Chinua Achebe: The Anthills of the Savannah (2486 words)

Matthew Whittle (University of Kent at Canterbury)
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Offering a comment on the paranoia of life in a totalitarian state, Chinua Achebe remarks in his fifth novel, Anthills of the Savannah (1987), that:

Worshipping a dictator is such a pain in the ass. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was merely a matter of dancing upside down on your head. With practice anyone could learn to do that. The real problem is having no way of knowing from one day to another, from one minute to the next, just what is up and what is down. (41)

It is a sentiment that underscores Achebe’s depiction of the rise of a ruthless dictatorial regime in the fictional West African state of Kangan in the latter half of the twentieth century, where the ideals of nationalist unity and …

Citation: Whittle, Matthew. "The Anthills of the Savannah". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 July 2014 [, accessed 03 March 2021.]

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