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Analysis of the novel A man of the people by Chinua

Achebe

Analysis of the book “A Man of the People”.

A MAN OF THE PEOPLE


The title of the book is drawn from what Chief Nanga (one of the characters in the
novel) was characterized by his people in the city and in his home village; he was known
as A Man of The People. This is shown in page 1” ...they would tell you he is the man of
the people…”
Profile of the author
Chinua Achebe was born in 1930 and brought up in pioneer Christian family in
large village of Ogidi Eastern Nigeria. Achebe after finishing his secondary education
joined Ibadan University; it was in 1998 when he was 18 specializing literature fields.
Chinua Achebe had mark able impact on the development of the literature of
Africa through his early novels ‘Things fall apart (1958), No longer at ease (1960) and
Arrow of God (1969). Achebe is widely published in almost all all genres of liter; the
novel, short story, poetry, literary essays and children’s literature.

YEAR OF PUBLICATION
The book was published at first in 1996 by East African Educational publishers ltd.
Found in Nairobi, Kenya, Kampala In Uganda

Place of publication:
The book was published by East African publishers
Summary of the book
General summary
The novel tells us on revolutionary activities of Odili Samalu who aimed to
ovrthrogh the existing corrupt and irresponsible governance of Chief Honorable M.A,
Nanga. The anti-government activities of odili samalu with raised the conflict between
Odili samalu with his friends against chief the honourable M.A Nanga with his followers.
CHAPTER 1 SUMMARY
The story begins by odili as the main character as well as the story teller, telling
us that chief Nanga is called a man of the people in 1964 when chief Nanga visits Anata ,
chief Nanga is called both in his village and in the city , chief Nanga visits at Anata
grammar school where Odili taught at that time .and the people comes all over the Anata
in a such a way that they even fill the school assembly hall. Odili tells us that people are
ignorance because even when you tell them truth that chief Nanga as not a man of the
people they say “let him enjoy his good position”
In the chapter also we were told that the group of women called ego
women’s party who wear expensive Accra clothes and group of hunters come with gun’s
powder which are also very expensive too.
In this chapter also the main character who is the story teller “ Odili Samalu” tells
us that at the first he did not hate Chief Nanga because Chief Nanga in 1948 was his
teacher at that time Odili was in standard 3 and Chief Nanga was a good teacher but in
1950’s (pg 3) Chief Nanga left teaching and became the politician at that time Odili was
the university student, Chef Nanga became politician and member of People’s
organization Part (P.O.P)
Odili tells us why he started hating Chief Nanga he tells us two important things in
1960. Odili says in 1960 the price of coffee in the world market went down and the
minister of finance suggests that the government should cut down the price of coffee in
the brought from farmers in order to meet price in the world market but at that time
election is near and the ruling party fear that if they would do so they will lose in the
coming election. The prime minister sacks all the ministers who supported Dr. Makinde
including Dr. Makinde himself and the prime minister instructed the National Bank to print
fifteen million pounds in his speech of three hours in parliament.
Odili tells us that Chief Nanga supports the prime minister and even say the
sacked ministers deserve to be hanged (pg.5), here is where Odili started hating Chief
Nanga,, Odili tells us that Chief Nanga supports this because he wants to be
appointed as a minister in the place of one of the sacked ministers
We are told that Mr. Jonathan Nwege being the proprietor and principal of the
Anata Grammar School but also was an active member of the P.O.P at Anata (pg.7)
Chief Nanga who is minister of culture arrives in a Cadillac and he wears damask
and golden chain, very expensive and has a fan of animal skin. (pg.7) Chief Nanga
meets Odili who remembers him and tells him to the see each other again after the
reception (pg.9). Chief Nanga tells one teacher he regrets leaving teaching job (pg.10)
Chief Nanga admitting that people come from Anata and tell journalists “ it is a
mammoth crowd” (pg.10) and Mr. Nwege tells him that is him who brought those people
there.
Mr. Nwege give gives a long welcoming speech that bores everyone (pg.14),
Chief Nanga says that being a minister is a very difficult job you that is going to make
you should refuse strongly (pg.15)
Odili tells us that there is another woman Mrs. John who is an influential party
member from the coast, she is very painted and smoke (pg. 15), she is friend of Chief
Nanga , again introduce the young girl with chief Nanga and Odili asks chief Nanga’s
journalist about her and realizes that the girl Chief Nanga’s girlfriend, also Odili suprises
about Mr. Nanga who has not come with his wife(pg.16)
CHAPTER TWO
In this chapter story begins when Odili tells us that there is common saying in the
country that it didn’t matter what you know but who you know’ Odili tells us that when
when he told the minister he went to go to the post –graduate certificate of education in
London he does not want his help, and he insists that even to go in Europe is big
education (pg.17)
Also, Odili tells us a story about his friend Andrew Kadibe who has got big kick out
of it proceeds to tell us that his friend Andrew Kadibe he tipped man ten shilling (tax-
driver) after all him six. Also Odili tells us that the minister welcome him to go and spend
holiday with him in the capital and when he is there Chief Nanga will try to find him
out from his cabinet and there in the capital city Odili will get everything and stay to
Chief Nanga’s guest room with everything complete.
Also in this chapter Chief Nanga prouds himself that he is going to be given a
doctorate degree and be started called “Honorable Alhaji Doctor (LL. D) Mongo Sego,
MP”.
Odili tells us that the left of Chief Nanga he makes sure that Odili writes
down his address but this event bores Mr. Nwege as seems that Chief Nanga pay less
attention to the conversation between Odili and his friend Andrew Adibe plus peter the
house boy of Odili, in the absence of Peter Odili and his friend Andrew Kadibe proceed
discuss about Chief Nanga’s behavior and they say that Chief Nanga does not deserve
to be called a minister of culture because the outside world will laugh but Odili insists that
Chief Nanga is not is not concerned with the outside world but the inside world.
Odili in this chapter tells us that his ambition to go to the capital city where he can
meet his girlfriend “Elsie” who he met her at the part in university and ending up making
love the same day while making love Elsie mentioned the name “Ralph darling” and
Odili tells us that he did not know who was Ralph until a week realizes that Ralph
was Elsie’s boyfriend.
Chapter two ending with Odilli goes to the capital where he meets his host Chief
Nanga

