International Journal of
English and Literature

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. English Lit.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2626
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJEL
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 276


Need that throbs at the heart: Solidarity in Chinua Achebe’s Anthills of the Savannah

Amechi Nicholas Akwanya
Department of English and Literary Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 11 October 2013
  •  Published: 31 December 2013


Chinua Achebe’s Anthills of the Savannah has often been called a ’political novel’ and directly linked to the experience of military rule in Nigeria, even though that country is not mentioned in the story. It leaves open the question what might be Achebe’s purpose in such an undertaking. Would he be trying to tell the people what they already know about their experience under military rule, or to provide guidelines, the dos and the don’ts to keep in view for successful military rule, or is he saying that military rule is all right as long as it is responsive to the needs of the people? This way of reading the novel may have discouraged literary criticism of it, as it tends to end in inane plot summaries. This paper takes the view that Anthills of the Savannah is a literary novel, which demands literary criticism. The approach followed here is to analyze the metaphors of the work in such a way that its form as a text, a woven pattern is apparent.

Key words: Demonic imagery, interpretation, metaphor, myth, solidarity, primary symbol, text, textuality.