nature of politics, power, and greed. Despite its date of publication, the novel presents a high relevance even these days due to the acute issues it offers, specifically human lust for power. The author mainly focuses on the topic of political corruption and its consequences.
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After colonialism, Nigeria and a row of African countries gained independence but still were indirectly dominated. As a result, new elite groups emerged, imposing their point of view on people. Thus, the division of the society was still crystal clear. Implying this, the author tried to convey a concept of hunger that spread across the continent, causing previously poor people to search for more money even when they earned much.
For instance, one of the characters, Chief Nanga, a former schoolteacher, was portrayed by the author as a corrupt leader who offered or accepted bribes whenever he had a chance. Despite being an influential politician, he still felt that lust for money and wealth and put his people’s needs as a secondary thing (Achebe 30). This hunger for having more was the primary obstacle on the way to the development in society and now people can feel the repercussions.
The conclusion of the book depicts the beginning of the military coup that resulted from the people’s will to depose the government, which neglected their distress. The chaos produced by independence in the era of post-colonialism corrupted the entire continent. Therefore, the present situation in Africa is frustrating due to the unwillingness of the political leaders to care for people rather than enrich themselves.
Achebe, Chinua. A Man of the People. Heinemann Educational Books, 1966.