CHAPTER THREE
Odili Samalu seems to be in preparation of for his journey to Bori. Before the
journey Odili aims to take back his home, his house boy Peter and he aims to visit his
home Urua, Anata for his parents. Finally, Odili arrives in the capital Bori at minister’s
residence, he is welcomed. The same day with Mr. Nanga they go to Hon. Simon Koko at
his home where they face strange actions of Hon. Simon Koko who starts to complain
that he ate poisoned food and lamenting that he is dying.
After the conversation ends then Mr. Nanga and Odili leave Simon Koko’s place
and go back home where Chief Nanga leaves his wife and Odili.

CHAPTER FOUR
It is the next day after the arrival of Odili at Chief Nanga’s home. Odili seems to
be tired of the journey. Mr. Nanga is in his preparation, off to the office . Odili Odili
remains at home making stories with Mrs. Nanga. Then Mr. Nanga for lunch and at the
same time Hon. T. C. Kobino phones Chief Nanga and they start to discuss about road
construction. The arrival of Jean and John to Chief Nanga’s house takes place in this
chapter.

CHAPTER FIVE
This chapter begins with Jean and John Invitation of Chief Nanga and Odili to
the dinner, it is in Saturday when Mrs. Nanga left home. Then John unfortunately is told
to be present at the opening of cement factory to Abaka. Despite this Jean reminds us
that the dinner will be as invitation directs.
Soon enters a beautiful woman who makes Odili thinks that the dinner part won’t
be there, but Chief Nanga assures Odili that they will go. Chief Nanga introduces her to
Odili as Barrister Mrs. Akilo. And as soon as Mrs. Akilo left Chief Nanga and Odili go to
the international to attend the dinner. After the dinner party ended then Jean takes Odili
in her car and takes him to Chief Nanga’s house.

