Book Review: The Miseducation of Obi Ifeanyi by Chinedu Achebe
Obi got home to find Ike asleep beside Nkechi while she watched television. Seeing the image of his family, the one he had consciously created, made it crystal clear to him that these two people were his main priority in life. This was his wife and his son, and he had chosen them.
On New Year’s Day, Obi Ifeanyi, in his early thirties, happily married and a father, realizes he reached a critical point: is the life he has really the one he wants? Is love really the way he imagined it? Is responsibility harder to take that he thought?
In the time span of one year, in the context of Obama’s second election, the characters of Achebe’s novel all seem to become suddenly aware of the complexity of human relations ; in his circle of educated and open-minded friends, Obi takes a step back from everything he thought he knew and question the values he was brought up to believe in, like marriage, loyalty, or love.
Chinedu Achebe’s novel could be read as a modern version of coming of age in a globalized world in which even growing up isn’t was what it used to be ;education is here replaced by miseducation as if to signify that coming of age evolves with time and society. At different times of their lives, the characters in the novel discover different faces of themselves in relations to others; some of these faces are positive, others are darker and less loyal than they thought.
By Ioana Danaila