The paper proposes an intertextual reading of narrative and performance closure in four Nigerian end-of-era stories about colonial conquest (Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and Arrow of God, Flora Nwapa’s Efuru, and Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman), focusing mainly on the meaning of the use of suicide, or the resolution of its threat, as a strategy ofending conflicts created directly by the enforcement of colonial rule or indirectly by the effect of such new rule. The first subsection dissects the narrative positioning of the tenure of the protagonist’s life in each text. The second analyzes the meaning that each incarnation of closure-by-suicide story reveals about the place of conquest in the evolution of historical consciousness in colonized communities.


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pp. 72-86
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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