CHAPTER SIX
This chapter begins with Odili’s visit to Bori to meet Elsie who works in one of the
hospitals in Bori. In the first meeting which is early in the morning the talk is very short as
Odili goes there just to inform Elsie that the other day he will go to meet her and also
Elsie is in night duty.
The other day Odili visits Elsie again to the hospital, it is early in the morning and
according to hospital rules no one was allowed to meet hospital worker at this time but
we are told because Odili goes with a Chief Nanga’s Cadillac with a ministerial flag then
the gateman opens the gate and salutes and let Odili awakes Elsie from the nurses
quarters.
When Elsie realizes that it was Odili who awakes her then she becomes very
happy to meet him and make some talks. After finishing their conversation they go to the
book exhibition and while on the way Chief Nanga says he does not know even the
meaning of book exhibition and the same applies to Elsie who adjoin Mr. Nanga and also
Mr. Nanga says that he does not have even the speech of that exhibition day and Odili
asks to prepare for him and yet Chief Nanga refuses saying that the speech is not
important. In his speech in the exhibition Chief Nanga does not agree with Jalio’s
wearing style and tells him not to wear it the other day what Chief Nanga needs is just to
see him appearing in suit or national costume. Also, Chief Nanga fails even knowing the
names of newspaper writers and he is the minister of culture.

CHAPTER SEVEN
This chapter the storyteller tells us that Chief Nanga was born a politician. In this
chapter we are told that Chief Nanga is the greatest orator that he can say anything even
one that sounds bad to people still people do not feel bad.
His ability to talk helps to hide his evils and misconduct. And also the story teller
says that “for how else could your account for the fact that a Minister of Culture
announced in public that he had never heard of his country’s most famous novel”
At the end of the function Mr. Jalio and the editor of Daily Matchet congratulate
Chief Nanga and ask the copy of the speech. Chief Nanga manages to give two copies
of the speech to the editor of Daily Matchet.
Then we come across the flashback about the visit of the editor to Chief Nanga’s
home that was paid few days before the exhibition day. Here we are told that the minister
is not interested to see the editor. Chief Nanga gives the editor two bottles of beer,
enough pieces of cigarettes and a dash of five pounds after an account of his trouble
with his landlord over an area of rent, it was not a straightforward case but because the
landlord and the editor came from different tribes, the elements of tribalism could not be
ruled out.
Further, in this chapter after the visitor left the house, Chief Nanga says “If I do not
give him something now, tomorrow he will go and write rubbish about me”. Chief Nanga
does not like the freedom of press and he is ready even to assassinate those who
criticize the government. (pg.66).
Then, about eight o’clock full of darkness they left the exhibition and drive back
home. When in the car conversation continues and Odili seats near Elsie and they touch
one another, after reaching Chief Nanga’s place then the storyteller and Chief Nanga had
some whisky to drink. Later, the storyteller narrates about the incidence of his girlfriend
Elsie of sleeping with Chief Nanga.
This incidence makes Odili leaves Chief Nanga’s house during the night and Odili
manages to come across different people while in the way to the place where he could
not know, he meets with beggars, lunatics and the street gangsters, then Odili decides to
go back home to Chief Nanga and some conflicts occur as the situation was not tolerable
to Odili.(pg71&72).
Due to the situation then, Chief Nanga tells Odili that “If you like I can bring you
six girls this evening”. Then this makes Odili to leave Chief Nanga’s home to his friend
Maxwell who was his classmate at the Grammar school.
Lastly Maxwell Kulamo welcomes Odili some coffee to drink and within few
minutes Odili feels relaxed.

CHAPTER EIGHT
Max left for court at around nine and the story teller says that he is feeling full of
weight of the previous night humiliation and when Max get in the house starts to be
furious with his house boy for not giving Odili his share of lunch yet Odili defends the boy
by saying he had been offered to be served some foot but he needed to wait, this was
quite untrue.
Then
Odili and Max starts to eat and make some stories about the incidence faced
Odili. And in the room, there were eight young people in that evening. One but all were
citizens of our country, mostly professional types. Also, there is a beautiful lawyer that
Odili recognizes that the girl engaged to Max whom she had first met at the London
School of Economics, there is a Trade Unionist, a doctor, another lawyer, a teacher and a
newspaper columnist.
Max introduces Odili and other people introduce themselves to Odili. People who
are inside are discussing about launching the new political party which they call it
Common People’s Convention and Odili is there as one of the member of the party and
as Odili has found it there thought it could be very easy for him to revenge Chief Nanga’s
promiscuity.
Still in the room the discussion is about the name of the party and others do
propose that the party should be made of only professional men and therefore do not
agree the party to be called as Common People’s Convention and refer back to the
history of Carl Max and the greatest revolution was not launched by common people but
intellectuals. Also, they do not agree the party to be understood as communist, as they
will say “Look at those crazy people who want to have everything in common including
their wives”.

