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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Spontaneous and natural as the finished story may seem, the writer has written it so artfully that there is meaning in even seemingly casual speeches and apparently trivial details. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. She [short story] has an inherent purity of line and structure in that she utilizes the minimum number of characters and or situations honing them to a fine edge, a polished gem that makes a complete statement — startling sometimes with aggression, sometimes with a calm quietude, but mxdman with strength.

Thanks for the comment and insight Nikky. They are two distinct genres, as unmistakably different from one another as painting is from sculpture, as poetry is from prose This may be important as it suggests that appearance is important to Nwibe. It is Nwibe, who had gone to wash off the hot afternoon sweat from the work on his farm, after which he would proceed to the market. He has a proposal that he be admitted into their hierarchy.

Chinua Achebe and the Politics of Remembering. Ironically enough I found it hilarious that the reliable sensible Nwibe was thought of as crazy by the towns chinux and it was the towns people opinion of him that actually made him crazy.


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.

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

Balogun is quite apt in his comments. Nwibe is to continue his life struggling to get back to the position or place he once held or knew.

This may be important as it suggests that the determination that Nwibe showed at the beginning of the story by travelling to the market has returned. It concerns Nwibe, a rising pillar of his community whose star is on the rise. It is another eventful market day. Dermot Post Author September 5, 4: I am not sure if it was Professor Achebe’s intention to weave the tale in such a clever fashion. University of Michigan Press, I would also be keen on other literary analyses from you.

The story teaches didactic and satire in the society which means no condition is permanent. The result, often, in the eyes of his readers is a display of an uncommon command of the English language which enables him to achieve wholeness in his stories.

Chinua Achebe plays a clever trick on the mind, you think you see something and then you don’t. And contrary to the belief by many, the short story is not a summarized novel.

Short Story Analysis: The Madman by Chinua Achebe – The Sitting Bee

All due to a misunderstanding. Receive News Alerts on Whatsapp: The final part is an epilogue, coming after the conflict between Nwibe the epitome of societal norms and the naked madman at the other extreme.

Meantime, a desperate madman comes along to quench his thirst at the stream; he sees Nwibe’s loin cloth, gathers it and wraps it over his nakedness. Of course, without a mastery of the language, Achebe could not have achieved much. I can see why Achebe chiua get depressed about that. Having once been respected in the village this is no longer the case. This is really an oyster pearl in the midst of some of the lame gutter dribble we call Nollywood art.


Achebe shows a powerful control of the form by his artistic organization of the work such that the presentation shows a unique artistic rendition of various matters into one wholesome and captivating story. 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.

The position is perhaps more clearly expressed in Judeo-Christian theology in which madness is the consequence schebe the intervention of demon forces, as would be evident from the account below: January 04, Last Updated: His stories always end up as beautifully woven pieces of clothes, ornamented with alluring colours without a single piece of thread hanging redundantly out of place.

What Achebe does is to combine the use of plain and embellished linguistic presentations in the bid to present succinctly, that which he desires.

I beseech thee, torment me not. Could we, according clinical psychiatry, define madness merely as mental and behavioural disorder? Enter the email address you signed up with and jadman email you a reset link. This short story in my opinion is among the greats. It conveys messages through wholly composed stories by laying emphasis on the crucial point that is to be wrought off.

From this climax, the roles are reversed for the tragic.

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