Quis Custodies Custodiet? The Development of Moral Values in A Man of the People


Rosemary Colmer


A Man of the People,1 Achebe's fourth novel, may be seen as part of the progressive development throughout his work of a single theme: the moral relations of an individual with his society. All five novels present an historic overview of the processes by which a colonised society, overwhelmed by British influence and forced to open itself to the outside world, loses simultaneously its self-regulatory power and its moral base. Thus the individual within the new society, educated to behave in ways which are beyond what traditional law envisions or his contemporary community is prepared to legislate upon, must look within himself for moral purpose.

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