CHAPTER NINE
Odili returns to Anata on 23rd December after Max and his fiancée, Eunice had
tried in vain to make Odili spend Christmas in Bori. The lorry drops Odili at the small
roadside market called Waya and one person helps Odili to carry the luggage and
reaches home to get rid of tiredness but the noises from Josiah’s makes out of the
house. Odili comes across the incidence of Josiah and the blind beggar Azoge whereby
Josiah gives Azoge rice to eat and palm- wine and on return Josiah exchange Azoge’s
stick with the other old stick and when Azoge wants to quite he recognizes that the stick
was changed and leads the people who were in the market come near the shop and
recognize that Josiah intended to make the people blind and whatever they need would
go to Josiah’s shop as one old woman says “so the beast is not satisfied with all the
money he takes from us and must now make medicine to turn us into blind buyers of his
wares”. Then a palm-wine tapper says ‘some people’s belly is like the earth. It is not so
that it will not take another corpse’.
This action makes all the people in the village not to go to Josiah’s shop and after
one-week Josiah had no any buyer of his wares and before the mouth was out the shop
and bar closed and Josiah disappear.
Also, the other day Odili visits Mrs. Nanga in the village and reaches her with her
children and Odili tries to tell Mrs. Nanga that the house is very cool at Bori when it is out
of her and children then Mrs. Nanga says that she will go back after the month when
Chief Nanga will be on the way to America and Odili asks Mrs. Nanga if they would go
together with Chief Nanga and Mrs. Nanga says “when Edna comes she will go to those
places”. This leads Odili to get to know about the woman called Edna. And Mrs. Nanga
says Edna is their new wife.
Mrs. Nanga tells Odili about how Chief Nanga married her and Mrs. Nanga says
she passed the entrance to a secondary school, but her parents did not see the
importance of much education and then made the marriage possible.
Also Odili by the support of Eddy the eldest son of Mrs. Nanga manages to visit
Odo where he wanted to meet Edna and at the time Edna was preparing some food for
her mother who is in hospital and therefore Odo calls Edna to see Odili and when Edna
Comes remembers the visitor as Samalu and he introduces himself that he has been
sent by chief Nanga to pay visit there and know about Edna’s mother condition and the
answer is just mother is still sick and Odo adds that there is no money for food.
Lastly when the food is ready Odili Offers Edna lift to hospital and unfortunately
on the way they get an accident and all the soup and green leaves is spoilt and mixed
with sand that leads Odili to take some money and buy some breads and corned beef
near the hospital for the patient.

CHAPTER TEN
This chapter begins with Odili return to Mrs. Nanga’s home where Edna is going
to spend Christmas morning and helping Mrs. Nanga. When Odili arrives Chief Nanga’s
house he finds that Edna is not there rather he finds young man who says that Chief
Nanga is his brother and calls himself P.I.V.-Poor Innocent Victim and forces Mrs.Nanga
to give him drinks.
Two hours after Odili has reached then comes Edna with a car that was sent to
bring her. After the drunken visitor has gone Mrs. Nanga takes Odili to V.I.P room and
sends Edna to Odili with bottle of beer and a glass on a tray. Edna serves Odili silently
and goes to lean with her elbows looking outside. And later Edna sits down and Odili
starts giving advice Edna about not to agree about marriage and Edna guess that Odili
was told by Mrs. Nanga and becomes sad about it and then things are settled.
Meanwhile Odili is summoned to Bori by Max to attend launching of the C.P.C.
After the launching of the party Odili returns to Anata with his Volkswagen and then visits
Edna where Odili is told that Edna has gone to look his grandmother in another village,
hence Odili goes back home and compose a letter to Edna as to why she should not
marry Chief Nanga.
When Odili announces that He is going to contest Chief Nanga’s seat everybody
laughed except Josiah. Chief Nanga’s constituency is made up of five villages including
Odili’s village Urua and Chief Nanga home base Anata. Adili call inaugural meeting in the
assemble hall of the school but it is disrupted by Mr. Nwege the proprietor.
Then Odili visits again Mrs. Nanga’s home and when Mrs. Nanga sees Odili she
becomes sad because Odili contests with Chief Nanga. After meeting Mrs. Nanga then
Odili goes to the Anata Mission Hospital to see Edna but the gate man refuses to get into
the hospital with his car and the gate man shouts at Odili, but unfortunately Odili does
not find Edna in the hospital then he decides to go to Edna’s home although Edna’s
father had told him earlier not to set foot over the area. Odili manages to see Edna but
Edna is scared of his father and tells Odili to go yet Odili refuses and Odo decides to call
the people for Adili in order to threaten him Edna’s father aims the matchet to Odili and
ask him who does he want there and simply Adili says “I came to persuade him and his
family to cast their paper for me on voting day” (pg.106).
Then Odo decides to advice Odili and he tells Odili that “my in law is like a bull
and your challenge is like the challenge of a tick to a bull”. Finally, Adili decides to go and
Edna rises to see Odili leaves the place.

