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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Perhaps, it is only in Shakespeare’s Hamlet that we can draw a convincing logical inference to this analogy.

His imaginative competence, together with his artistic renditions casts upon the reader a feeling of satisfaction. So in my thought process I had somehow conjured up a meaning to the story which I mqdman somehow society can make a seemingly normal person crazy or that only crazy people live in society.

Of course, without a mastery of the language, Achebe could not have achieved much.

The Madman by Chinua Achebe

Despite the conflict that exists between two of his wives Udenkwo and Mgboye Nwibe is determined to advance within the community. Skip to main content. Also the young children who shout at Nwibe as he makes his way to the market Nwibe ignores them and remains determined to reach the market. Tragedy in the Anglophone West African Novel. The Madman, The Voter. In my point of view it was as if the “bad guy” was starting to become good and almost try and redeem himself with this humane chinja, nonetheless ending in failure much like Nwibe.

In it, Achebe raises several profound rhetorical questions: Like many others I was very confused and had made the assumption that the two main characters were one in the same.

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. His stories always end up as beautifully woven pieces of clothes, ornamented with alluring colours without a single madmaj of thread hanging redundantly out of place. They also carry the veiled desperation of a man who realises that his precious life is about to take a certain tragic turn if nothing is immediately done to save the situation.


How can one rebuild a country when it is consistently torn apart?

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

Wells when he says that:. Dermot Post Author March 11, 9: You will find yourself going back to read the opening paragraphs to understand the end. As Travalini posits, the short story in fulfilling its function in the society, which is either to delight or to instruct, or both in every single episode, it must present the reader with a clearly defined message.

As a party agent, Rufus is induced with money, which he greedily accepts on oath, and swears to vote for the rival party before a deadly and dreaded charm. The human capacity, as portrayed, is capable, under intense pressure to throw up ingenuous solutions to complex problems.


The first story in the collection is The Madman. In that moment, at his wits end, he inviolately tears the ballot paper into two halves and casts his invalid votes for each of the candidates to whom he is indebted.

This is really an chinnua pearl in the midst of some of the lame gutter dribble we call Nollywood art. He xchebe able to create and convey vivid imagery and condensed meaning. More like you think you know the story but you get caught off guard. Tradition, indeed, proves to be only too true in the fate of Nwibe, who, even after he has been “cured”, remains a shadowy ruins of his former promising self.

According to this literary perspective, reinforced by other African works on the subject, madness is more plural chinja published, but merely a matter of degrees, the dominant definitions and classifications themselves being only the opinion of the voiced majority. 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 thf who hold the highest and most venerable title in the land- the Chinia title holder.


I beseech thee, torment me not. Why does the Achebe short story stand tall? Since the stories seem to always end with failure, I can’t help but think that Achebe’s message in it’s very basic form is failure. Nwibe, of course, only needs time to recover from the shock from his traumatic experience; but when he does, the credit for his “cure” ironically goes to the charlatan. And if achene is actually sane, then is it not the society that labels him mad that is actually insane?

Essentially, the hallmark of the short story is terseness. A finely wrought short story has the richness and conciseness of an excellent lyric poem. Can you please inform me at oluwakaidara1 gmail.

Other attributes of the Achebe short story include tight narrative frameworks, wholesomeness, pointed-ness, brevity and reader engagement. Marriage is a Private Affair, Akueke. The words Nwibe screams out to the madman: The Achebe short story is as closely knitted madmsn a poem and any unnecessary omission denies it of its effect on the reader. Click here to sign up. Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail.

Angered by the sordid affront, Nwibe runs after the madman in obvious nakedness thereby turning himself to the original madman. He is generally credited with many titles that acknowledge his command of the English language. He learns thereafter to plan his day and avoid the conflict. thd