Literary movement

The short story “The Headstrong Historian” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie can be considered an example of post-colonial literature. This type of literature is written by authors from former colonies and presents the experiences of colonized people. The focus is on the indigenous populations’ culture and traditions. “The Headstrong Historian” presents many aspects of Igbo culture, such as consulting the oracle and offering sacrifices to help women carry babies to term.

Post-colonial literature also deals with relationships between colonized people and colonizers. In Adichie’s story, readers find out about Catholic mission schools set up to preach Christianity to the local population, as well as their attempt to erase the local culture and force people to adopt their own viewpoints as an alternative.

Historical perspectives

Nigeria was under the rule of the British Empire from the mid-nineteenth century and only achieved independence in 1960. However, Britain did not technically occupy the country until 1885, which is around the time of the beginning of the story. This is why the idea of the white men is still new to Nwamgba at first. 

The story mentions the Royal Niger Company, which w...

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