CHAPTER ELEVEN
Odili is in the way to home trying to think about his courage before Edna and
when he reaches home, he comes across the letter from Edna that was brought early in
the morning after he left home. The letter is about the answer about what Odili advised
Edna few days back and within it Edna says that she will not be able to refuse marriage
because her father is so rude and he may kill her and the reason behind is how to return
the money that Chief Nanga used to pay for Edna’s education.
Then Odili returns to his village trying to organize his four body guards and their
leader who is Boniface who earns ten pounds a month much less than other three, and
Odili prepares weapons with his body guards so as to defend himself from enemies of
progress such as Youth Vanguard or Nangavanga. When Odili is in the way he comes
across the people caring placards written NANGAISM FOREVER SAMMALU IS
TREITOR, Boniface gets out of the car and grab two of the leaders and bits them badly.
The other day on early in the morning Boniface and other stalwarts awakes Odili
and demands their salary increase up to twenty-five pounds but still Odili has no money
to give his bodyguard.
Odili’s father who is the local chairman of P.O.P in our village Urua does not mind
about Odili’s decision to be in C.P.C. One day about noon sitting outside Samalu’s house
reading newspapers Chief Nanga’s Cadillac is approaching and Chief Nanga greats
Odili and Odili replies with no interest and Odili does not talk any further words.
In the same day Chief Nanga goes with some money that he intends to bribe Odili
under the umbrella of scholarship but Odili refuses.

CHAPTER 12
The chapter begins as Odili discusses some issues with his father on the offer
given to Odili by chief Nanga. The next day was the arrival of max and the whole
campaign team of C.P.C party in Bori. Then, Odili’s father gave them chance to conduct
their campaign in his home place regardless his position to P.O.P.
The campaign was conducted fully with deliberately speeches from Max and
Odili, then the journey to Anata by max and the whole campaign team as well as Odili.
In Anata, Odili decides to go to see Edna to her home but he was very
disappointed by the feedback to his request from Edna. At the end of the chapter the
removal of Hezekiah Samalu from his position as the local chairman of P.O.P was
announced in the radio because he had been conducting antiparty activities.
CHAPTER 13
In the beginning, the sound of the crier’s gong was heard announcing to the
majority on the decisions made by elders and councilors that the majority should vote for
Chief Nanga as he is the one and only approved by the elders and councilors of Urua.
In the next day, councilor couple had to see Odili’sfather aimed to have a sign
from Odili’sfather on certain document but Odili’s father refuses to do so. Odili seems to
plan on how to go to Chief Nanga campaign.
A short distance near the place Chief Nanga conducts his campaign, Odili parks
his car and slowly starts to move to the place where Chief Nanga conducts his
campaign. As the campaign goes on, Josiah the shopkeeper moves to the dais and talks
to Chief Nanga pointing the direction where Odili stands. In his process to escape, Odili
was caught and he was tortured by chief Nanga and his stalwarts lead Odili to be sent in
hospital for further treatments.
In hospital Odili was under arrest because he had a case of possessing
dangerous weapons found in his car, whereby the car was destroyed by the chief Nanga
followers. Edna and Odilis father were very close to Odili in his existence in hospital.
Odili receives different information such as the loss of the form to sign for election and
the death of max in Abaga, the last night, where by, max’sgirlfriend, Eunice had revenge
to her boyfriend death by shooting Chief Koko on his chest to death, then she was
prisoned.
At the chapter, Odili seems to apologize to Edna on his letter full of insults to her.
Then, after Odili’s illness, the procedures for marriage between Odili and Edna take
place.

Setting of the novel


Setting refers to the time, place and circumstance in which literary work is put.
The setting of the novel of “A man of the people” is imaginative in which an author used
towns, cities and villages which are not real such as Bori, Urua ,Anata and Abaga. But
what were happened in those imaginative towns, cities and villages resemble the
realities and life experiences in most of African societies especially in Nigeria where the
author originated.
Characters and characterization
Character is a being involved in the work of art either living or non-living things.
The author of the novel employed the use of both flat and round characters. Starting with
the main characters with their characterization as follows:
(1) OdiliSamalu
· He is a flat character
· He represents middle class people
· He is revolutionist
· He is a son of Hezekiah samalu
· He is an activist
(2) Chief Nanga
· He is known as chief the honorable M.A Nanga
· He represents first class people
· He is an irresponsible leader
· He is selfish
· He is corrupt person as he tries to bribe Odili
And, there are also the minor characters with their characterization as follows;
(1) Edna Odo
· She represents middle class
· She is Odo’s daughter
· She is forced to marry chief Nanga
· She is educated
· She is round character
(2) Hezekiah Samalu
· He represents middle class
· He is Odili’s father
· He is former interpreter of colonialists
· He had revolutionary ideas
· He is ex local chairman of P.O.P
· He is round character

(3) Maxwell Kulamo


· He represents middle class
· He is lawyer
· He is Odilis’s friend
· He has revolutionary ideas
· He is an activist
· He was killed by Chief Koko’s stalwarts
(4) Eunice
· She represents middle class
· She is max’s fiancé
· She has true love
· She revenges her fiancé’s death by shooting chief Koko
· She is revolutionist
(5) Elsie
· She represents middle class
· She is a betrayer, she betrayed Odili
· She is educated
· She is a nurse
(6) Chief Koko
· He represents first class
· He is a minister
· He is very brutal as he led to max’s death
· He is irresponsible
· He is a corrupt person as he bribes max
Others are, Josiah (a shopkeeper in a certain shop at Anata), Azoge(the blind
beggars at Anata), Hon T.C Kobino(the minister of public construction), Jean and John
(advisors of the government), Dogo( chief Nanga stalwarts), Edmund , Boniface, Mama

THEMES;
Theme refers to the main idea of the artist in the work of art. In the novel of A man of the
people, the main ideas of the author on his work are as follows:
Ignorance, this is a condition in which someone lacks knowledge or information on
something. From the book the situation was shown as Odili tells us on people of Anata
that, “…they were not only ignorant but cynical…” (page. 2), they didn’t know that Chief
Nanga used his position to enrich himself.
Betrayal, this simply refers to going against legal agreement. In the book, the betrayal
was shown by the prime minister after the suggestion of minister of minister of finance on
cutting down of coffee’s price to meet the world market, then the minister was sacked by
prime minister, (page 3). Also, Chief Nanga seemed to betray Odili by seducing Elsie,
Odili’s fiancé.
Superstition, this refers to a belief not based on human reason or scientific knowledge,
that future events may be influenced by one’s behavior in some magical ways. In the
book the situation was shown by chief Nanga when he arrived holding animal skin in
which they believed it removes all evil designs, (page 7). Also, Odili’s father shows the
superstition on the protective medicine located at crucial point of the house, (page28).
Nepotism, this means the favoring of relatives or personal friends because of their
relationship rather than their abilities. In the book, the situation was shown by chief
Nanga tells Odili that he waste his time at village and tells him to go to the city and take
a position in the civil service because who are there are from the same village, ( page
12 ).
Polygamy; this refers to the condition of having more than one marriage partner at one
time. In the novel, Hezekiah Samalu had many wives, “…he had too many wives and
children…” (Page 27). So, Hezekiah Samalu was portrayed as polygamist.
Hostility; this refers to a condition of being hostile among the two sides. In the novel,
Odili’s father had many enemies since he became an interpreter, “…no son of Hezekiah
Samalu’s shelters under my roof…” (Page29), this statement was stated by the father of
Odili’s friend. Further, hostility was between Odili and Chief Nanga started as chief
Nanga seduced Elsie, Odili’s fiancé.
Hypocrisy, this simply refers to the false appearance of a someone, where someone is
pretending in his or her acts. In the novel Chief Nanga was portrayed as the hypocrite
when he tells Odili how he hates to be a minister, “…if anybody comes to you and wants
to make you minister, run away…” (Page36). Also, chief Nanga seemed as a hypocrite
when he tells Odili on the teaching professional that he wishes to be a teacher again
rather than to be a minister.
Egoism, this is a tendency to act selfishly for the own interest. An author portrayed chief
Nanga as an egoist as he tells T.C Kobino , a minster of public construction on his self-
interest to the road tube constructed that pass his home village, Anata, “…so he had two
good reasons for wanting the road tarred next elections and the arrival of his buses…”, (
page 43 )
Irresponsibility; this refers to a condition in which someone is incapable of performing
his or her duties. In the novel, the author portrayed Chief Nanga as an irresponsible
leader as he fails even knowing names of few writers in the country despite being a
minister of culture, “…Chief Nanga hadn’t even heard the man ‘s name before …”. Also
chief Nanga’s brother calling himself P.I.V a poor innocent victim, portrayed as an
irresponsible one because he complain on his brother chief Nanga who is V.I.P while he
is drinking some beer without working, ( page 95 ).
Corruption; this is the illegal use of public office or fund. In the novel, Chief Nanga
portrayed by the author as a corrupt leader, he tried to bribe Odili to step down from
election, “…take your money and take a scholarship to go and learn more books, and
leave the dirty game…” (Page118 ). Also, the author portrayed Chief Koko too as a
corrupt leader who bribed Maxwell Kulamo to step down from election, “…Maxwell
Kulamo has more sense than you. He has already taken his money and agreed to step
down for Chief Koko…” (Page119).
Brutality; this refers to the state of being not fair to others, always in form of violence.
Chief Nanga seemed to be brutal in the novel when he pushed Edna on the dais, “…he
pushed her so violently that she landed on her buttocks…” (Page 140). Further, Chief
Koko was portrayed too as a brutal person when he led to the max’s death in Abaga
(page 142).
Revenge; this refers to condition of hurting or harming someone in return. In the book,
Eunice did revenge by shooting Chief Koko in his chest who led to the max’s death, his
fiancé, “…took out pistol instead and fired two bullets into Chief Koko’s chest…” (Page
143). Also, OdiliSamalu had a revenge to chief Nanga by taking Edna from his hands as
chief Nanga seduced Elsie, the Odili’sfiancé.
Message of the book:
This refers to the learning we get from any literary work. The following are the
messages from the novel of “A man of the people”:
(i) Restriction of ignorance is a step towards development. People of Anata did not know
that Chief Nanga was an enemy of the people as he used his power to enrich himself
and not others.

(ii) Irresponsibility leads to unprogressive society. Chief Nanga’s brother calling himself a
P.I.V, a poor innocent victim sits down and drink beers without working, and still
lamenting to his brother chief Nanga for his wealth.

(iii) Corruption is a great obstacle towards development in our societies. For example
OdiliSamalu was bribed to step out of en election, so the development could not take
place with the same irresponsible leader in the country.

Position of woman
This is how an author portrays women in his work of art resembling the real life of
women in our societies. In the novel of “A man of the people” the author portrays women
in several forms as follows;
(i) Woman as a family carer; in the novel the first Hezekiah’s wife called mama was
responsible for caring of the whole family, “…my first father’s wife, whom we all call
mama brought me up like one of his own children..”.(Page 27).

(ii) Woman as revolutionist; from the book, author portrays Eunice as a revolutionist, as she
performs the anti-governmental activities.

(iii) Woman as an educated person; in the novel, author portrays Eunice as educated one
as lawyer, also he portrays Elsie as educated one as a nurse.

(iv) Woman as a weak person, in the novel, author portrays Elsie as a weak person as she
failed to resist against chief Nanga from being seduced.

Plot of the novel


Plot refers to the flow of events in a literary work. The author of the novel of “ A
man of the people «arranged the events in to 13 chapters in his book. Chinua Achebe
used chronological order at large extent and flashback in some extent.
Chronological order, this refers to the kind of plot in which the events are
arranged from the beginning to the end. For example, in the novel, the events were
arranged from when chief Nanga pays a visit at Anata his home village (page 1), to when
the army took over the power from corrupt and irresponsible leaders.
Also, flashback refers to the kind of plot in which the past events are inserted to
the present events. In the book, the author used flashback when Odili tells the past life of
chief Nanga when he was a teacher sixteen years ago (page 2_3).
Further, the author used flashback Odili tells his story when he was in Giligili as a
houseboy in a certain house where his first time to see water was closets house (page
41).
Style of the novel
Style refers to the manner an artist used to present his work. The author of the
novel of “A man of the people” employed the use of several styles as follows;
(i) Chinua Achebe presented his work his work by narrative form in large extent, and
dialogue form in small extent, for example, dialogue between Odili and the father of his
friend, (page 29). Further, a dialogue between stalwarts and Odili, (page 31).

(ii) The author employed the use of notice in the novel, (page 40).

(iii) The author also employed the use of songs in the novel, (page 96), and (page 122).

(iv) The author the use of biblical passage, he used Mathew 2:18. (Page 83).

Diction of the novel


This refers to how an author employed the use of language (simple or complex),
literary techniques and figure of speech.
In the novel, “A man of the people” an author used simple language in which it is well
understood by his audiences. And in the book of “A man of the people” the author
employed the use of Pidgin English in small extent, for example, “…I go go haskam if he
wants see you. Wetin be your name?” (Page 31). Also, the author in the novel, employed
the use of figures of speech and literary techniques as follows;
Symbolism; this refers to the usage of characters representing concept, idea or an
object. The author of the novel used persons and objects to symbolize things as follows
(i) Gold and chain to symbolize wealth (page 7).

(ii) Kidney pie, steak and milk grill to symbolize western culture on food (page 46).

(iii) Azoge’s stick to symbolize small remained wealth of an individual (page 85).
(iv) Chief Nanga to symbolize selfish persons and irresponsible ones.

Repetition; this refers to the literary technique of repeating the same word frequently for
more emphasis, for example, “…sir, sir, sir…” (Page 9), “…hear! Hear!” (Page 10),
also “…no, no, no, I said…” (Page 93).
Hyperbole; this refers to a figure of speech in which something is described as better
than it really is. For example, chief Nanga says “… it is a mammoth crowd…” (Page 10),
but in fact, people were not many as mammoth crowd.
Saying; this refers to a phrase expressing a basic truth which may be applied to
common situation. The author of the novel employed the use of saying frequently in his
work, for example, Chief Nanga says “…do the right and shame the devil…”(Page
11), “…better the water is spilled than the pot is broken..”(Page 28).
Simile; this refers to a figure of speech in which two things are compared using “like” or
“as». The author used simile like, “…he looked as bright as new shilling…” (page 38), “…
blows were falling as fast as rain…”(page 140), “…her back was as perfect as her
front…”(page 92), “…a sadness deep and cool like a well…”(page 140).
Metaphor; this refers to a figure of speech implies comparison of two unlike entities
without using of “as” or “like”. The author used metaphor like when Chief Nanga says “…
he has become an earthworm…” (page 42).
Ellipses; this refers to the omission of grammatical words in a sentence or phrase, for
instance the author used ellipses like “…you didn’t tell me,Mr.…er…” (Page 62), “…a
brilliant song called…erm…what is it called again?...”(page 63).
Personification; thisrefers to a figure of speech in which inanimate object is given
human qualities. In the novel, the author employed the use of this like, “…if alligator
comes out of the water one morning and tells you that, crocodile is sick …” (page 120),
butin fact an alligator cannot speak a word, and“…what one dog says to another…”(Page
125).
Imagery; this is visible representation of an idea, concept, object or realities. In the
novel, imagery was employed like “…he has now an ice cream eating permanent
secretary…” (Page 109), an ice cream is an imagery representing the national wealth.
Rhetorical questions; these are questions in which an asker do not expect an answer.
For example,”…why should you? Do I know book? Am I not ofthe Old Testament?” (page
118)
Vulgarism;this refers to the use of the word or termthat is considered offensive or
distasteful, this was shown by an author as jean says “…sex means much more to a
woman than to a man, it takes place inside her. The man uses a mere projection of
himself…”

Relevance of the book


The book is very relevant to our current societies, because all things which
discussed with in the book by the author are those found in our current societies
especially in African countries. For example, the issue of corruption has been discussed
by author by using Chief Nanga who tries to bribe Odili by giving him a certain amount of
money but Odili rejected so even in our societies the issue of corruption is the big
problem because higher leaders tend to practice corruption. So, this book is very
relevant to our societies.

Relevance of the title to the content of the book


The title of the book of “a man of the people” is ironic that it is not relevant to the
content of the book as we expected that the novel to be called “a man of the people”
should adhere and expect to see the issues risen to be good and support what the title
suggests but is contrary different because what are expressed in the content of the book
are the evils done by a person whom people tends to call him as “ a man of the
people” but in fact the person do not deserve to be called so.